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intellectual and practical, often depend upon it. The powers, which make the study of nature so endless
resenıblances of various natural things in greater or and so interesting, suffice to their necessities and no
less degree become the means of acquiring a know more."(4)
ledge of them with greater ease, because it is made the “ Equally conspicuous is the wisdom of God in the
basis of their arrangement into kinds and sorts, with government of nations, of states, and of kingdoms: yea,
out which the human remory would fail, and the un- rather more conspicuous; if infinite can be allowed to
derstanding be confused. The differences in things admit of any degrees. For the whole inanimate crea-
are as important as their resemblances. This is tion, being totally passive and inert, can make no oppo-
strikingly illustrated in the domestic animals and in sition to his will. Therefore, in the natural world all
men. If the individuals of the former did not differ, no things roll on in an even uninterrupted course. But it
property could be claimed in them, or when lost they is far otherwise in the moral world. Here evil men
could not be recovered. The countenance of one human and evil spirits continually oppose the Divine Will, and
individual differs from all the rest of his species; his create numberless irregularities. Here, therefore, is
voice and his manner have the same variety. This is full scope for the exercise of all the riches both of the
not only an illustration of the resources of creative wisdom and knowledge of God, in counteracting all
power and wisdom; but of design and intention to se- the wickedness and folly of men, and all the subtlety
cure a practical end. Parents, children, and friends of Satan, to carry on his own glorious design, the sal-
could not otherwise be distinguished, nor the criminal vation of lost mankind. Indeed, were he to do this by
from the innocent. No felon could be identified by his an absolute decree, and by his own irresistible power,
accuser, and the courts of judgment would be ob it would imply no wisdom at all. But his wisdom is
structed, and often rendered of no avail for the protection shown, by saving man in such a manner as not to de-
of life and property.

stroy his nature, nor to take away the liberty which he
To variety of kind and form, we may add variety of has given him.”(5)
magnitude. In the works of God, we have the ex- But in the means by which offending men are recon-
tremes, and those extremes filled up in perfect grada- ciled to God, the inspired writers of the New Testa-
tion from magnificence to minuteness. We adore the ment peculiarly glory, as the most eminent manifesta-
mighty sweep of that power which scooped out the bed tions of the wisdom of God.
of the fathomless ocean, moulded the mountains, and

“For the wonderful work of redemption the apostle filler space with innumerable worlds ; but the same gives us this note, that ‘he hath therein abounded in hand formed the animalcule, which requires the strong. all wisdom and prudence. Herein did the perfection est magnifying power of optical instruments to make it of wisdom and prudence shine forth, to reconcile the visible. In that 100 the work is perfect. We perceive mighty amazing difficulties and seeming contrarieties, matter in its most delicate organization, bones, sinews, real contrarieties indeed, if he had not some way intertendons, muscles, arteries, veins, the pulse of the heart, vened to order the course of things, such as the conflict and the heaving of the lungs. The workmanship is as between justice and mercy ;--that the one must be complete in the smallest as in the most massive of the satisfied in such a way as the other might be gratified: works of God.

which could never have had its pleasing grateful exerThe connexion and dependence of the works of God cise without being reconciled to the former. And that are as wonderful as their variety. Every thing fills its this should be brought about by such an expedient, place, not by accident but design; wise regulation that there should be no complaint on the one hand, nor runs through the whole, and shows that that whole is on the other. Herein hath the wisdom of crucified the work of one, and of one alone. The meanest weed Redeemer, that whereof the crucified Redeemer or Sa. which grows stands in intimate connexion with the viour was the effected object, triumphed over all the mighty universe itself. It depends upon the atmos- imaginations of men, and all the contrivances even of phere for moisture, which atmosphere supposes an devils, by that death of his, by which the Devil parposed ocean, clouds, winds, gravitation ; it depends upon the the last defeat, the complete destruction of the whole sun for colour, and, essentially, for its required degree design of his coming into the world, even by that very of temperature. This supposes the revolution of the means, it is brought about so as to fill hell with horror, earth, and the adjustment of the whole planetary sys- and heaven and earth with wonder."(6) tem. Too near the sun, it would be burned up; too “ Wisdom in the treasure of its incomprehensible far from it, it wonld be chilled. What union of ex- light, devised to save man, without prejudice to the tremes is here,-the grass of the earth, which to-day perfections of God, by transferring the punishment to a is, and to

morrow is cast into the oven," with the stu- Surety, and thus to punish sin as required by justice, pendous powers of nature, the most glorious works of and pardon the sinner as desired by mercy.(7) the right hand of God!

So clearly does wisdom display itself, in the adoption of means to ends in the visible world, that there are comparatively few of the objects which surround us, and few of their qualities, the use of which is not

CHAPTER VI, apparent. In this particular, the degree in which the

ATTRIBUTES of God-Goodness. Creator has been pleased to manifest his wisdom is remarkably impressive.

GOODNESS, when considered as a distinct attribute “Among all the properties of things, we discover no of God, is not taken in the sense of universal rectitude, inutility, no superfiuity. Voluntary motion is denied but signifies benevolence or a disposition to communito the vegetable creation, because mechanical motion cate happiness. From an inward principle of good answers the purpose. This raises, in some plants, a will, God exerts his omnipotence in diffusing happiness defence against the wind, expands others towards the through the universe, in all fitting proportion, accordsun, inclines them to the support they require, and dif- ing to the different capacities with which he has enfuses their seed. If we ascend higher towards irra- dowed his creatures, and according to the direction of tional animals, we find them possessed of powers the most perfect wisdom. Thou art good and doest exactly suited to the rank they hold in the scale of ex- good.---The Father of lights, from whom cometh every istence.

good and perfect gift.-0 praise the Lord! for he is “ The oyster is fixed to his rock; the herring tra- good, and his mercy endureth for ever." verses a vast extent of ocean. But the powers of the This view of the Divine character in the Holy Scripoyster are not deficient; he opens his shell for nourish-tures has in it some important peculiarities, too often ment, and closes it at the approach of an enemy. Nor overlooked, but which give to the revelation they make are those of the herring superfluous; he secures and of God a singular glory. supports himself in the frozen seas, and commits his Goodness in God is represented as goodness of naspawn in the summer to the more genial influence of ture ; as one of his essential perfections, and not as an warmer climates. The strength and ferocity of beasts accidental or an occasional affection; and thus he is of prey are required by the mode of subsistence allotted set infinitely above the gods of the heathen, those to them. If the ant has peculiar sagacity, it is but a imaginary creations of the perverted imaginations of compensation for its weakness; if the bee is remarkable for its foresight, that foresight is rendered neces

(4) SUMNER's Records of Creation. sary by the short duration of its harvest. Nothing can

(5) Wesley's Sermons. be more various than the powers allowed to animals,

(6) Howe's Posthumous Works. each in their order; yet it will be found, that all these

(7) Bates's Harmony.

corrupt men, whose benevolence was occasional, li- | no proper estimate can be taken of the sum of evil Inited, and apt to be disturbed by contrary passions. which actually exists; nor of its bearing upon the Di.

Such were the best views of pagans; but to us a vine character. On these subjects there have been Being of a far different character is manifested as our conflicting opinions; and the principal reason has been, Creator and Lord. One of his appropriate and distin- that many persons on both sides ;--those who have imguishing names, as proclaimed by himself, signifies pugned the goodness of God, and those who have deThe Gracious One,” and imports goodness in the fended it against objections taken from the existence principle; and another, The all-sufficient and all- of evil--have too often made the question a subject of bountiful pourer forth of all good," and expresses pure “Natural Theology," and have therefore necessagoodness in action. Another interesting view of this rily formed their conclusions on a partial and most deattribute is, that the goodness of God is efficient and fective view of the case. This is not indeed a subject inexhaustible; it reaches every fit case, it supplies all for Natural Theology. It is absurd to make it so; and possible want; and “endureth for ever.Hence the the best writers have either been pressed with the inTalmudists explain '70 SHADDAI, in Gen. xvii. 1, by superable difficulties which have arisen from excluding " in æternum sufficiens sum,” I am the eternally all the light which Revelation throws upon the state of sufficient. Like his emblem the sun, which sheds his man in this world, and his connexion with another; rays upon the surrounding worlds, and enlightens and or, like Paley, they have burst the self-inflicted recherishes the whole creation without being diminished straints, and confessed" that when we let in religious in splendour, he imparts without being exliausted, and, considerations, we let in light upon the difficulties of ever giving, has yet infinitely more to give.

nature." A third and equally important representation is, that

With respect to the illustrations of the Divine goodhe takes pleasure in the exercise of benevolence; that

ness which are presented in the natural and moral “ he delights in mercy.” It is not wrung from him world, there are extremes of opinion on both sides. with reluctance; it is not stintedly measured out, it is the views of some are too gloomy, and shut out much not coldly imparted. God saw the works he had made, of the evidences of the Divine

benignity: Others embrace that they were good,” with an evident gratification a system of optimism, and exclude, on the other hand, and delight in what he had imparted to a world “full

the manifestations of the Divine justice, and the retriof his goodness," and into which sin and misery had butive character of the Universal Governor. The not entered. “He is rich to all that call upon him ;

-Scriptures enable us to adjust these extremes, and to he giveth liberally and upbraideth not ;-exceeding give to God the glory of an absolute goodness, without abundantly above all that we can ask or think.” It is limiting its tenderness by severity, or diminishing its under these views, that the Scriptures afford so much majesty by weakness. encouragement to prayer, and lay so strong a ground

T'he dark side of the actual state of the world and of for that absolute trust in God, which they enjoin as

man its inhabitant, has often, for insidious purposes, one of our highest duties, as it is the source of our

been very deeply shadowed.' The facts alleged may greatest comfort.

indeed be generally admitted. The globe, as the resiAnother illustration of the Divine goodness, and dence of man, has its inconveniences and positive evils; which is also peculiar to the Scriptures, is, that nothing, its variable, and often pernicious climates; its earthif capable of happiness, comes immediately from his quakes, volcanoes, tempests, and inundations; its ste. forming hands without being placed in circumstances rility in some places, which wears down man with of positive felicity. By heathens, acquainted only with labour; its exuberance of vegetable and animal life in a state of things in which much misery is suffered, this others, which generates disease or gives birth to annoying view of the Divine goodness could not be taken. They and destructive animals. The diseases of the human race; could not but suppose either many Gods, some benevo- their short life and painful dissolution; their general lent, and others, and the greater number, of an oppo- poverty; their universal sufferings and cares; the dissiie character; or one, in whose nature no small pro- tractions of civil society; oppressions, frauds, and portion of malevolence was intermixed with milder wrongs; must all be acknowledged. To these may be sentiments. The Scriptures, on the contrary, repre- added the sufferings and death of animals, and the unisent misery as brought into the world by the fault of versal war carried on between different creatures creatures, and that otherwise it had never entered throughout the earth. This enumeration of evils might When God made the world, he made it good; when he indeed be greatly enlarged without exaggeration. made man, he made him happy, with power to remain

But this is not the only view to be taken. It must be so. lle sows good seed in his field, and if tares spring combined with others equally obvious; there are lights up, “an enemy hath done this." This is the doctrine of

as well as shadows in the scene, and the darkest inspiration. Finally, the Scriptures, upon this lapse of

masses which it presents are mingled with bright and man, and the introduction of natural and moral evil, joyous colours. represent God as establishing an order or perfectly suf

1'or, as Paley has observed, “In a vast plurality of ficient means to remedy both. One of his names is instances, in which contrivance is perceived, the design therefore 6812 Goel, “the Redeemer," and another,

of the contrivance is beneficial.

“When God created ihe human species, either he 17312 BONAH, “the Restorer.” The means by which wished their happiness, or he wished their misery, or he justifies these titles display his goodness with such he was indifferent and unconcerned about either. peculiar eminence, that they are called “the riches of “ If he had wished our misery, he might have made his grace,” and sometimes the riches of his glory.” sure of his purpose, by forming our senses to be so By the incarnation and sacrificial death of the son of many sores and pains to us, as they are now instruGod, he became the “GOEL,” the kinsman, and “re- ments of gratification and enjoyment: or, by placing deemerof mankind; he bought back and “restored” us amid objects so ill suited to our perceptions as to the forfeited inheritance of happiness, present and eter- have continually offended us, instead of ministering to nal, into the human family, and placed it again within our refreshment and delight. He might have made, for the reach of every human being. In anticipation of this example, every thing we tasted bitter; every thing we propitiation, the first offender was forgiven and raised saw, loathsome; every thing we touched, a sting; to eternal life, and the same mercy has been promised every smell, a stench ; and every sound, a discord. to all his descendants. No man perishes finally but by If he had been indifferent about our happiness or his own refusal of the mercy of his God. And though misery, we must impute to our good fortune (as all the restoration of individuals is not at once followed by design by this supposition is excluded), both the cathe removal of the natural evils of pain, death, &c.; pacity of our senses to receive pleasure, and the supfor had the whole race of man accepted the offered ply of external objects fitted to produce it. grace, they would not, in this present state, have been “But either of these, and still more both of them, removed; yet beyond a short life on earth these evils being too much to be attributed to accident, nothing are not extended, and, even in this life, they are made remains but the first supposition, that God, when he the means of moral ends, tending to a higher moral created the human species, wished their happiness; perfection, and greater happiness in another.

and made for them the provision which he has made, Such are the views of the Divine goodness as un- with that view and for that purpose. folded in the Scriptures; views of the utmost import- “ The same argument may be proposed in different ance in an inquiry into the proofs of this attribute of terms, thus : contrivance proves design; and the prethe Divine nature, which are afforded by the actual dominant tendency of the contrivance indicates the discircumstances of the world. Independent of their cid, position of the designer. The world abounds with

sess.

contrivances; and all the contrivances which we are, unhelped animals, that you would alter the present acquainted with, are directed to beneficial purposes. system of pursuit and prey ? Evil no doubt exists, but is never, that we can perceive, "2. This system is also to them the spring of motion the object of contrivance. Teeth are contrived to eat, and activity on both sides. The pursuit of its prey not to ache; their aching now and then is incidental 10 forms the employment, and appears to constitute the the contrivance, perhaps inseparable from it; or even, pleasure, of a considerable part of the animal creation. if you will, let it be called a defect in the contrivance; The using of the means of defence, or fiight, or prebut it is not the object of it. This is a distinction which caution, forms also the business of another part. And well deserves to be attended to. In describing imple- even of this latter tribe we have no reason to suppose, ments of husbandry, you would hardly say of the that their happiness is much molested by their fears. sickle, that it is made to cut the reaper's hand, though, Their danger exists continually; and in some cases from the construction of the instruinent, and the man- they seem to be so far sensible of it as to provide in the ner of using it, this mischief often foliows. But if oest manner they can, against it: but it is only when the you had occasion to describe instruments of torture or attack is actually made upon them, that they appear to execution, this engine, you would say, is to extend the suffer from it. To contemplate the insecurity of their consinews; this to dislocate the joints; this to break the dition with anxiety and dread, requires a degree of reflecbones; this to scorch the soles of the feet. Here pain tion, which (happily for themselves) they do not posand misery are the very objects of the contrivance.

A hare, notwithstanding the number of its Now, nothing of this sort is to be found in the works dangers and its enemies, is as playful an animal as of nature. We never discover a train of contrivance any other.” to bring about an evil purpose. No anatomist ever dis- It is to be observed, that as to animals, there is still covered a system of organization calculated to produce much happiness. pain and disease; or, in explaining the parts of the “The air, the earth, the water, teem with delighted human body, ever said, this is to irritate; this to in- existence. In a spring noon or a summer evening, on flame; this duct is to convey the gravel to the kidneys; whichever side I turn my eyes, myriads of happy beings this gland to secrete the humour which forms the gout. crowd upon my view. "The insect youth are on the wing.' If by chance he come at a part of which he knows not Swarms of new-born flies are trying their pinions in the use, the most he can say is, that it is useless: no one the air. Their sportive motions, their wanton mazes, ever suspects that it is put there to incommode, to their gratuitous activity, their continual change of annoy, or to torment."(8)

place without use or purpose, testify their joy and the exThe chief exceptions to this are those of venomous ultation which they feel in their lately-discovered faculanimals, and of animals preying upon one another; on ties. A bee, among the flowers in spring, is one of the the first of which it has been remarked, not only that cheerfullest objects that can be looked upon. Its life the number of venomous creatures is' few, but that appears to be all enjoyment; so busy and so pleased; “the animal itself being regarded, the faculty com- yet it is only a specimen of insect life, with which, by plained of is good ; being conducive, in all cases, to the reason of the animal being half domesticated, we hapdefence of the animal; in some cases, to the subduing pen to be better acquainted than we are with that of of its prey; and in some probably to the killing of it, others. The whole winged insect tribe, it is probable, when caught, by a mortal wound inflicted in the pas- are equally intent upon their proper employments, and, sage to the stomach, which may be no less merciful to under every variety of constitution, gratified, and perthe victim, than salutary to the devourer. In the viper, haps equally gratified, by the offices which the author for instance, the poisonous fang may do that which, of their nature has assigned to them. But the atmosin other animals of prey, is done by the crush of the teeth. phere is not the only scene of enjoyment for the insect Frogs and mice might be swallowed alive without it. race. Plants are covered with aphides, greedily suck

“The second case, namely, that of animals devouring ing their juices, and constantly, as it should seem, il one another, furnishes a consideration of much larger the act of sucking. It cannot be doubted but that this extent. To judge whether, as a general provision, this is a state of gratification. What else should fix them can be deemed an evil, even so far as we understand its so close to the operation, and so long? Other species consequences, which probably is a partial understand- are running about with an alacrity in their motions ing, the following reflections are fit to be attended to. which carries with it every mark of pleasure. Large

“1. Immortality upon this earth is out of the ques- patches of ground are sometimes half-covered with tion. Without death, there could be no generation, no ihese brisk and sprightly natures. If we look to what parental relation, that is, as things are constituted, no the waters produce, shoals of the fry of fish frequent animal happiness. The particular duration of life, the margins of rivers, of lakes, and of the sea itself. assigned to different animals, can form no part of the These are so happy that they know not what to do with objection; because, whatever that duration be, while themselves. Their attitudes, their vivacity, their leaps it remains finite and imited, it may always be asked, out of the water, their frolics in it (which I have no why it is no longer. The natural age of different ani- ticed a thousa... times with equal attention and amusemais varies from a single day to a century of years. ment), all conduce to show their excess of spirits, and No account can be given of this; nor could any be are simply the effects of that excess. given, whatever other proportion of life had obtained “At this moment, in every given moment of time, among them.

how many myriads of animals are eating their food, “ The term, then, of life in different animals, being gratifying their appetites, ruminating in their holes, the same as it is, the question is, what mode of taking accomplishing their wishes, pursuing their pleasures, it away is the best even for the animal itself.

taking their pastimes! In each individual, how many “Now, according to the established order of nature things must go right for it to be at ease; yet how large (which we must suppose to prevail, or we cannot reason a proportion out of every species are so in every assignat all upon the subject), the three methods by which able instant! Throughout the whole of life, as it is life is usually put an end to, are acute diseases, decay, diffused in nature, and as far as we are acquainted with and violence. The simple and natural life of brutes is it, looking to the average of sensations, the plurality not often visited by acute distempers ; nor could it be and the preponderance is in favour of happiness by a deemed an improvement of their lot if they were. Let vast excess. In our own species, in which perhaps it be considered, therefore, in what a condition of suf- the assertion may be more questionable than in any fering and misery a brute animal is placed, which is other, the prepollency of good over evil, of health for left to perish by decay. In human sickness or infirmity, example and ease, over pain and distress, is evinced by there is the assistance of man's rational fellow-crea- the very notice which calamities excite. What inquitures, if not to alleviate his pains, at least to minister ries does the sickness of our friends produce! What to his necessities, and to supply the place of his own conversation their misfortunes! This shows that the activity. A brute, in his wild and natural state, does common course of things is in favour of happiness; every thing for himself. When his strength, therefore, that happiness is the rule, misery the exception. Were or his speed, or his limbs, or his senses fail him, he is the order reversed, our attention would be called to delivered over, either to absolute famine, or to the pro- examples of health and competency instead of disease tracted wretchedness of a life slowly wasted by scar- and want."(9) city of food. Is it then to see the world filled with Various alleviations of positive evils, and their being drooping, superannuated, half-starved, helpless, and connected with beneficial ends, are also to be taken (8) Natural Theology.

(9) PALEY'S Natural Theology.

into consideration. Pain teaches vigilance and caution, restless pining of spirit after an unknown good, creand renders its remission in a state of health a source of ating a distaste to present innocent enjoyments---He has higher enjoyment. For numerous diseases, also, reme- tound that good in the favour and friendship of God. dies are, by the providence of God, and his blessing No discontent with the allotments of Providence-he upon the researches of man, established. The process has been taught a peaceful submission. No irritabla of mortal diseases has the effect of mitigating the natu- restlessness under his sufferings and sorrows,-"in ral horror we have of death. Sorrows and separations patience he possesses his soul.” No fearful apprehension are smoothed by time. The necessity of labour obliges of the future-he knows that there is a guiding eye, us to occupy time usefully, which is both a source of and a supporting hand above, employed in all his conenjoyment, and the means of preventing much mis- cerns No tormenting anxiety as to life or death-he chief in a world of corrupt and ill-inclined men; and has a lively hope” of an inheritance in heaven. What familiarity and habit render many circumstances and then of evil remains to him but the common afflictions inconveniences tolerable, which, at first sight, we con- of life, all of which he feels, but does not sink under, ceive to be necessarily the sources of wretchedness. i and which, as they exercise, improve his virtues, and, In all this, there is sure!y an ample proof and an adora- by rendering them more exemplary and influential to ble display of the Divine benevolence.

others, are converted into ultimate benefits. Into this In considering the actual existence of evils in the state any individual may be raised; and what is thus world, as it affects the question of the goodness of inade possible to us by Divine goodness is of that attriGod, we must also make a distinction between those bute an adorable manifestation. evils which are self-inflicted, and those which are in- These views, however, while they remove the weight evitable. The question of the reconcilableness of the of any objections which may be made to the benevopermission of evil with the goodness of God will be lence of the Divine character, taken from the existence distinctly considered ; but waiving this for the moment, of actual evils in the world, are at as great a distance nothing can be more obvious than that man himself is as possible from that theory on this subject which has chargeable with by far the largest share of the mise- been denominated Optimism. This opinion is, briefly, ries of the present life, and that they draw no cloud not that the present system of being is the best that over the splendour of universal goodness. View men might be conceived; but the best which the nature of collectively. Sin, as a ruling habit, is not necessary. things would admit of. That between not creating at The means of repressing its inward motions, and re- all, and creating material, and sentient, and rational straining its outward acts, are or have been furnished beings, as we find them now circumstanced, and with to all mankind; and yet were all those miseries which their present qualities, there was no choice. Accordare the effects of voluntary vice removed, how little ingly, with respect to natural evils, the Optimists comparatively would remain to be complained of in the appear to have revived the opinion of the Oriental and world! Oppressive governments, private wrongs, Grecian schools, that matter has in it an inherent defect wars, and all their consequent evils, would disap- and tendency to disorder, which baffled the skill of the pear.

Peace, security, and industry would cover the great Artificer himself to form it into a perfect world ; earth with fruits, in sufficient abundance for all; and and that moral evil as necessarily follows from finite, and for accidental wants, the helpless, sick, and aged therefore imperfect, natures. No imputation, they would find a prompt supply in the charity of others. infer, can be cast upon the Creator, whose goodness, Regulated passions and an approving conscience they contend, is abundantly manifest in correcting would create benevolent tempers, and these would dis- many of these evils by skilful contrivances, and renplace inward disquiet with inward peace. Disease dering them, in numerous instances, the occasion of would remain, accidents to life and limb occur, death good. Thus the storm, the earthquake, and the volcano, would ensue; but diseases would in consequence of in the natural world, though necessary consequences temperance be less frequent and formidable, men would of imperfection in the very nature of matter, are renordinarily attain a peaceful age, and sink into the grave dered by their effects beneficial, in the various ways by silent decay. Besides the removal of so many evils, which natural philosophy points out; and thus even how greatly would the sum of positive kappiness be moral evils are necessary to give birth, and call into increased! Intellectual improvement would yield the exercise the opposite qualities of virtue, which but for pleasures of knowledge; arts would multiply the com- them could have no exercise ; e. g. if no injuries were forts, and mitigate many of the most wasting toils, of intlicted, there could be no place for the virtue of forLife; general benevolence wouud unite men in warm giveness. To this also is added the doctrine of general affections and friendships, productive of innumerable laws; according to which, they argue, the universe reciprocal offices of kindness; piety would crown all must be conducted; but that, however well set and with the pleasures of devotion, ihe removal of the fear constituted general laws may be, they will often thwart of death, and the hope of a still better state of being. and cross one another; and that from thence particular All this is possible. If it is not actual, it is the fault inconveniences will arise. The constitution of things of the human race, not of their Maker and Redeemer; is, however, good on the whole, and that is all which and his goodness is not, therefore, to be questioned, can be required. because they are perverse.

The apology for the Divine goodness afforded by such But let the world remain as it is, with all its self-in- an hypothesis will not be accepted by those most anxflicted evils, and let the case of an individual only be ious to defend this attribute from atheistic cavils; and considered, with reference to the number of existing though it has had its advocates among some who have evils, from which, by the merciful provision of tho professed respect for the Scriptures, yet it could never grace of God, he may entirely escape, and of those have been adopted by them, had they not been too rewhich it is put into his power to mitigate, and even to gardless of the light which they cast upon these subconvert to his benefit. It cannot be doubted as to any jects, and been leu astray by the vain project of conindividual around us, but that he may escape from the structing perfect systems of natural religion, and by practice and the consequence of every kind of vice, and attempting to unite the difficulties which arise out of experience the renewing effects of Christianity--that them, by the aid of unassisted re son. The very prinhe may be justified by faith, adopted into the family of ciple of this hypothesis, that the nature of things did God, receive the hallowing influences of the Holy Ghost, not admit of a better world, implies a very unworthy and henceforth walk, not after the flesh, but after the notion of God. It was pardonable in the ancient advoSpirit. Why do men who profess to believe in Chris- cates of the eternity of matter, to ascribe to it an estianity, when employed in writing systems of "Natu- sential imperfection, and inseparable evil qualities; but ral Theology,” which oblige them to reason on the if the doctrine of creation, in the proper sense, be Divine goodness, and to meet objections to it, forget allowed, the omnipotence which could bring matter out this, or transfer to some other branch of theology what of nothing, was just as able to invest it with good as is so vital to their own argument? Here the benevo- with evil qualities; and he who arranged it to produce lence of God to man comes forth in all its brightness, so much beauty, harmony, security, and benefit, as we and throws its illustrations, upon his dealings with actually find in the world, could be at no loss to renman. What, in this case, would be the quantum of der his work perfect in every respect, and needed not evil left to be suffered by this individual, morally so the balancings and counteractions of one evil against restored and so regenerated? No evils, which are the another to effect his benevolent purposes.

Accord consequences of personal vice, often a long and fearful ingly, in fact, we find, that when God had finished his wain. No inward disquiet, the effect

of guilty or fool work, he pronounced it not merely good comparatively ; Ichi passions, another pregnant source of miscry. No but a very good," or good absolutely. Nor is it true that, in the moral world, vice must necessarily exist structures, proclaim the determined purpose, the perin order to virtue; and that if we value the one, we severing exertions, with which force had urged forward must in the nature of things be content to take it with the work of destruction. Suppose, farther, that in surthe other. We are told, indeed, that no forgiveness veying the relics which have eurvived through the could be exercised by one human being, if injury were silent lapse of ages, the stranger discovers a present not inflicted by another; no meekness could be dis- race of inhabitants, who have reared their huts amid played, were there no anger; no long-suffering, were the wreck. He inquires the history of the scene before there no perverseness, &c. But the fallacy lies in sepa- him. He is informed, that the city, once distinguished rating the acts of virtue from the principles of virtue. by splendour, by beauty, by every arrangement and All the above instances may be reduced to one princi- provision for the security, the accommodation, the ple of benevolence, which may exist in as high a degree, happiness of its occupiers, was reduced to its existing when never called forth by such occasions: and situation by the deliberate resolve and act of its own express itself in acts quite as explicit, in a state of lawful Sovereign, the very Sovereign by whom it had society from which sin is excluded. There are, for in- been erected, the Emperor of that part of the world. stance, according to Scripture, beings, called angels, Was he a ferocious tyrant ??—No, is the universal who kept their first state, and have never sinned. In reply. “He was a monarch pre-eminent for consissuch a society as theirs, composed probably of differ- tency, forbearance, and benignity.'—'Was his judgent orders of intelligences, some more advanced in ment blinded, or misled, by erroneous intelligence as knowledge than others, some with higher and others to the plans and proceedings of his subjects ??— He with lower degrees of perfection, “as one star differeth knew ever thing but too well. He understood with from another star in glory;" how many exercises of hu- undeviating accuracy; he decided with unimpeachable mility and condescension; how much kind communica- wisdom.'- The case, then,' cries the traveller, is tion of knowledge by some, and meek and grateful recep- plain : the conclusion is inevitable. Your forefation of it by others; how many different ways in which a thers assuredly were ungrateful rebels; and thus perfect purity and a perfect love, and a perfect freedom plucked down devastation upon their city, themselves, from selfishness, may display themselves! When, there and their posterity.' fore, the principle of universal benevolence may be con- “ The actual appearance of the globe on which we ceived to display itself so strikingly in a sinless state dwell, is in strict analogy with the picture of our hy. of society, does it need injury to call it forth in the visi- pothetical city. ble form of forgiveness; anger, in the form of meek- “The earth, whatever may be the configuration, ness; obstinacy, in the form of forbearance? Cer- whatever may have been the perturbation or the repose tainly not; and it demands no effort of mind to infer, of its deep and hidden recesses, is, in its superior strata, that did such occasions exist to call for it, it would be a mass of ruins. It is not of one land, or of one clime, developed, not only in the particular modes just named, that the assertion is made ; but of all lands, but of alí but in every other.

climes, but of the earth universally. Wherever the In opposition to the view taken by such theorists, we steep front of mountains discloses their interior conmay deny, that “whatever is, is best.We can not struction; wherever native caverns and fissures reveal only conceive of a better state of things as possible, the disposition of the component materials; wherever but can show that the evils which actually exist, the operations of the miner have pierced the successive whether natural or moral, do not exist necessarily. layers, beneath which coal or metal is deposited; conIt is, indeed, a proof of the Divine goodness to bring vulsion and disruption and disarrangement are visible. good out of evil; to make storms and earthquakes, Though the smoothness and uniformity which the hand which are destructive to the few, beneficial to the of cultivation expands over some portions of the globe, many; to render the sins of men occasions to try, exer- and the shaggy mantle of thickets and forests with cise, and perfect various virtues in the good; but if which nature veils other portions hitherto unreplenman had been under an unmixed dispensation of mercy, ished and unsubdued by mankind, combine to obscure all these ends might obviously have been accomplished, the vestiges of the shocks which our planet has expeindependent of the existence of evils, natural or moral, rienced ; as a fair skin and ornamental attire conceal in any degree. The true key to the whole subject is internal fractures and disorganizations in the human furnished by Divine revelation. Sin has entered the frame: to the eye of the contemplative inquirer explorworld. Man is under the displeasure of his Maker. ing the surface of the earth, there is apparent many Hence we see natural evils, and punitive acts of the a scar testifying ancient concussion and collision Divine administration, not because God is not good, and laceration; and many a wound yet unhealed, but because he is just as well as good. But man is and opening into unknown and unfathomable pronot left under condemnation ; through the propitiation fundity. made for his sins by the sacrifice of Christ, he is a sub- “ From this universal scene of confusion in the supeject of mercy. He is under correction, not under un- rior strata of the earth, let the student of natural theomingled wrath, and hence the displays of the Divine logy turn his thoughts to the general works of God. benevolence, which the world and the acts of Provi- What are the characteristics in which those works, dence every where, and throughout all ages, present; however varied in their kinds, in their magnitudes, and and in proportion as good predominates, kindness in their purposes, obviously agree? What are the triumphs against severity, and the Divine character is characteristics by which they are all, with manifest emblazoned in our sight as one that “delighteth in intention, in printed ?-Order and Harmony. In every mercy."

mode of animal life, from the human frame down to the To this representation of the actual relations in which atomic and unsuspected existences in water, which the human race stand to God, and to no other hypothe- have been rendered visible by the lenses of modern sis, the state of the world exactly answers, and thus science; in the vegetable world, from the cedar of affords an obvious and powerful confirmation of the Lebanon to the hyssop by the wall; from the hyssop doctrine of revelation. This view has been drawn out by the wall to the minutest plant discernible under the at length by a late ingenious writer,(1) and, in many microscope : in the crystallizations of the mineral instances, with great felicity of illustration. A few kingdom, of its metals, of its salts, of its spars, of extracts will show the course of the argument. The its gems: in the revolution of the heavenly bodies, and first relates to the convulsions which have been under- in the consequent reciprocations of day and night and gone by the globe itself.

seasons :-all is regularity. In the works of God, Suppose a traveller, penetrating into regions order and harmony are the rule; irregularity and conplaced beyond the sphere of his antecedent knowledge, fusion form the rare exception. Under the Divine governsuddenly to find himself on the confines of a city lying ment, an exception so portentous as that which we in ruins. Suppose the desolation, though bearing have been contemplating, a transformation from order marks of ancient date, to manifest unequivocal proofs and harmony to irregularity and confusion involving that it was not effected by the mouldering hand of time, the integuments of a world, cannot be attributed to but has been the result of design and of violence. Dis- any circumstance which, in common language, we located arches, pendent battlements, interrupted aque-term fortuitous. It proclaims itself to have been owing ducts, towers undermined and subverted, while they to a moral cause : to a moral cause demanding so vast record the primeval strength and magnificence of the and extraordinary an effect; a moral cause which can

not but be deeply interesting to man, cannot but be (1) GISBORNE's Testimony of Natural Philosophy to closely connected with man, the sole being on the face Christianity

of this globe who is invested with moral agency; the

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