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WELL AS A
influence. I know, indeed, that this is MAN A RELIGIOUS AS
MAN is a rational creature,
madmen the whole is irregular ; and upon uncultivated minds rea
son sheds but a feeble light. NotMr. R. visited Fribourgh, Keht, withstanding this, man is considerStrasburgh, Manheim, Frankfort, ed, by all, as a rational being. Mayence, Coblence, Cologne, and
Without extraordinary help we Aix-la-Chapelle. From thence
cannot bave correct views of the he proceeded to Brussels, on his perfections of Jehovah, or of the return to England : of course the
relation in which we stand to him ; field of Waterloo was not forgot
por can the natural man yield ten; and we shall conclude this that kind of homage to the true article with the reflections which
God, which is suitable to his chaa visit to the spot suggested to racter, or acceptable to bis pure Mr. R.
mind; yet man is naturally led to believe that there is a Divine Su
perior, and is susceptible of a sen“ The field of Waterloo is now rich timent of devotion to that myste. in waving corn, ripening for the sickle rious character. of the husbandman. What a scene must it have been when death was the
Although this subject may apreaper, and gathered in his thousands pear remote from those doctrines of sheaves to the garner of the grave ! wbicb interest more immediately And what a scene will it be again, the pious sool, it is not unprofitwhen the trump of the archangel shall able to ascertain the truth res. awake the sleepers that repose beneath its clods; and the mighty armies, pecting it, in as much as, the sethat day annihilated, shall start up to veral parts of the system of morals life upon the plain on which they fell and religion are intimately conI never heard a sermon so impressive nected. as the silence that reigned around me on the field of Waterloo. I could not
We therefore proceed to show. but connect their everlasting destinies with the thousands of the dead upon That a human being must have whose dust I trod. The eternity that some notions of God and religion, seemed to open there upon my view, if he have the use of his natural peopled with the spirits of the slain, was an awful scene.
The bitterness of powers, although he should be abdying on the field of battle--the widow's solutely destitute of a supernatural cries--the orphan's tears--the agonies revelation upon the subject. of surviving friendship-were all forgotten; I only saw the immortal soul
Those who have endeavoured hurried, unprepared, and perhaps blaspheming, into the presence of its God: to propagate Atheism generally I shuddered at the contemplation, and reject this sentiment. Some sup. felt how deadly a scourge, how bitter pose, or rather teach, that the a curse, is war !!
B. D. Idoctrine of a divine existence has
bad its origin with designing men, sary to answer this purpose, and in order to render it serviceable a natural propensity to reverence to their ambition. Others pretend his authority. to believe that it was suggested But if it was necessary in order by the fears of the ignorant, and to suit the first state of man, that afterward supported by the cun- he be thus qualified, it is equally ning of seducers; but it is not with inferable from the divine perfecatheists we mean to contend in tions that this natural capacity be this discussion. Nor is it with not entirely destroyed in our pagaos or deists, for they take the fallen state. principle for granted. We rea Even in this estate of sinfulness son with those who, believing the and misery; we are accountable Scriptures, suppose that to a su- creatures. And were we to be pernatural revelation alone, we favoured with no supernatural are indebted for every idea of aids to devotion, we should be religion which exists in the mind still under a natural obligation to of man. We shall therefore be serve God. Determining that justifiable in the legitimate use of this should be the case, it was arguments drawn from Scriptu- necessary from his perfection, ral premises, for the support of that God should continue even in the hypothesis which we have fallen man a natural capacity of proposed to demonstrate.
knowing that there exists a Su1. From the character of the perior, and some sentiment of Creator, considering the place fear before him. If it be a nehe has assigned to man in the cessary consequence of the fall system of created being; it may that all idea of God be lost, the be concluded that the human creature man must then be in remind is by its constitution religious lation to God as an irrational anias wise as rational.
mal, or even inanimate matter. God is good, and wise, and pow. Again, The individuals of our erful. Unfitness in bis creatures species were made for society. to answer the end which he had There is constitutionally in our in view in making them is hereby minds a propensity to cultivate excluded. He made all these social intercourse. This princigood, and this goodness implied ple is instinctive; it does not a natural adaptation to the rank arise, from experience, nor is it appointed them.
communicated by instruction. It Man, the principal of terres- is not nature, but an adventitious trial creatures, was made for the perversion of it, which drives the porpose of contemplating the di- misanthrope from the face of sovine perfections, of declaring in ciety, or causes the deluded monk an intelligent manner the praises to enclose bimself in his solitary of the Creator, of knowing and cell. However incapable man in feeling that in the enjoyment of bis sinful condition is to discharge God, supreme happiness could perfectly the duties which arise alone be secured to the soul. If from his relation to man, natural these be the ends of his creation, affection, and the social principle, he must have bad in the primitive are still as essential to his mind state natural ability to know so as a heart and a head are to bis much of God as would be beces-1 body. Is man naturally furnished
with the faculties necessary to their lives; and although philoenable bim to act in relation to sophers would for ever lecture man ? and shall we suppose that against human credulity, in this in relation to God, he is totally instance, they cannot prevail destitute of a natural principle of upon themselves or others, so far action ?
as to make them desert from pro2. A view of the natural pow.ceeding upon it in all their acers of the human mind will war- tions. They may tell us, that rant us in forming the same con- what we have taken to stand in clusion. It would be foreign the relation of cause and effect, from our present purpose to in- only occupy the relation of antetroduce a discussion of all the in- cedent and consequent, without tellectual and active powers of any natural tendency in the one man. The human mind is formed to produce the other ; and they by its intelligent Creator with may demonstrate in some invarious faculties capable of vari- stances this to be a truth ; but ous exercises ; among them, we that law of our minds which immay observe some which neces- pels us to form the idea of cause sarily lead man to conceive of a and effect, is so connected with divine existence. The under- our existence, that we must cease standing cannot but form the idea to be men when it is absolutely of cause and effect, and the con- destroyed. Ignorant miods are science necessarily refers to a su- in danger, pot of ceasing to properior for a sanction to its ver- ceed on this principle, but of apdict. Each of those facts re- plying it without examination. In quires some explanation, in order accounting for the changes which to render their force in the pre- they conceive beyond their own sent argument perceptible. power to produce, they are
The human mind, at a very apt to ascend too suddenly to the early period of life, forms the first cause. Incapable of conidea of cause and effect. It is necting the links of argumentanot couraged by philosophical tion into a long chain of reasonsystems, but is suggested by ob- ing, they refer every signal pheservation. We cannot divest our- nomenon to invisible agency; but selves of it: to embrace it, and there is little danger of their to act upon it, is a law of our stopping short of a Divine Being nature. T'he child, as soon as he until they have been otherwise can lisp, desires to know what instructed. has produced the effect which There is also such a power of has excited his attention. He the human mind as conscience. perceives the change, and he is It is a moral sense. by nature forced to refer it to Our bodily senses are capable
He asks wbat the of being affected by external obcause is ? you may deceive bim, jects. From this the mind is ne. but you cannot satisfy his curi- cessarily led to perceive the obosity, nor stop his inquisitive-ject which affected the bodily ness, but by referring him to organ. To this perception we some cause, supposed or real. give an appropriate name. But Men must act upon this princi- besides the perception of the ple during the whole period of lobject through the bodily organ,
we have a secondary perception It will ultimately amount, thereof pleasure or pain, of fear or fore, to the same thing ; whether admiration. As from my percep- we consider conscience as a distion of an object of sight, I am tinct power of the soul, or as the convinced I have an organ of distinct exercise of a more genesight, the eye; so from the sen- ral power ; as itself an original sation of pleasure, I am convinced, principle of our constitutions, or that I have an internal sense ca- as the acquisition of an original pable of receiving pleasure, from principle, unless we extricate The beauties of nature and art. ourselves from every difficulty, The one of these senses is a part by stripping the mind of all its of myself as much as the other. intellectual and active powers, My taste is natural to me, as well and adopt the Godwinic definition as my eye.
of the mind, a mere recipient of When I reflect upon my own perceptions. It is further to be actions, and compare them with observed, that if this faculty exist, some standard, the perception of it implies necessarily that we are their character is accompanied naturally capable of forming an with a sense of approbation or idea of a Supreme Being. As disapprobation. This sensation the sensation of pleasure occaadmits of various degrees of plea- sioned by the sight of a beautiful sure and pain, which will be in object, implies a previous perproportion to the delicacy of the ception of the object, the exerconscience, and the merit of the cise of moral sense implies my action, the perception of wbich accountableness to an authority gave occasion for its exercise. paramount to my own mind. As the sight of an object implies Every sentiment of approbation the existence of an organ of sight, or disapprobation of my own acthe effect just mentioned necessa- tions, refers to the will of a superily implies the existence of the rior, as the standard which I am faculty of conscience.
bound to adopt. But if such a faculty exist, it It is upon this supposition, that must be natural or acquired, and it can be said with truth, that God even the possibility of making the alone is Lord of the conscience. acquisition implies that the hu From these premises we are man mind is so constituted by its warranted to conclude, that man, author as necessarily to acquire by the use of his natural powers, the faculty of conscience, or to is capable of ascertaining the leave unexercised one of the most truth of a divine existence withemipent and excellent powers of out the aid of an extraordinary the soul. And the supposition of revelation. The its remaining in a state of idle- 3d. Argument we would use with ness, still implies the existence of those who deny this, is drawn a distinct power, on which the from the universal prevalence of moral sense is engrafted. But the knowledge of a divine existwhat is this original faculty of the ence. soul? No principle of our na
No nation is without some noture, unless we have an innate tions of a superior being. The sense of Deity, can be a sufficient grossest superstitions, as well as root to bear this noble branch. the sublimest efforts of reason,
equally evince that men have that there is no natural religions : some principle of religion. but there are express testimonies
Some men have laboured to in favour of the opposite sentimake themselves and others be- ment. We shall quote only three lieve, that there is no God; but passages. we have great reason to doubt 1. Psalm xix. 1-4. The heatheir sincerity. We can have no vens declare the glory of God; and evidence of it but their own testi- the firmament showeth his handy mony, and that is not admissible, work. Day unto day uttereth inasmuch as they are otherwise speech, and night unto night showunworthy of credit, and in this eth knowledge. There is no speech particular instance the interested or language where their voice is party. There are, besides, cir- not heard. Their line is gone out cumstances in the history of pro- through all the earth, and their fessed atheists, which betray words to the end of the world. It them. We have evidence of this would put ingenuity itself to the in many instances, and we may rack to find out means of evadpresume the case of others was ing the force of this declaration. similar to that of those with whom The Psalmist intended in this we are best acquainted. The Psalon to show the superior expressure of calamity, sudden cellency of revelation over natuemergencies, and even their phi- ral religion ; but clearly teaches losophical systems, evidence their that God is to be known, in some iosincerity, as well as their in- measure, from his works, through fatuation, and convince us that that knowledge which implies they never really prevailed so far the conversion of a sinner, from as absolutely to eradicate a sense the word. In the
In the quotation we of Deity from their own bosom. are taught that the visible hea
It would be unnecessary now vens, and the succession of day to collect evidences from the dif- and night, are sufficient evidences ferent ages and nations of the of a Divine existence. They world, of their having some kind“ declare his glory” in expresof religion. We shall proceed to sive language. Shall it be said, the last argument intended to be the evidence is indeed sufficient, advanced.
but man is naturally incapable 4. It appears from the Scrip- of estimating its value? The ture revelation, that man is capa. Psalmist prevents the objection. ble of knowing there is a God by “ There is no speech, or lanthe exercise of his natural pow-guage, where their voice is not ers.
heard.” AH nations understand The whole system of revealed their testimony. Yea," without religion proceeds upon this prin- speech or language, as some ciple. It addresses men not only critics translate the words, withas rational, but also as religious out a voice, and addressed to the creatures. “ Him whom ye ig. ear,
" their line is gone out norantly worship declare I un- through all the earth, and their to you.
There is not a passage words to the end of the world." of the old or New Testament The evidence which they give, which can be shown to flow legi- is delineated in an impressive timately from the hypothesis, manner, in durable characters