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and the watching its who but for his purewed earth filers in new
or who goes down, amidst the tears of his comrades, to depths to which no plummet but that of God's omnipresence ever reached ? Who has consecrated the battle-field, which opens its pits for its thousands and tens of thousands; or the desart, where the weary traveller lies down to his eternal rest? Who has made holy the sleeping place of the solitary missionary, and of the settlers in new lands? Who but He whose hand has hallowed earth from end to end, and from surface to centre, for his pure and almighty fingers have moulded it! Who but He whose eye rests on it day and night, watching its myriads of moving children, the oppressors and the oppressed--the deceivers and the deceived—the hypocrites, and the poor whose souls are darkened with false knowledge and fettered with the bonds of daring selfishness ? and on whatever innocent thing that eye rests, it is hallowed beyond the breath of bishops, and the fees of registrers. Who shall need to look for a consecrated spot of earth to lay his bones in, when the struggles and the sorrows, the prayers and the tears of our fellow-men, from age to age, have consecrated every atom of this world's surface to the desire of a repose which no human hands can lead to, no human rites can secure? Who shall seek for a more hallowed bed than the bosom of that earth into which Christ himself descended, and in which the bodies of thousands of glorious patriots, and prophets, and martyrs, who were laid in gardens and beneath their paternal trees, and of heroes whose blood and sighs have flowed forth for their fellow-men, have been left to peace and the blessings of grateful generations with no rites, no sounds but the silent falling of tears and the aspirations of speechless, but immortal thanks? From side to side, from end to end, the whole world is sanctified by these agencies, beyond the blessings or the curses of priests! God's sunshine flows over it, his providence surrounds it; it is rocked in his arms like the child of his eternal love; his faithful creatures live, and toil, and pray in it; and, in the name of heaven, who shall make it, or who can need it holier for his last resting couch! But the greediness of priests persists in cursing the poor with extortionate expenses, and calls them blessings. The poor man, who all his days goes groaning under the load of his ill-paid labours, cannot even escape from them into the grave except at a dismal charge to his family. His native earth is not allowed to receive him into her bosom till he has satisfied the priest and his satellites. With the exception of Jews, Quakers, and some few other dissenters, every man is given up in England as a prey, in life and in death, to the parson, and his echo, and his disturber of bones.”
Enough has now been exhibited of the labours of Mr. Howitt to show the spirit and the feeling which actuate him in religious matters. We lament to see a member of his profession, which has been so long characterised by the reputation of its love of peace, its horror for disorder, and even for an inordinate enthusiasm in a
right cause-to see, we say, a member of the Society of Quakers, the Friends, as they are ec cathedra styled by themselves, thus volunteering to break up the happy dream which presented to our imagination a community whose neat, and modest, and economical costume, was always, in our eyes, the representative of the inward heart, and showed it to be the rival of those which animated the patriarchs of the primitive times, and earned for them the ages of honour and admiration due to their simplicity, their innocence, and virtue. Deeply do we lament this unexpected explosion of angry and unjustifiable indignation ; and still more heavily do we deplore it, as coincident with an occasion when the calumniated party never less deserved the odium which is now sought to be heaped upon it.
Art. X.--On the Power, Wisdom, and Goodness of God, as manifested in the Adaptation of Eternal Nature to the Morat and Intellectual Condition of Man. Treatise I. By the Rererend THOMAS CHALMERS, D.D., Professor of Divinity in the University of Edinburgh. 2 vols. 8vo. London : Pickering.
1833. It may be convenient to remind the reader, that by his will the Earl of Bridgewater, who died in February, 1829, left the sum of £8000 invested in the public funds, to be, with the accruing dividends, placed at the disposal of the president of the Royal Society, and to be paid by him to such person or persons as should write, print, and publish, one thousand copies of a work “ On the Power, Wisdom, and Goodness of God, as manifested in the Creation; illustrating such work by all reasonable arguments, as, for instance, the variety and formation of God's creatures in the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms; the effect of digestion, and thereby of conversion; the construction of the hand of man; and an infinite variety of other arguments : as also by discoveries, ancient and inodern, in arts, sciences, and the whole extent of literature o
This is not the first time when such a subject has been made the foundation of a pecuniary premium, for the celebrated Boyle left a codicil to his will in 1691, in which he directed his dwelling house in St. Michael's, Crooked Lane, London, to be charged with the payment of its annual rents and profits to some learned divine in London, or within the bills of mortality, who should be chosen by the Archbishop of Canterbury for three years, and whose business it was to be ready to satisfy real scruples, and to answer such new objections and difficulties as might be started, to which good answers had not been made ; and also to preach eight sermons every year, i. e. on the first Monday in January, February, March, April, and May, and on the first Monday of September, October, and November, upon the proofs of the Christian religion against notorious infidels, viz, Atheists, Theists, Pagans, Jews, and Mahometans, “not
descending lower to any controversies amongst Christians themselves.” This foundation led to many valuable publications; and to prove the truth of our assertion, we need only mention that amongst them were Ray's “ Wisdom of God, Manifested in the Creation," and Derham's “ Physico-theology."'.
In process of time, however, it fell off, and the lectures were only continued a year; the house stood empty sometimes, the tenants were broken, or failed in due payment of the rent, so that the salary remained long unpaid, or could not be gotten without some difficulty. The Archbishop of Canterbury seeing the decay of the institution, procured a stipend quarterly of £50 for ever on a farm, in the Parish of Brill, in the county of Bucks, which was applied to the sustentation of the lectureship; but it has utterly subsided since into disuetude, and no traces are now to be found of its existence.
It must have been in accordance with this example that the President of the Royal Society made his arrangements, for he requested the assistance of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London, in order to discover the best mode of carrying into effect the intentions of the testator.
The result of the deliberation was, that eight individuals should be chosen, to each of whom a separate branch of the general question was given; and, in conformity with that arrangement, the great subject of the adaptation of external nature to the moral and intellectual constitution of man was confided to Dr. Chalmers. ;
At present it is not our purpose to enter at length into the policy in which this arrangement originated ; we shall merely state, that, judging from the sample of the general performance as contained in the work before us, we see no reason to admit that the legacy has been, by any means, usefully bestowed. As the statement of this impression involves an accusation of a serious nature, we must be allowed to submit our statement a little in detail to the public. We have no hesitation in stating it to be our opinion, that the execution of this portion of the general subject is a departure altogether from the theme which Dr. C. was required to develope. It will be seen that the whole object of the donor of the legacy was to have the proofs which exist in the external world, that is to say, in the whole series of organic and inorganic nature, of the beautiful order, wisdom, and contrivance, with which they have been built up by the Creator. This was the aim of the Earl of Bridgewater; and when he invested his money for the purpose of provoking competent men to accumulate those proofs, he performed a service to human nature of which the advantages can scarcely be defined. The agents in this business appeared to have faithfully sought to carry the intentions of their principal into effect; and, lest those intentions should be in the smallest degree misunderstood, they took the trouble of defining the exact boundary of each of the provinces which was to be surrendered to the several commissioners, so that it was utterly impossible for any mistake to occur between those amongst whom the distribution took place. We find, then, that, after the heavens and the earth, and the phenomena which they display, have been consigned to competent hands, that man, and his relation with all these phenomena, form the most important of the tasks assigned to others. Whilst animal as well as vegetable physiognomy is pursued by one inquirer, and whilst the adaptation of external nature to the physical condition of man is appointed to be examined by another, there still remained a third important investigation, namely, the adaptation of external nature-still, not to the physical condition, but to the moral and intellectual constitution of man. This was the great branch so abounding in wonders, so truly worthy of the profoundest science, and the most unwearied diligence, which was transferred to Dr. Chalmers, and which Dr. Chalmers has timidly declined to grapple with. It is scarcely possible to point out a department in the vast empire of nature more teeming with facts, explaining man's connection with this world, as a preparation for the next, than that which is contained in the system of laws whereby the processes of life are carried on. How utterly impossible is it for a man to study the plan, which nature allows him to have an insight of, and by which such daily miracles are passing before his eyes, without feeling his soul elevated to the consciousness of being destined for a residence in a land far beyond the limited horizon to which his narrow view is at present confined! Who is there that sees the exemplification of the laws which preside over the formation and progress of animal and vegetable life; who that studies the almost incredible facts of organization, and dwells on the never-ceasing marvels which the animal economy abounds with, but must be compelled to submit his very soul to the oppressive sense of the presence of a Hand Divine in the construction and preservation of every living thing? Here was the burden, indeed, for the voices of angels, and for tongues of fire, and for the choruses of seraphims, for eternity
The processes which take place in the growth and reproduction of organized bodies, seem to be in a particular manner destined to be the study of man, since a knowledge of those processes enables him, on many occasions, to control nature's laws in such a way as either to abridge the period of her operations, or to increase the number and quality of her productions. In an especial manner, then, was this branch of the inquiry suited to the objects of the founder, and, therefore, should have formed a particular subject of care to those who were to carry his injunctions into effect.
We take it for granted, that Dr. Chalmers felt his inadequacy to the task, and, therefore, was compelled to evade it. Thus we find him striving to justify the deviation which he has made into a different branch altogether, by an appeal to a sort of casuistry which would be little respectable even in the mouth of an attorney.
He says, that the meaning of the expression external nature, is not merely all objects which are external to the mind, but that it imports all that is external to an individual mind, and thus includes not only all the material world, but likewise every other mind besides that individual one. Thus, then, Dr. Chalmers paves his way to the object of his wishes ; for by this curious method of reasoning he is able to show that his proper object is not merely the action of mind on matter, but that of mind on mind, a source which, he declares, is infinitely more capable of affording proofs of the wisdom of the creation, than any evidence drawn from the phenomena of matter. Dr. Chalmers commences by an effort to prove that the possession of a conscience is common to every man; that it is a gift which exhibits the design of God, for that it instinctively tells us, that the obligations of virtue are binding. The whole of what the author states in this chapter amounts to this, that in every heart there is a voice that pronounces in favour of, and prompts the possessor, whatever be his other inclinations, to a preference for justice, truth, and humanity. We must give, however, Dr. Chalmers's description of this power in his own words: ..
What conscience lays claim to is the mastery or regulation over the whole man. Each desire of our nature rests or terminates in its own appropriate object, as the love of fame in applause, or hunger in food, or revenge in the infliction of pain upon its object, or affection for another in the happiness and company of the beloved individual. But the object of the moral sense is to arbitrate and direct among all these propensities. It claims the station and the prerogative of a mistress over them. Its peculiar office is that of superintendence, and there is a certain feeling of violence or disorder, when the mandates which it issues in this capacity are not carried into effect. Every affection in our nature is appeased by the object that is suited to it. The object of conscience is the subordination of the whole to its dictates. Without this it remains unappeased, and as if bereft of its rights. It is not a single faculty, taking its own separate and unconnected place among the other feelings and faculties which belong to us. Its proper place is that of a guide or a governor. It is the ruling power in our nature; and its proper, its legitimate business, is to prescribe that man shall be as he ought, and do as he ought. But instead of expatiating any further at present in language of our own, let us here admit a few brief sentences from Butler himself, that great and invaluable expounder both of the human constitution, and of moral science. - That principle by which we survey, and either approve or disapprove our own heart, temper, and actions, is not only to be considered as what in its turn is to have some influence, which may be said of every passion, of the basest appetites: but likewise as being superior ; as from its very nature manifestly claiming superiority over all others : insomuch that you cannot form a notion of this faculty conscience, without taking in judgment direction and superintendency. This is a constituent part of the idea, that is of the faculty itself: and to preside and govern, from the very economy and constitution of man, belongs to it. Had it strength, as it has right; had it power, as it has manifest authority; it would absolutely govern the world.” “This