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its order, harmony, and beauty, or rise to contemplate its iminensity. If we aim to comprehend its extent, the mind soon loses itself in the unending series of system upon system-each with a central sun, aronnd which worlds constantly rerolre; and all, both suns and satellites, marching in endless procession around the great central sun of the universe.
Now, who that considers this unity of effect, the oneness of design displayed on this stupendons theatre of the universe, the forms of beauty it exhibits, the divine ideas it unfolds, and the moral influences it conveys to the soul, who, we say, can doubt that it is an effect of one infinite cause the great I am, who, “ before the mountains were brought forth," or "the earth formed,” or ever “ the morning stars sang together," or “ the sweet influences of the Pleiades were found," or "the bands of Orion loosed," eren "from everlasting to everlasting," is God, the first and the last, the beginning and the end of all things? And what
“- lover of the meadows and the woods,
And the boundless ocean, and the living air and the blue sky ?" When the mind has risen to this conception of nature, “ the world,” in the beautiful language of Paley, “thenceforth becomes a temple, and life itself one continued act of adoration." · But notwithstanding these proofs, and others which might easily be multplied, proof upon proof, there is an undeniable tendency, and irreligious as undeniable, practically to ignore the conclusion to which they inevitably lead. Practically, we say, because it is by a habit of using language in such a manner as gradually to create an impression contrary to the actual truth. We refer to the popular phraseology of physics, and of natural science generally, according to which we speak of phenomena and laws, of nature and physical forces, as if matter had existed from eternity, or sprung from nothing, or as if it were endowed with power, had intelligence and a will,
all of which forms of speech are found to be meaningless, when analyzed and reflected on. In tendency, they are atheistic or pantheistic, and wholly at variance with Scripture.
In saying this, we are not unmindful of the several theories of even atheistic philosophers, concerning the relation of God to creation. As for example, whether He be immanent in it or no. Many devout believers in God's existence, doubt or deny His actual personal presence and agency in upholding and guiding the things He is both believed and confessed to have made.
The doctrine of secondary causes, and of general laws, the phrase "physical forces,” (as if all forces were not immaterial,) seems to relieve the subject of difficulties. But to us, these terms seem so many shifts and subterfuges, ignes fatui, sure to lead us astray if regarded otherwise than as convenient formulæ for practical purposes, or as so many confessions of our ignorance of the causal nexus of all phenomenal changes.
The language of the great Apostle, as of the Scriptures generally, is, we fully believe, in the strictest accordance with the facts of science, as well as the views of the profoundest philosophers. “Of Him, and through Ilim, and to Him, are all things.” “By Him all things consist," that is, are held together. And we hold that any view of the sensible universe that does not recognize God as the Upholder as well as Originator of its substance and forces, is essentially defective. According to the Scriptures, the Universe in all its extent, is to be regarded as so many exhibitions and proofs of Jehovah's wisdom, power, and benevolence.
In what magnificent terms is this set forth in the eighteenth Psalm : “He bowed the heavens also and came down, and darkness was under His feet, and He rode upon a cherub, and did fly, yea He did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness His secret place; His pavilion round about Him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. At the brightness that was before Him His thick clouds passed, hail-stones and coals of fire. The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave His voice; hailstones and coals of fire. Yea, he sent out His arrows, and scattered them; and He shot out lightnings, and discomfited them. Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at Thy rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of Thy nostrils.”
The only consistent Christian view of the Cosmos, then, is this, that God is in all, as well as the Author of all-all-powerful and every where present, creating and controlling all-Him. self the cause, the continuance, and the consummation of all things.
“Great and marvellous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty, just and true are Thy ways. Thou art worthy to receive glory and honor and power, for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasnre they are, and were created.”
Art. V.—THE SUSPENSE AND RESTORATION OF
THEODORE PARKER's Experience as a Minister, with some Ac.
count of his Early Life and Education for the Ministry.
Boston : Rufus Leighton, Jr. 1859. The Suspense of Faith. An Address to the Alumni of the
Divinity School of Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. Given July 19th, 1859, by HENRY W. BELLOWS. New-York:
C. S. Francis & Co., 554 Broadway. 1859. A Sequel to “ The Suspense of Faith.” By HENRY W. BEL
LOWS, D.D. New-York: D. Appleton & Co., 346 and 348 Broadway. 1859.
In our consideration of the pamphlets, the titles of which we have placed at the head of this article, we wish to disclaim, at the outset, any association of the names of Mr. Theodore Parker and Dr. Bellows which would imply that we regard them as standing upon the same platform, or as subject to the same tendencies. We consider them as widely differing, both in opinions and method; and as logically bound to pursue directly opposite results. We have associated them together only because the avowals and confident boasting of the one, and the admissions and honest apprehensions of the other, furnish most remarkable confirmation of the views which we have always held of a great movement in the religious world.
In order, if possible, to present these views clearly, we wish to draw attention to the fact, which we hope, as we proceed, to make evident, that there are in the Protestant world two schools, broadly distinguished from each other in their general characteristics, although neither is represented exclusively by any one organization, and each passes, by almost imperceptible gradations, into the other. For the want of better appellations we shall call one of these schools the historic and evangelical, the other the rationalistic. The most prominent points of difference between these schools grow out of the different views which are taken of revelation and of reason as sources of religious truth. With the one school revelation, and with the other reason, is the paramount authority. We admit that there is much of the rationalistic spirit in the historic and evangelical school, and something perhaps of the historic and evangelical spirit in the rationalistic school, but the prevalence of either spirit determines the school to which it belongs; and into these two schools may be divided the whole of the Protestant world.
The historic and evangelical school, notwithstanding its many differences, possesses certain common characteristics. A di. vine revelation is recognized as of supreme authority. The great truths contained in that revelation are those which declare the need of man, through his natural alienation from God, of a supernatural redemption; and the provisions for that redemption in the incarnation, sufferings, and death of Jesus Christ, and the regenerating and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.
This school also preserves the historic element by retaining, in a greater or less degree, the historic character of the Christian Church.
The rationalistic school, on the other hand, is characterized by the practical, if not avowed, supremacy of reason over revelation. Its method is to approach all religious subjects as if they were to be considered for the first time, and to reject, as authoritative, not only the traditions of the Christian Church, but any portions of the Bible itself which are thought to be in conflict with the moral sense or intellectual convictions of man. The doctrinal system of this school denies any natural alien. ation of man from God; and its remedy for the sins and sorrows of the world, is not the acceptance of a supernatural redemption, but a process of self-culture.
It is true, indeed, that a rationalistic method may lead to evangelical results. Beyond a question evangelical truth can be defended and maintained on the ground of pure reason. But those who arrive, even by the rationalistic method, at evangelical results, in most cases, disown the method, acknowlege the supremacy of the Word of God over reason; and so cease to belong to the rationalistic school.
This rationalistic school, including, as it does, all those who, in whatever degree, consciously or unconsciously, elevate reason above the Word of God, is principally represented within the pale of nominal Christianity, by the denomination of Unitarians, or, to use a name which they perhaps prefer, Liberal Christians. We know that it will appear harsh to many in that ecclesiastical connection to charge them with rationalism. We certainly do not charge such persons with rationalism, in the odious sense in which the word is usually understood, but we are compelled to express our conviction that the method by which men have been drawn away from the great truths of historic Christianity, is rationalistic; that it leads, logically and necessarily, to avowed Rationalism, to the rejection of a part, and finally of the whole, of the Bible, and to the abandonment of the Church. This Mr. Parker boldly declares to be the result with him. And Dr. Bellows admits, with alarm, that the Unitarian body is approaching this consummation of its development. And let it be remembered that neither has Mr. Parker reached, nor Dr. Bellows'foreseen, the final goal of this rationalistic course; for the only logical terminus of this