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or altered in respect to the time, place, or circumstances of its occurrence—in a word, made what it is, by our own actions, or by the actions of others, or by both combined. Here then there is sufficient room for the influence of prayer, without the violation of physical laws,-a field ample enough for the exercise of a superintending providence, without the suspension of physical agencies.
We have said that we do not think that the passage just quoted exhibits the true view of the Scriptural doctrine of a Divine Providence. We are aware indeed that such a view is quite commonly entertained, and not unfrequently presented from the pulpit. But we do not think it is taught in the Bible; neither do we believe it to be in accordance with experience, or compatible even with those general laws under which the Divine Being has seen fit in the present state to place us. That He governs the world, that all the events of our lives are by his order or his permission, we most fully believe. And as He is infinite in power and wisdom, as well as perfect in goodness, we believe that under his government no real harm can befall us, so long as we obey him ; that each one of the circumstances of our probationary existence is intended to be a means of improvement, and actually becomes so when we make the right use of it; that, in the language of inspiration, “ All things work together for good to them that love God.” And this surely is ground broad enough for the fullest religious consolation and trust. But to the doctrine that each one of all the events which are continually occurring in the world around us, is specially intended for every individual affected by it, designed to teach a specific lesson, and to produce a specific effect upon the character and the heart, that all the circumstances and influences by which each individual is surrounded are precisely those which he most needs, which are best fitted to promote his highest good, we are not prepared to give our assent. Unless we adopt the faith of one of the early fathers,* and say, Credo, quia impossibile est, we cannot believe it. The proposition to our mind carries absurdity upon its very face. Nor do we think such a belief favorable to the development of the Christian character in its fairest and best proportions. It gives too much importance to the individual. It places him in the centre of the entire system of things with which he is connected, and makes the several parts of that system revolve about him. Fanaticism and spiritual pride are its natural consequences. We have delayed so long upon the attractive themes discussed in the first part of these lectures, that we have time for only the briefest notice of the second or ethical series. This opens with an account of what the author supposes to be the most fruitful sources of the infidelity of our times. They are three. The first is "the common notion, that as religious faith is natural to man, and is more an affair of the heart than of the intellect, we are drawn towards it by an irresistible attraction, a native impulse which needs not the aid of argument, but is rather chilled and weakened by any process of reasoning ; so that all study of the evidences of religion is unnecessary if not injurious.” The second is the reference of physical events to secondary causes, to the inherent powers and properties of matter, instead of the direct agency of the Deity, of which we have already spoken. The third is "the too common opinion, that with a pure and elevated system of morals we can well afford to do without religion.” In regard to the infidelity arising from the second of these sources, we would suggest, whether those who put the ideas which men generally have of matter and of the constitution and course of things in the outward world, in antagonism to the essential doctrines of religion, be not to some extent at least responsible for it?
The second lecture in this series is on the difference between the human and the brute mind; in which, singularly enough, it is maintained that the former is made up of intelligence, to the entire exclusion of instinct, and the latter, of instinct without any admixture of intelligence. Next comes the moral nature of man. This includes, besides desires, appetites, and affections, the principle of self-love, intended to regulate and control them, and also the higher faculty of conscience, claiming authority over self-love as absolute as the authority of that over the passions. That we are under the government of God is inferred not only from the pain connected
by his appointment with certain courses of action, and the pleasure attendant on certain other courses, but from the absolute and authoritative character in which he directly reveals himself in the conscience. That this government is moral, that it is conducted on the principles of justice and right, is argued from the moral nature with which he has endowed us, including as it does not only the necessary guides to virtue, but also sanctions for enforcing their observance. The argument is further strengthened from the observation that the outward world is constituted in harmony with the moral law revealed within us—that in the natural course of events virtue is manifestly encouraged and favored, and vice is clearly discountenanced and frowned
upon. The immortality of the soul is regarded as a truth of revelation. Nature does not teach it. The considerations ordinarily adduced in proof of it go no further than to remove objections. They do not afford any good ground for belief in the doctrine. Although these strictures are in the main undoubtedly just, we think too little weight is allowed to the argument drawn from the apparent discordance in many stances between the treatment which men experience in this world and their actual deserts.
Mr. Bowen's ethics are much better than his metaphysics. To all the leading doctrines contained in this part of the work we yield a cordial assent. Nothing could be more just or more forcible than his exposition of the moral law, as revealed in the conscience. Its authority is absolute and uncompromising. It adınits of no bending to circumstances—no accommodation with interest. It wholly ignores expediency. The obligations of right transcend all other obligations. When duty utters her voice, the clamors of passion must be hushed, and the demands of self-love even be disregarded. The moral tone of the entire volume is unusually elevated, and its spirit throughout is loyal to the great interests of virtue, humanity, and truth. Although containing, as we think, some grave errors, the just sentiments which everywhere pervade it do much toward atoning for them. Of its literary merit we have already expressed our high appreciation. With entire philosophical accuracy of thought, there are combined a freedom and beauty of expression which are rarely equalled in writings of this character. If in respect to style there be any ground offered for criticism, it will perhaps be found in the too frequent employment of figurative language. Trope and metaphor are undoubtedly favorable to vivacity, and often enable the writer to express his ideas with a clearness and force quite unattainable by the use of proper terms. At the same time, they are liable, like refracting prisms, to color and distort the objects which are seen through them.
ART. VI.-PAUL AT ATHENS :
THE RELIGION AND PHILOSOPHY OF THE GREEKS.
Few spectacles furnish matter of speculation more deeply interesting than that of Paul in Athens. The great Apostle of Christianity stands in the very sanctuary of Paganism, where taste and genius, literature and art, had shed over its rites and doctrines their most seductive charms. He who had been specially chosen to lead the conflict in which the infant Christianity had engaged against the hoary and gigantic systems of Polytheism, was now called to face the foe in the very citadel of her strength, on the ground where her largest resources had been gathered, where her noblest triumphs had been achieved. Not even Imperial Rome in her palmiest days, when her invincible legions held in awe the whole civilized world, was so formidable a foe to Christianity, so powerful a champion of idolatry, as learned, refined, and philosophic Athens, even when all her political greatness had passed away.
Paul was a man of taste and cultivation. All his writings breathe not only the most fervid zeal, but the tenderest sensibility; and his discourse before the Areopagus, independently of its allusions to the Greek poets, evinces in the singular dignity of its tone, and propriety of its sentiments, a mind of enlarged culture and genuine refinement; a mind, which, though not perhaps deeply versed in the false wisdom of the Grecian schools, was abundantly capable of appreciating whatever was profound in truth, noble in action, or beautiful in art and letters. Paul therefore, we may be assured, was far from being an indifferent spectator of the scenes which met his view in this celebrated seat of the Muses. He did not wander listlessly through the streets of a city which had stood for five hundred years the intellectual metropolis of the world. He felt, no doubt, and gratified a legitimate curiosity. He ascended the marble staircase, and passed beneath the stately portico which opened upon the teeming wonders of the Acropolis. He entered the Parthenon, and stood for a moment spell-bound by the magic of art, before the colossal statue of the Tutelar Minerva. He trod the halls of the Lyceum, and mused amidst the olive groves of the Academy. He visited the Pnyx and the Dionysium, --places hallowed by the sublimest exhibitions of genius and patriotism, where over the
assembled populace of Athens had so often rolled the burning tide of eloquence and song.
What then were the emotions which swelled the bosom of Paul in view of this gorgeous spectacle? Did he surrender himself for the time being to the "genius loci,” and allow his imagination to revel delighted and unrestrained amidst the glorious scenes of the present, and the still more glorious recollections of the past ? Did he forget for the moment that he was Christ's ambassador to a guilty and condemned world, and join the pæan which swelled in homage to the magnificent creatures of sculpture and poesy--the gods on whom the verse of Homer and the chisel of Phidias had united in bestowing immortality? Nothing of this. That Paul was insensible to the extraordinary beauty of the products of art and genius by which he was surrounded, we have not the slightest reason for believing; and just as little that he was ignorant of those achievements of valor, patriotism, and intellect, which had made Athens the glory of the world. Yet all these things held but a very subordinate place in his esteem. They were at best but the outward trappings and adornments of humanity. They reached not the vital elements of human character and destiny. They could not hide from his view the moral degradation and wretchedness which lay hid beneath this outward show of splendor. Paul could not forget that the art, the genius, the learning, the enterprise, whose monuinents clustered so thickly around him, had lavished their resources in the service of irreligion ; lending a false and baleful lustre to a system intrinsically false and loathsome ; and thus enriveting on the world the fetters of a most debasing moral bondage.
It was not then because Paul was a narrow-minded bigot, insensible to the attractions of genius and taste, that these attractions in the present case took so slight a hold upon his mind. It was because that mind had been illuminated with a holier light than was ever shed on the speculations of Grecian sages; because his soul had become the abode of loftier truths than had ever visited the visions of their most favored hours. Looking, therefore, from a high moral position, he could estimate at their true value the scenes on which he gazed. To his purified vision all these wonders of art and genius were the product of a people who knew not God, and were proofs of a deplorable estrangement from the Supreme Ruler and Benefactor, the Being in whom they lived, and whose bounty filled their hearts with food and gladness. Can we then wonder that the prevailing sentiment in the breast of