Слике страница
PDF
ePub

through a series of reasoning that does equal He next considers the obje&ion urged honour to his head and heart. To such as against the divine justice, for permitting the delight in the flowery, declamatory composi- prosperity of the wicked ; and that against God's tions which are too much the fashion of the holiness, from sin not being prevented, but day, and which tend more to display the ora- admitted in the world. la answer to the fore torical powers of the preacher, than to edify mer, he proves an unequal distribution of what or improve the hearer, these discourses will we call prosperity, to be necessary in a state not in all probability prove acceptable ; of trial like to the present world; and that but to the man of sense who has judgment if every thing were adjusted and apportioned sufficient to prefer the substance to a shadow, bere with visible exactness and instant effet, found reasoning to empty verbofity, the perų. there would be no occasion for a future judga fal of this volume will afford not only enter. ment. In reply to the latter, he observes, Kainment but instruction.

“ if God must not allow, as objects present It contains eighteen Sermons on various themselves, a bad choice, (and fin is nothing subjects. In the first of these, the author else) he must not allow any choice; he muit considers the attributes of righteousness and fuspend the usual powers of acting, which holiness. 66 The Lord is righteous in all his would be a perpetual violation of tbe order ways, and holy in all his works.” Mankind, of Nature. If he muft incline to good, and he observes, may be sensible of the moral ob- good only, he must cliain up the will and ligations of justice, yet not always perceive over-rule the mind; which may be goveromeni, the reasons on which they hinge ; or, perceiv- but not moral government, as it destroys the ing them, be unwilling to be determined by very capacity of virtue and vice.” Having them. Human justice is liable to much ob. established these attributes, he draws the fol struction from want of evidence, the obscuri- lowing conclufion, ty of facts, the dubiousness of circumstances, “If then God be holy, if God be just, what and inconsistency of testimony; or, where evi- ever is, whatever adverse event occurs, muit dence is complete, the intricacy of a case, the be (in some view of it) right, must have ia specious appearance of probability on each nature adequate and fit caules. The reasons fide, may render its merits impervious. Even of Providence in these allotments may be la where matters are clearest, worldly confider- tent, may be intricate ; but can never be ine. ations too often pervert the judgment, preju. quitable, never inexpedient : he who is imdices of hatred or favour, friendship or rela- partial cannot be cruel ; he who is rectitude tion, partiality to some interest or valued pure itself, cannot act inju iously.” pose, the solicitations of superiors or the fal- In the second discourse, the preacher takes cination of bribery, may blind the eyes of occasion to enquire into the common excepmen of understanding, and make them accep- tion expressed by infidelity or discontent, ters of persons in their judicial administrations. against that soothing and interesting article But the all-wise, the independent, the Al- of religious faith, the superintendence of Promighty One must be inaccesible to such finis- vidence; and thews, that they are fuppofiter influences. Perfedtly knowing the rule tions without truth, or inferences without of equity, and neceffarily judging of things as reason. In the third he pursues the lubject, they really are ; able to execute what is right and enquires from what reasonings on the 12and fit according to that knywledge, without ture of God and ourselves it is satisfactory any possible temptation to deviate from it ; in- deducible that “ the Lord is our keeper." capable of being milled, moved by any bias, These arguments are founded on the attributes or awed by any power ; such a Being must of God, a spiritual sovereign, wife, power. evidently always act without iniquity, with ful, and good. Without design or direction, out partiality, without prejudice, without re. what is wildom? Locked up from exertion, spect of persons, consequently “ righteously if every thing be done without interference, in all his ways.”

what is power? Without a distribution of The Ductor's arguments to prove that “the rewards and punishments, what is justice ? Lord must be holy in all his works” are equal. These attributes have a reference, therefore, la ly clear, close, and conclusive.

objects; their effence consists in action, cherr “ He who has will with reason must be a perfection in exercise. To suppose the conmoral agent: he who has reason in the high- trary would be to reduce the Creator below est and most perfect degree must be in the his creatures to a mere pageant. This rea. highest and most perfect degree a moral soning is ftrongly corroborated by the eviagent: he who is above every temptation to dence arising from the ftuation of maa. be bad, must be uniformly good : in other Born in a state of debility and helplessnels, words, he who hath an infinite understanding what would become of him, were it not for with an unbiased will, must always perceive the yearnings of parental instinct, which canthe best motives, and act conformably; that not be accounted for without the guidance of is, must be holy in all his works."

a contriving and observing Providence The

same protection, (however invisible the work. the husbandman commits his grain to the ings of it) is extended in his nonage, and is ground, the physician prescribes his drug, or equally necessary in his adult state.

the artist constructs his machine, anticipating « Man," says our author, “ is, from vari- respectively, with happy confidence, the acous causes, susceptible, in various degrees, of complishment of his purpose from the same pleasure and pain : can it be supposed that revolutions of the heavenly bodies, the same there is no provision, no regimen, for the ad- vicissitudes of seasons, the same action of mejustment of these? By the incitements of the chanical and physical powers. But take away one, ne performs many a necessary function, and from the objects of the univerfe this unity of engages in many an important pursuit ; by character ; let them appear or act with the impreffions of the other he presages fickle or lawless mutability ; agriculture, meand evades many a calamity. Can it be sup- dicine, pilotry, mechanism, all calculation, posed that all this is exclusive of regulation ?" the whole process of induction, the whole

In addition to the arguments advanced to force of analogy, the whole directory of exseobviate the pretences urged against the doc. rience, is precluded and cancelled : the purtrine of a superintending Providence, and to suit of knowledge becomes vain toil, the apestablish the truth of it, the Doctor has in the plication of it desperate diffidence; obsei vafourth Sermon examined the complaint, that tion is without use, reflection without decie “this is an evil among allthings that are done fion, provision for self-preservation without under the sun, that there is one event unto security, and solicitude without end or remeall;" from which inferences have been drawn dy. in disparagement of this important tenet.

“If such be the conceivable consequences of After observing that there may be a refem- the projected alteration in the natural world, blance of circumstances without a coincidence its inconveniences would not be less in the of consequences; that what is visible of con- moral. Substitute in the regimen of the moditions or incidents is but a precarious index ral world particular laws for general, that is,

of pleasure and pain ; and that pleasure or success and disappointmer, recompence and pain are ftill more indeterminate of benefit or punishment, adjusted to actions and agents, disadvantage ; he asks, Is it not then falsely or with accurate and immediate discriminations, very questionably suggested again t Providence what would obviously result? In the first peo as an evil, or indeed as a fact, except in a ve- riod of life, before the formation of moral ry lax sense, " that there is one event unto character, under the common lot of original ail ?” But that he may not be thought, by thus equality, either an utter suspension of every arguing, to evade rather than encounter the influencing principle, or distinctions without difficulty, he enters into a more direct discur. diversity, preferences without recommendafion of it; which we shall lay before our rea. tions, and sufferings without demerit: in ders in his own words, to enable them to subsequent periods, a bar to the formation of form their own opinion of the author's style moral character, that would operate univerand mode of reasoning.

sally. For under the dominion of Justice so “ Permit me to suppose (no unreasonable awfully present, with arm perceivably ex. postulate) that humanity is a system, for some tended for instant retribution, who would wise reason, of supreme design, and necessary dare to reject her allurement, or brave her in the constitution of Nature. What does infliction? Would not the consequence be the objection demand? An abolition of ge- one determined course of conduct? Would neral laws in this system ; for there must be not duty be fo irresistibly connected with in general laws promiscuous vents. But gain, as to leave no room for the indulgence from the proposed innovation, what mischiefs of inclination, the growth of desert, and the would follow ? In the first place, the destruc- display of disposition ; for the proof of fincetion of order, with which vanishes at once rity by resolution, of benevolence by difinteevery idea of economy and beauty in creation ; reitedness, of faith by contentment; in short, its parts no longer simple and congruous ; it: for many exercises of virtue particularly ex. movements no longer regular ; its beings no alting and perfecting man, particularly venelonger determinate in agency, or specific in rating and pleasing God? character. In the next place, an utter ex- “ It is now perhaps perceived, that geneclufion of certainty, with which vanith all the ral laws, from which arise indiscrin inate acquisitions of science, all the principles of events, in the administration of the world, art, all the comforts of life. Of causes and carry with them a large and satisfactory coneffects we know little, except their connexi. fideration of benefit ; and that therefore the on ; and while this connexion continues (ta. objection which demands the reversal of ble, whilft objects exhibic in general, with ob. them, demands an impropriety. Let us next servable constancy on similar trials, fimilar see (ftill retaining the supposition, for the appearances, the mariner pursues his course, truth of which we kave the pledge of Infinite

G882

We

Wisdom, that there ought to be in the plan connexion operate with farther extension in of nature such a being as man) whether it equalizing events. In the combination of a does not demand likewise an impossibility. family the heart is variously touched, and

“ 1. Man may be viewed individually or powerfully moved by attachments. It shoots aggregately. As an individual, he may be out, if I may so speak, numerous filaments, considered as a creature; consequently sub- which faften with growing force from famiject to the government of his Creator, cou. liarity to surrounding objects, and whaterer sequently accountable; endowed with powers affects these, communicates immediately with and desires which imply a destination for fo- sensible vibration to the center. In other turity, consequently a probationer for the words, a great portion of human pleasures or allotments of it. In this light then, without pains is derivative, and acts by participation. an occasional separation, in his preparatory What then would be the case, were relpesstate, between virtue and happiness, vice and tive differences and judicial diftinctions to misery, how is he to be disciplined and tried ? mark events? The wicked could not conWithout imperfection, without difficulties to ceivably be blended with the good in intimate combat, crosses to bear, and temptations to union, without deriving from their prosperity refiat, how are his capacities to be opened, some joy, some service, or some relief; the his principles explored, his exertions and im- good could not, if poffeffing affcrion or coraprovements ascertained ?

passion, be perpetual witnesses to the rigta. “ Individually likewise, on trial for a tions and exemplary chiaftisements of funess, future destination, he is and must be a free under their own rool, or in their own lineage, agent; required to act with rectitude and without grief, perhaps without injury too, with reason, directed by rules, and folicited by the lofs of their utility. It would be im. by motives, but unconstrained in his choice, poflible, in Mort, to punish all the wicked, and webstructed in his endeavours. Under with absolute harmlessness to all the good; this dispensation of moral freedom, it is not or to reward all the good without communipofsible to conceive but that there must be cating, in some degree, to some of the wickirregular and traversing efforts, mixt means ed a share of their felicity : but if for the of pursuit, and mixt results of attainment, scheme of completely separating lots, with. with every consequence of every patsion or out a complete separation of persons, defeats appetite excesively or misappliedly indulged; itself; and it remains to infer, that from the that licentiousness will sometimes rival inno. influence both of propagation in descent, and cence, diffimulation supplant merit, and of conjunction by kindred, one event unto fraud circumvent honesty, in the acquisition all is often inevitable. of pleasure, honour, or profit; in other “ The social sphere of man next widers words, that the bad will he found inter- from the circumference of a family to that of mingled and interfering with the good, in a neighbourhood. Here he is linked aad the events of worldly gratification.

leagued in several dependencies of fituation, “ But the survey of man merely as an in- employment, and interest. He breathes a dividual, is curtailed, is unnatural. Let us ra. common air with his affociates, he eats of is. ther consider him in his social capacity ; and milar food, he pursues joint objects with them the impossibility that his fate should be other- in callings, travels, enterprizes : fhall, thes, wise than indiscriminate, will more evidently that which is noxious to some, prove at the appear.

same time falutary to others ? Shall wirds " Here he first offers as a member of a be at once favourable and adverse to the same family, in a connexion of descent which voyagers ? Shall famine and plenty, defest falhions and fixes, independent of personal and conqueft, danger and safety, be found character, his constitution, estimation, and attendants on the same parties at the same fortune. His parents are healthy or dir. instaut - Absurd !-Without an incestui tempered, virtuous or diffolute, provident or accumulation of interfering miracles; with. vegligent, affluent or neceffitous. Is it pose out a perpetual and inconceivable inversion fible, without a constant and universal pro. of natural causes and effects --Impoflible ! digy of confusion, to stop the course of these It follows, therefore, that in the occurrences in Auences ? to prevent innocence from suf- of our prefcat relative and complex ftate, fering, by the comprehension of an unfortu. we cannot be divided and forted by any prenate relation, transferred malady or incon. cise canon of worth, but mult partake a gevenience, che affliction or humiliation of pe- neral fate of advantage or detriment, enjosnury, the refumption of unjustly acquired ment or distress. property, the taint of luxury, the act of in- " But let us turn to the laft, the highest discretion, the languor of infirmity, or the view of man in his civit capacity, as connected blot of infamy?

with government. Here, again, discrimiai. “ The transmiffive casualties of domestic tion still becomes impossible. For he is, in the

fint

first place, subject to the common fate of disputably a considerable influence (an influfociety, muft encounter its dangers, and share ence without the dissolution of civil society its calamities; and in the next place, subject unavoidable), in determining promiscuously to its laws. These, however administered, in- one event unto all." tentionally place him on a ground of equality ; Having thus amply examined the assimilaliable to the same contingencies of treatment tion of mankind in the mingled disposal of with his fellow-citizens : their office, as their present events, which had furnithed the ose, is to direct universally, to redress impartial. sceptic with a seemingly plausible objection, ly, and punish irrespectively. A grand objcct the author thinks himself warrantable in conof their operation is property ; of which they cluding, that the supposed ill eff:ets of it fix the title, and controul, as well as guard, are exaggerated, and that any alteration on the devolution ; inducing in each concern an every idea of man, whether separate or colimportant effect for present consideration. lective, is neither feasible nor expedient, The title of property does not, cannot reside, He hence takes occasion to recommend not under the adjustment of human laws, in vir. only ftciet circumspection in our own colle Lue or merit ; but in inheritance, gift, pur- duct, but a tender reserve in judging of others, chale, or other honeft mode of acquiring it : not making either example our rule of action, hence a plain consequence; that the indir. or good or bad fortune our test of character. creet and the profligate may obtain, with. After so copious an extract, our limits will out exception, that affluence which they not permit us to analyse the remaining di!squander or mifemploy ; that the alienation courses; we can only in general observe, that of it may, at the same time, intercept from they are wri:ten in the same nervous and the innocent many enjoyments which they forcible style ; the principles on which the lose with regret; and oppress them with several arguments hinge are clearly laid down, many conflicts which they do not deserve to and the inferences from them drawn in a suffer.

concise and masterly manner. Truth, like " Another similar consequence sometimes beauty, needs not the ornaments of dress to occurs from legal restraint on the devolution set it off. The author, convinced of this, has of property ; by which a young expectant not decorated bis subject with the powers of is suddenly, perhaps, in his advances to dig- oratory, but trusted to its intrinsic worth for nity and fortune, which he has birth to its success. Should the fastidious critic ob. claim, and accomplishments to illustrate, ject that these Discourses contain little novel. stopped, and depreiled to beggary; not for his ty, let him remember, that on subjects which own crime, but for that of his parent: a pro. have been so often, fo fully, and so ably ceeding which compassion condemos as vin- handled, little more remains to be done, dictive severity, but which political prudence than to place old thoughts in a new and defends, as expedient for terror, for effectual friking point of view; and as far as so doing punishment, and for general safety. Whe. is intitled to pravie, our author's claim is in. ther expedient, however, or not, it hath in- disputable.

The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, with Samuel Johnson, L. L. D. By James

Boswell, Esq. 8vo. 6s. Dilly.

Concluded from Page 344). W

unamiable light in which Mr. Boswell down the front of his perriwis, (which Mr. has placed Dr. Johnson's behaviour to a learned B. had before taken care, fuo more, to inform and venerable clergyman of seventy-seven. us was black) and talking what a great " It was curious, says Mr. B. to see him and man Leibnitz was.

To give an idea of the Dr. Johnson together. Neither of them scene would require a page with two columns, heard very distinctly ; so each of them talked but it ought rather to be represented by two in his own way, and at the same time,” good players." ----Surely, Mr. Bosweil, your After giving some instances of the Doctor's glec has overrun your picty! Whát, a difpuie walpith contradiction, such as the Doctor on Dr. Clarke's leaning to the Arian system, would have resented in any other man ; for, and fhurting one's eyes against the scriptures, strange to tell, the good Doctor's penchant to to bi represented by two good players! Do contradict, even led him to nibble with ort bo- be confiftent, Mr. Buiwell; this may do very doxy itself;—Mr. Boswell (and he certainly well in your convivial hours, with your cheswas merry when he wrote it) gives the fol. fical companion, (as you call lum) Jack Itilkes; lowing ludicrous picture of the disputants : but it seems rather inconsistent with your " During the time that Dr. Johnson was thus kneeling with Dr. Johnson at your bedrales, going on, the old Minister was Itanding with at your evening Prayers." Here again,

cont Dues

continuies Mr. B. there was a double talking, trade, and remain in poverty and infignificach continuing to maintain his own argu. cance; but let the Englishman reap wellment, without hearing axactly what the other earned wealth and indeperidence from the said." Mr. B. thus concludes the aceount of bencficial and honourable parfaits of it. In Mr. M'Lear, the venerable clergyman in the our Review of this work for March latt, black wig, above mentioned : " He (i. e. Dr. page 171, we gave our idea of the character, b) told me afterwards, he liked firmness in enlarged mind, and important pursuits of the an old man, and was pleased to see Mr. great merchant ; and shall here add, that the M-Leari fo orthodox ; at his age it is too Ductor and his friend seem to have formed late (the Doctor's remark) for a man to be their ideas of such character on no better alking himself questions as to his belief."- . models than that of Scotcb Pedlers and English Too late! We do not somehow like this ex- Huckfiers.--We find no such philofophical preffion; but justice to Dr. Johnson calls us day-labourer, says the Doctor, who is to a view of his own account, in his own happy in reflecting that, by his labour, he Tour, of this vifit. The Doctor there does contributes to the fertility of the earth, and himself great credit by the warm and friendly to the support of bis fellow creatures. We manner in which he mentions Mr. M'Lean; know not what to make of such sraculous he calls him one of the finest and most vene- responses, they are so egregiously wrong. rable old men he had ever seen, is highly We every where meet with the day-labourer pleased with his learning and orthodoxy, and who is happy in cultivating his master's farm in place of Mr. B's too late fays," at seventy- or his own garden; or, in a word, in any seven it is high time to be serious ;" conclud- labour; for, though he knows not the term, ing with this characteristical sentence, which he has, in the strongest manner, the pbilassfrom the Doctor conveys the highest panegy- phical thought, that he is labouring for the sic: “When I came away, I was sorry he support of his family and himself." There is was a Presbyterian." -Thus the Doctor, nothing in trade connected with an enlarged when he speaks for himself.

mind.'' Good Heaven! had the Doctor We have already exprefled our indignation never heard that Colonization in its embrio at the Doctor's miserable and contracted ideas formation, in its in fancy, growth and maturity, of trade and the merchant, and cannot for. is principally the work of the merchant ; a bear to give the following extract, as it so work which requires both zeal and wisdom, fully confirms our former censure." At break. and every talent of an enlarged mind; a work fuft I asked,” says Mr. Boswell," what is the in which the merchant is the most proper reason that we are angry at a trader's having and best counsellor of Kings; and which opulence ?" --Johnson. Why, Sir, the rea- verifies the expression of the Hebrew Pro. son is, (though I don't undertake to prove phet, when speaking of Tyre, " Her merthat there is a reason) we see no qualities in chants are the Princes of the earth." trade that should entitle a man to fuperiority. We have alreally observed, that Mr. Boí. We are not angry at a soldier's getting riches, well and the Doctor, particularly the former, because we see that he potseties qualities bad great veneration for the feudal system. which we have not, If a man returns from Let the following serve as a comment on a battle, having lost one hand, and with the that admired mode of government. other full of gold, we feel that he deserves I procured a horse,'' says Mr. B.“ from the gold: we cannot think that a fellow, by one M'Ginnis, who ran along as my guide. fitting all day at a desk, is entitled to get The M'Ginnises are said to be a branch of above us."-- Bosweil. " But, Sir, may we the clan of M.Lean. Sir Allan had been not fuppose a merchant to be a man of an en- told that this man had refused to send him larged mind, such as Addison in the Specialor some rum, at which the Knight was in great describes Sir Andrew Freeport to have been ?" indignation. “You rascal! (faid he) don't

- Johnson. " Why, Sir, we may suppose any you know that I can hang you, if I please ?" fictitious character. We may suppose a --Not adverting to the Chieftain's power over philofophical day-labourer, who is happy in his clan, I imagined that Sir Allan had reflecting that, by his labour, he contributes known of some capital crime that the fellow to the fertility of the earth, and the support had committed, which he could discover, of his fellow creatures, but we find no such and so get him condemned; and faid, “ How philosophical day-labourer. A merchant may, fo?”“Why, (said Sir Allan) are they not perhaps, be a man of an enlarged mind; but all my people ?"-Sensible of my inadverthere is no.hing in trade connected with an tency, and most willing to contribute what enlarged mind."

I could towards the continuation of feudal In a commercial nation like ours, erro- authority, “ Very true," said I.-Sir Allan neous and injurious ideas of trade ought care- wept on : “ Refufe to send rum to me, you fully to be refuted. Les the Spaniard despise rascal! Don't you know that, if I order you

to

« ПретходнаНастави »