Imágenes de páginas

which He graciously enables man to at. sideration of the general nature of tain into His glorious works on the earth the objects, produced on the surface light which He has annexed to devout and of the earth, or within the reach of at: holy contemplations, argue His own holi- tainment, for the use of man.” The ness; justify the espectation of His regard sentence of condemnation pronounced to holiness, nay even to endeavours after boliness, in his creatures ; and encouruge the ground for thy sake; in sorrow

on Adam commenced, “Cursed is and warrant the humble hope, that a penilent transgressor may be blest with pardon shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy and acceptance.-pp. 161–163.

life: thorns also and thistles shall it

The actual The scriptures declare that it is a

bring forth to thee." part of the curse pronounced on fallen condition of the earth fully accords man, that in the sweat of his face he The scantiness of those things provi

with this declaration of the Almighty. should eat bread. To this it has been ded for our sustenance and comfort, objected that labour contributes to and the difficulty with which they the virtue, the improvement and hap- must often be obtained, seem fitted to piness of man, and therefore it is ri- the condition of a being who is under diculous to call its necessity a curse. It is a sufficient answer to this objec. to that of one who enjoys the un

the frown of his Maker, rather than tion, that man's depravity renders la- clouded smiles of the Father of his bour thus necessary to virtue aod happiness. Mr. Gisborne however meets spirit ; while, at the same time, they the objector on his own ground. He

are sufficient, with his own labour admits that a degree of labour might life, which is an indication of mercy,

and industry, not only to preserve a respects such as man, but distingnish- but to superadd many comforts which

are not indispensable to his existence, es between such an exercise to his faculties and virtue, and that painful and which, therefore, more strongly labour, which nature imposes on him. indicate the grace and compassion of

his offended Sovereign. It is unde. But suppose that we were made ac cessary that we should add, we are quainted with the existence of a class of not here speaking of the inferences beings, from whom labour was required which unassisted reason would draw as indispensable to their comfort and to

from these facts, but of the coincidentheir actual preservation, yet whose labour, when duly exerted, was from time ces which an enlightened understandto time proving ineflicacious, inadequate ing can discover between the declarato attain either its immediate or its ultimate tions of the word of God, and the tenobject : being subjected to corporeal and dencies of his works. This distincmental pain, but in numerous cases rendered by that very pain incapable of la- tion, however, it will be seen in the bour, disqualified either for bodily or for following extracts, has not been made tions? We would say: "Here is labour by our author. He points first to the failing to reap its fruits. Here is an over

indications of mercy in the producplus of pain beyond the amount requisite tions of the earth. as a stimulus to creatures disposed to obedieoce; an overplus tending to incapaci. When the mind reflects on the number late, for a season, or even permanently, of articles which in the present argument for active service. The labour and the the term materials includes; on their fitpain manifestly partake of a penal charac pess for the requisite ends, on their approier. They atiach also upon the whole priate variety, and on their universality; race by the present constitution of ils na.

what scope for admiration and for grati. tore. The race of beings is not a holy tude! A just view of the subject may race. It is a race whose nature is de- perhaps be rendered the more clear, and praved."-pp. 166, 167.

ibe more forcible, if we consider how

easily, so to speak, ibe case might havo Then follows a series of minute ob- been decidedly different, or even reversed, servations on the penal labour to in most or in all of these particulars, with which man is subjected. Intimately ture, without impediment, in our appre

out injury to the visible economy of naconnected with this labour is the con. kension, to any of the manifested designs


of the Deity, that of benefit to sinful man men. How small a change might have at excepted : and what would have been the once annibilated their usefulness ! Sopcondition of men, bad an offended God pose for instance, that the horse, with all decided a contrary arrangement. his present capacities of serving mankind, Plants and herbs might have been as effi were carnivorous. He would instantly cacious as at present for the nutriment of become not merely a terror to his master, the animal world ; might bave been as ac- but a servant not to be sustained, except at ceptable to the taste of every quadruped, an expense never to be compensated by and bird, and insect, which feeds upon his labour. Observe that the elephant, the them; if not one species among the ver camel, and all the large domesticated anidant inultitude had possessed the fibrous mals, feed only on vegetable productions. and tenacious texture capable of being It is not that man bas selected for domesconverted into buman clothing. The for. tication animals which subsist on herbs, est might bave overshadowed the hills and leaves, and grain : but it is that the with its magnificence, might have protect- animals, wbich are framed with the pow. ed from the sun and from the storm and ers and the qualities pre-eminently fitting from the frost all the beasts of the earth, them for the service of man, are also apand all the fowls of the air ; though every pointed by Providence to be sustained entree within its immeasurable precincts had tirely by ihe vegetable world. The qualbeen too hard to be wrought into a struc ities and the propensities are united, the ture for the shelter of man, or too perisha- powers and the babits are incorporated, ble to repay the trouble of fabrication, by the gracious Creator; who determined Of masses of stones there might have been that man should be benefited by the aid of none; or none suitable or attainable for a animal strength and docility, and formed wall. All might have been crumbling or certain species of animals for the purpose shattery like chalk, or impenetrable as of supplying man with that aid. The cast iron; none might have been fissile metals, and also coal, the maio instrument into slates for a roof; none capable of be- by which in this country they are reduced ing converted by fire into the basis of a tó a beneficial state, might be poiatedly cement. Wood might have been in every noticed in conjunction with the present jostance, as is now ibe fact in some fami. subject, had not these mineral substances lies of trees, wholly unfit for the purposes been already brought forward, and amply of fuel ; or, though proper for combustion, treated in a sufficiently analogous condecmight have been, through its weight or its tion.-pp. 128–132. fragibility, or its continual and irreclaimable tortuosity, useless for navigation.

Notwithstanding these abundant toQuadrupeds might have enlivenod, as now, the face of the eartb, and have enjoyed kens of the compassion and grace of undiminished happiness in their sphere of God, the limitation which attends being; though their skin, refusing to sup. them could be hardly reconciled with ply wool or leather to man, bad been slimy the full approbation and favor of the like the covering of the snail, or horny as the armour of the rhinoceros. They would Creator, towards unoffending creanot have been less graceful, or less agile, tures. or less joyous; had their flesh been uni. versally unadapted for his food, or abom

The degree of limitation within wbich inable to his palate. Where but to the eye it has seemed good to the Deity to circumof man would have been the cbasm or the scribe bis bounty, when providing certain loss in creation, if the dog had not existed; species of animals and other productions if the place of that docile and faithful ally

or contents of the earth as particularly im. bad been occupied by an animal, unsus

portant for the relief of human necessities, ceptible of attachment to a human asso.

powerfully supports our argument. The ciate, or incapable of guarding his dwel. number of the kinds of animals and of ling, or of co-operating in the protection plants, to which this description belongs, and the superintendence of his flocks?

is not exuberantly copious. lo an imagioWhere would have been the sorrow, ex ary world prepared for beings assumed to cept in the breast of man, had the camel,

be exeinpted from moral trials, or to be and the dromedary, and the elephant, and contemplated by infinite foreknowledge the lama, and the horse, and the ox, been

as stedfast in obedience, exuberance might invested with propensities, or constructed have been anticipated as a probable cbar. with such changes of bodily conformation, acteristic. But, in our own world, the as had disqualified them for the office of number, though sufficient for its purposes, labouring in his service, or rendered them is comprised in a narrow compass. How intractable under his efforts to bend them large a portion, for example, of the susteto his yoke? I have alluded to conceiva nance of man consists of milk, under difble changes in the propensities with wbich ferent forms of employing it! From the it has pleased a Deity, compassionale 10- temperate zones, and from the habitable ward an offending race, to endow the parts of the colder regions, take away the animals specially ki for the occupations of COW: and what remains to be substituted?

The very inferior aid of the sheep and the past, and by the recent discoveries goat. Take them away; and nearly eve which this study has brought to light, ry thing, or every thing, is gone. From torrid climates, take away the camel ;

not hitherto considered in their appliand you leave them equally at a loss as to cation to Natural Theology. Ii is a prime article of nutriment. Then with probably for these reasons that the respect to the speedy conveyance of man author has placed these facts at the from place to place, and the commodious transportation of his burthens. From one commencement of his work, that if clime, remove the borse ; from another possible, they might engage the atthe camel and the dromedary; from an. tention of readers desirous only of other the lama; from another the elephant : and in 'what state, as to these novelty and amusement, although in points, do you leave the inhabitants ? their relative importance and appliThen, with regard to clothing. From cability to his argument, they natutropical lands, withdraw cotton ; from rally come last under consideration. countries exterior to the ecliptic, subduct It would be difficult to make satisfactobemp and Max: and where are the general materials for garments ? According to a

ry extracts from this part of the volkindred analogy, though there is one spe- ume, within the limits prescribed to cies of earth, generally to be found, which, us in this article. The facts are when spontaneously hardened into stone, may be burned into a fil ingredient for chiefly the following. It is discovermortar; there is one species only. Again, ed that the strata of the earth, to an were the oak non-existent; how would unknown depth, are broken up and Britain construct the bulls of her navies? inverted, in a manner which indicates Remove the fir and tbe kindred larch ; and that the whole surface of the earth, bow would she supply the halls with masts? Again, were iron absent, labour, within a few thousand years, has sufand art, and science would be paralysed fered the greatest degree of violence. by tbe lotal want of tools and implements; Sea and earth seem to have been and the business of the manufactory, and the enterprises of commerce would be at

mingled together in vast confusion. an end. In all these instances, and in oth Living beings on the surface of the ers wbich might be adduced, the supply earth were destroyed, and transported granted to man by his Creator is not a mere prison allowance, scantily sustaining

to remote parts of it, many thousand life, and barely meeting the demands of miles from the region they naturally ordinary pecessities. Neither is it the inhabited. The bottom of the sea luxuriant profusion natural, it so we may was raised to the surface, and even presume to speak, 10 the hand of perfect elevated to mountains, and it is not ply bearing the character of a grant to sin improbable that the former inhabited ners from a God of mercy and of wisdom: surface of the earth is now covered a supply by mercy made so ample, as not by the deepest waters of the ocean. only to relieve wants, but to superadd Such facts Mr. Gisborne thinks the moderate comforts and enjoyments; by student of Natural Theology, would wisdorp so limited, as to render man sea sible how important is the blessing, and attribute to the displeasure of God how unworthy is the being on whom it is with man, the only moral agent on bestowed.-pp. 132–134.

the earth, and of course the only beFrom these indications of the disc ing that could provoke his indignapleasure of God, towards man, seen

tion. However this may be, we who in the productions of the earth, it is are acquainted with the word of God, natural to look into its mineral con

cannot but see the coincidence of such tents, its internal structure, and the facts, with the general declarations of varieties of its surface, and observe at the scriptures, and especially with the once the traces of indignant, disap

Mosaic record of the universal deluge. probation, and the tokens of inercy

We cannot but feel a degree of tritowards offending man. This part

umph that uncontroverted arguments of the subject occupies a large portion in favour of the scriptural history are of our author's pages.

It is recom

now drawn from an investigation of mended to our attention by the en

those very subjects, which, but a few thusiasm with which geological studies years since, were supposed by infidels have been pursued, for a few years

to furnish unanswerable objections to

revelation. It is but a short time, will collect many more, which will since the deluge, especially, was a eventually silence, if they do not consubject of ridicule, among scoffers, as vince infidelity. a fact in its nature impossible, and in The manner of our author, certainview of all the facts connected with ly suffers by a comparison with that of the natural history of the earth, im- Doct. Paley, when treating of similar probable. Now, however, the marks subjects. There was in the mind of of such a deluge are so evident, that Paley a peculiar simplicity and orieven infidel philosophers admit its re- ginality of thought, which were admiality, though they cannot account for rably fitted to the nice and delicate it, and adopt it as a part of their reasonings of moral philosophy, creed, although they cannot conceive There is also a modesty in his conhow Moses should be the ooly histo- clusions, which when compared with rian who has transmitted an accurate the point and irresistible force of his account of it. It is surely a matter arguments, gives to the whole the of triumph that the weapons of our power of demonstration. Mr. Gisassailants are thus put into our hands. borne is far less happy in disposing The very facts by which they would the parts of an argument, and bring. destroy our faith, are found, on fur- ing the whole to bear on the mind of ther investigation, to support it, so as his reader; at the same time he goes even to force upon our adversaries, beyond expectation in his conclusions, the belief of what they lately consid which he states with more strength ered the most objectionable parts of and confidence thau bis arguments our creed. Let us believe that seem to warrant. Some of this imperincreasing knowledge may yet con- fection in his reasonings we are disvince the world, that the objections posed to ascribe to his endeavour to of infidels are all founded in igno- make natural theology teach more than rance and pride, while the declara- it is capable of teaching. He would tions of the Bible, are connected with make it usurp the province of revelathe most enlightened views of philoso- tion, and being himself previously phy. Some christians seem afraid of convinced of the results to which he the bold investigations of modern phi- would lead his reader, and doubting losophy. We ought always to op- not that his reader is also convinced pose the rash and uufounded conclu- of them, his arguments seem to his sions of that theoretical speculation mind to have more force than an unwhich is philosophy falsely so called, believer would attribute to them. and which is ever opposed to the But we do not think that his habits of Gospel; but the humble christian has thought, and his manner of communothing to fear from the progress of nicating his ideas, are admirably fitted knowledge. It was an observa- to the subject he is discussing. When tion of Newton, that the bounda- he has seized an important fact he ries of moral philosophy, would does not present it with sufficient disbe enlarged with the discoveries tinctness, nor in its various aspects of natural philosophy. Experience until it produces its full effect on the has ever proved the justness of mind. His manner also is too rhetothis, as well as of almost every de- rical. It has not the simplicity which liberate opinion of that truly great is required in the disquisitions of mormao. It is equally certain that the evi- al philosophy. That his taste prompts dences of the truth of revelation will him to write in an eloquent and imbe multiplied, and that the objections pressive manner, the extracts we have to it will be diminished, exactly in already made sufficiently evince; that proportion to the progress and the ac. he is able to write with elegance curacy of natural knowledge. Mr. when the subject admits it, the folGisborne has brought together many lowing passage, in which he describes facts, and succeeding philosophers the beautiful variety left on the sur

face of the earth by the retiring del. these works of his wondrous hand He is uge, is proof.

continually varying and enhancing the attractions by the diversified modes and ac

cessions of beauty with which He invests Would you receive and cherish a strong them, by the alternations of seasons, by the impression of the extent of the mercy dis- countless and rapid changes of light and played in the renewal of the face of the shade, by the characteristic effects of the eartb? Would you endeavour to reoder rising, the meridian, the setting sun, by justice to the subject ? Contemplate the the subdued glow of twilight, by the soft number of the diversified effects on the radiance of the moon; and by the hues, surface of the globe, which have been the actions, and the music of the animal wrought, arranged, and barmonised, by tribes with which they are peopled. the divine benigoity, through the agency While Natural Theology perceives the of the retiring deluge: and combine in Creator thus lavishing sources of pure and your survey of them the two connected innocent pleasure on the abode of a race eharacteristics, utility and beauty, utility of transgressors ; well may she listen with to meet ibe necessities and multiply the admiring yet undoubting faith to the voice comforts of man, beauty graciously super of Revelation, which tells ber that tho added to cheer bis eye and delight his eternal delights ordained for the redeemed heart, with which the general aspect of na of the Lord in those oew heavens and hat tore is impressed. Observe the moun new earth wherein dwelleth righteouslaios, of every form and of every eleva.. ness, ordained for them by Him who is tion. See them now rising in bold ac able to do exceeding abundantly above all clivities; now accumulated in a succes that we ask or think, sball be such as eye sion of gracefully sweeping ascents ; now hath not seen, nor ear beard, neither hath towering in rugged precipices; now rear. it entered into the heart of man to con: ing above the clouds ibeir spiry pinnacles ceive.--pp. 73–76. glittering with perpetual snow. View ibeir sides now darkened with unbounded forests; now spreading to the sun their ample slopes covered with berbage, the

REVIEW REVIEWED. summer resorts of the flocks and the herds of subjacent regions; now scooped into

To the Editor of the Christian Spectator. sheltered concavities; now enclosing within their ranges glens green as the em

Sir, erald, and watered by streams pellucid and Your number for March last consparkling as crystal. Pursue these glens tained a Review of my Letters to the as they unite and enlarge themselves; mark their rivalets uniting and enlarging Rey. Mr. Channing, on which I beg themselves also; until the glen becomes a the liberty to make a few remarks. I valley, and the valley expands into a rich do this, not because I have any reason vale or a spacious plain, each varied and to be dissatisfied with the criticisms bounded by bills and knolls and gentle uplands, in some parts chiefly adapted of the writer; for they are, to say for pasturage, in oibers for the plough; the least, as favourable to my pereach intersected and refreshed by riv. formance as any reasonable man can ers flowing onward from country to country, and with streams continually aug;

suppose they should be. I have vo mented by collateral accessions, until doubt that the Reviewer and myself they are finally lost in the ocean. There agree in regard to all the important new modes of beauty await the beholder; points of doctrine which concern the ontories, deeply indented bays, barbours subject of the Trinity. Though we penetrating far inland and protected from may appear at first view, to differ in every blast. But in these vast and mag. our belief, that appearance results, I nificent features of nature, the gracious apprehend, rather from want of suffiAuthor of all things has not exhausted the attractions with a hicb He purposed to

cient caution, perhaps, in some of my decorate inanimate objects. He pours expressions; and, possibly, from the forth beauties in detail, and with unspar. Reviewer's not having sufficiently ing prodigality of munificence, and for considered the meaning of particular cation also, on the several portions, how. expressions, as connected with whole ever inconsiderable, of which the larger passages in the Letters. component parts of the splendid whole There are two remarks near the consist : on the rock, on the fractured

conimencement of the Review, imstone, on the thicket, on the single tree, on the bush, on the mossy bank, on the plying an apprehension on the part plant, on the lower, on the leaf. or all of the Reviewer, that the statement

Vol. 3.-No. VIII. 54

« AnteriorContinuar »