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weapon can penetrate, wrapped in purity of the soul are sullied and a covering which no hand can re- lost; religion is reduced to a cold move. The Spirit of God which and spiritless set of forms and obalone gives efficacy to any means, servances. operates through the medium of 3. Nor is this all. God is partruth; but by them the force of ticularly offended with insincerity truth is evaded, and its direct ap in the performance of religious duplication turned aside. The long ties. He “abhors the sacrifice er, therefore, self delusion is prac- where not the heart is found.” tised, and the appeals and search. There are frequent and unequivoing messages of the gospel are re- cal indications in the Bible of his risted, the greater the danger that displeasure against hollowness in the Spirit will be grieved, and the Christian profession. The reliindividuals given up to obduracy gion of the gospel is a spiritual reliand blindness.
gion. God is a spirit, and they 2. Another source of fear, that that worship him, must worship him those who are in the visible church in spirit and in truth. He rewill never truly turn to God, is quireth truth in the inward parts. found in the alarming truth, that Where sincere and supreme love the perversion of serious and sol. doth not reign, he will not accept emn things has a tendency to pro- the offering. His eye penetrates duce peculiar hardness of heart every fold of insincerity that corand searedness of conscience. ers, every unreal appendage that
A professor of religion, to be setts off, the performance of duty. at all consistent, to hold a respect. How great the hazard then of proable standing among his fellow voking him to say, as in the case Christians, must daily engage in of his ancient people, To what the performance of many holy du- purpose is the multitude of your ties. He must use the language of sacrifices unto me? The new prayer. He must worship where moons and Sabbaths, the calling of Gabriel bows. He must meet the assemblies, I cannot away with: eye of God. He must speak untó it is iniquity, even the solemn meetthe great King. He must read ing: and when ye spread forth his word ; attend upon the sacra- your hands, I will hide mine eyes ments, and become conversant with from you; yea, when ye make mascenes of awful interest. All this ny prayers I will not hear. will exert an ameliorating influence I will only add, in the conclu. upon a sanctified heart, and pro- sion, if there are any in the visible duce the happiest impression upon church, in greater danger than a pious mind. But no such results others, they are those who are so will follow where all is carnal and little acquainted and impressed dead. The spirituality and the with the deceitfulness of the heart, interest of the duties servé only to and are so little alarmed at the increase the insensibility of the idea of deception, as not to feel conscience, and the sacredness of deep solicitude, and to institute the the subjects discussed and listened most faithful self-examination, and to, destroys the excitability of to endeavour if possible to gain moral feeling. By becoming fa- some new evidence of a vital union miliar with awful truths and hypo- to the Lord Jesus Christ. critically going through with sol
M. M. emn duties, the tenderness and
ON THË NATURE OF PROVIDENCH. changes in the successive creations
of the axe, in the successive creaI STRUCK a young sapling with tions of the tree.* my axe : it was parted : the top On the other hand, when the tree fell on the ground to perish, while is said to be parted by means, it is the trunk and root still remained in meant that the application of the their place to vegetate. The tree axe was a physical force, which of was parted : this event took place itself was sufficient to part the tree! in the creation of God, and under so of the application of the arm to his superintending providence. The the axe, and that my volition was a question is raised, whether the cause sufficient to account for the providence of God, in regard to this motion of my arm ; and that my event, was mediate, or immediate. existence, with that superintending Was the tree parted by the axe and providence which offered the inthe axe wielded by me, so that ducement, was sufficient to account the providence which rendered for my volition. Here is casuality sure my volition, rendered sure, and power in created things : on through these mediate causes, the the other view there is none. parting of the tree : or was the tree I think both views are rendered parted by the immediate efficiency of sufficiently clear for examining the the Creator ; my arm and the axe question ; which view is correct? wielded by his immediate efficien- On either view, it is obvious, that cy? They who maintain that provi. if we spoke of the providence of dence is immediate, affirm the lat- God, truth would require us to say ter; they who maintain that it is · that God parted the tree : and almediate, affirm the former. Which so, if the parting of it occasioned are in the right ?
any injury or benefit to any one, to The tree was parted by the im say that God did the evil, or that mediate agency of God: What is God did the good. If God were this? I can resolve it into nothing to inspire any one to speak of his else, consistently with the notion of providence in this instance, the immediate agency in all things, prophet must use this same lanthan this ; that God, at the instant before the parting of the tree, crea * The notion of immediate efficiency ted it whole ; at the instant of its as maintained by Malebranche, in his parting, created it in two parts ; “La Recherche de la Verite," I know, is and then created the two parts in somewhat different from this definition. two places, as many times as the
Yet as it involves the absence of all casu
ality in created things, and refers every two parts changed their relative
change to the direct efficiency of the Depositions in the fall of the top to the ity, on created things, I see not why the ground. He created it in two parts, theory, pushed to its legitimate results, instead of continuing to create it
comes not to the above given view. If
what is called external things are mere whole : this is his immediate agen
occasions on which the Deity gives efficy in its parting. But how was the
ciently to the mind, its perceptions and axe wielded by his immediate agen volitions, and if these perceptions and cy? That was constantly created volitions, thus given, are the mere occain all the positions it occupied ; an
sions on which he efficiently gives to
matter its motions, where I ask, does any instant before the parting of the
occasion exist for the Deity efficiently to tree, by the side of the tree ; at operate, but in the direct result of an ime the parting, between the two mediate preceding efficient operation parts of the tree. I say nothing of his own ? Must not the things themof the motion of my arm, for that is
selves therefore as well as the changes in
them, be the products of immediate creto be explained in the same way. ative efficiency? At least, the theory My volition ; that was immediately is pushed to these legitimate results of it created, and just before these by theologians at the present day.
guage; God parted the tree; God The inspiration of the prophets did the evil: God did the good. was an act of immediate providence. Were the prophet to say this, and God produced in their minds immewere he to call on the person who diately the perception and belief of experienced this evil or good, to certain truths. This implies that shew corresponding submission or his common providence, in this regratitude, all would apply to a spect, is mediate. How else shall providence that is mediate. We we make this distinction ? God could infer nothing from his lan- creates immediately the perception guage respecting the question : and belief of a certain truth in the which view is correct ?
prophet : he creates as immediateThe question still returns : ly, the advocate of an immediate which view is correct ? No one in providence says, the perception and fers any thing else than a mediate belief of a certain proposition, in providence from his observation of me : which, I ask then, is the rer. facts. Mechanical power in the elation ? Some people think and axe parted the tree : muscular believe very differently from the strength wielded the axe. This prophets : whose thoughts are is plain and intelligible: and the most immediately derived from the conviction of it always arises on Fountain of knowledge ? observing the facts. God created The Holy Spirit excites to all holy the tree whole at one instant : desires, by his influences. The ad. at the next he created it in two vocate of immediate providence asparts: no one ever comes to serts, that all desires holy or unthis conclusion, by observing a holy, are immediately created of tree when it falls under the axe : it God. What room, then, is there for must result from a process of ab- the peculiar influences of the Spirit stract reasoning.
in regard to those which are holy ? The process of reasoning relied A mediate providence accounts for on for the conclusion that provi- the occasion : an immediate one. dence is immediate, is defective. excludes it altogether. Which view God created all things, is the pre- of providence is correct? mise : therefore it is concluded, Our fathers believed in a mediate acts of constant creation account providence : and they are not to be for all changes. God immediately despised, either for their talents, created iron : therefore he imme. their piety, or their diligent study of diately created the axe : does this divine truth. “God in his ordinary follow? The advocate of a medic providence maketh use of means, ate providence constructs as good yet is free to work without, above, a syllogism, and one that is more and against them at pleasure." “ By consistent with observation, when his providence, he ordereth [all he says : God created all things things) to fall out according to the originally, and upholds them, with their various powers ; these estab- physical changes which take place in it, lished powers, together with his in- is then most true,-as it is most true also terpositions, account for the chan that the same Power, who gave the uni
verse its laws, can, for the particular purposes of his providence, vary these at
pleasure. But there is no reason to sup* I will quote, for your readers, a pas- pose that the objects which he has made sage from Brown on the philosophy of the surely for some ends, have, as made by Human Mind, who has most ably con- him, no efficacy, no power of being infuted the theory of Malebranche. strumental to his own great purpose
" That the Deity, in this sense, as the merely because whatever power they can Creator of the world and willer of all those be supposed to have, must have been degreat ends, which the laws of the uni- rived from the Fountain of all power."verse accomplish,-is the author of the Lect. XXX.
pature of the second causes, either initely, until it is impeded by resistnecessarily, freely, or contingent- ing power at C. Why shall we not ly.”* According to their view, the say that the effect of creative powblow of the axe parted the tree byer remains, until it is destroyed by mechanical force, “necessarily;" annihilating power ; or that what the contraction of the muscle of the Creator wills to be, continues the arm that wielded it was caused to be, until he wills it not to be? by a choice of the mind, “ freely ;" An act of creation repeated at and the volition itself took place in each infinitessimal of time! What consequence of my power of choice is this? From the moment I raised and the inducements which sur- the axe till it parted the tree, a rounded me at the time, "contin- space of time elapsed, which like gently."
the line described by its motion, is An immediate providence re- infinitely divisible. But because solves all the changes transpiring you can divide time into portions, into one simple cause, the contin- does it follow that substance itself ued creating agency of God. Acts requires a corresponding successof creation are repeated, in regard ion of creative efforts to give it proto each minutest thing in the whole longed existence? Why may not universe, at every infinitessimal of prolonged existence be the effect of time. But is the universe thus con- the first creative effort ? Has time stantly twinkling in and out of ex- itself any causality to destroy a subistence? Or, does the continued stance, that it should occasion this existence of a thing resolve itself new demand on omnipotence ? necessarily into more than one ori. These questions deserve deep ponginal act giving it existence ? Does dering. not the iron composing the axe ex I ask the advocate of immediate ist with its properties in conse- efficiency, what exists ? I believed quence of the original act of crea- that I wielded an axe against the tree. tion ?
But that belief was immediately In all our observations in regard created : but if the belief was di. to power, we are brought to this rectly infused by creating power, I conclusion ; that the effect of it al- have no evidence of the real existways remains, until it is destroyed ence of any substances which I call by counteracting power. The axe myself, the axe, the tree. There once sharpened by me, continued is nothing of which I am sure but so, till the accident which befel it, the created belief. Nothing exin striking upon a rock after it part ists but certain mental perceptions. ed the tree. The body moved at With one breath the material uniA, passes through the line B, indef- verse is swept away into a bare
mental perception. Why not the * Confession of Faith of the Colony of being of God himself, by the same Connecticut.
INFLUENCE OF NERVOUS DISORDERS in admitting the existence of an inUPON RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE. timate sympathy between the cor
poreal and intellectual powers. NoThough metaphysicians and thing exhibits this mutual connecphysiologists may not be able to de- tion and dependence more clearly cide what particular bodily organ than disease. How soon is a vigis the seat of the soul, yet all agree orous frame broken down by the Vol. I.-No, IV.
ravings of insanity, or the tumult of viz. the influence of nervous disexcited passions! And how often eases upon religious experience. is the giant mind shorn of its We deem it necessary, however, strength, and reduced to the feeble for a reason to which we have alness of infancy, through the influ- luded, to make some preliminary ence of its disordered and enfeeb- remarks, before entering directly led tenement! We know indeed, upon this subject. that there are instances in which It is customary with very many this influence seems to be but par- in society, even of the intelligent tially felt. These cases, however, and discerning, to treat nervous discan be regarded only as the excep- eases as imaginary complaints, tions to a general law.
which are better cured by ridicule The nervous system is evidently and severity, than by medical prethe medium of communication be- scription. Perceiving that persons tween mind and matter. For no affected with these complaints are sensation can exist where the subject to great depression of spirnerves are destroyed : and without its, and much disposed to regard sensation we could have no idea of their case as worse than it is ; those external objects. Hence, then, we who enjoy firm health, are led to might conclude that in those bodily impute all to imagination; and disorders in which the nerves are to say it is spleen, or hypochondri. but slightly affected, the mind asis, or hysterics, or vapours; would retain its vigour : whereas terms to which no very definite those complaints whose origin or idea is attached. And in order to seat is in the nerves, must affect the cure such complaints, these permind in a correspondent degree sons think it necessary only to diAnd these conclusions are confirm- vert the attention of the patient ed by experience.
from himself, and convince him that Now there is a class of maladies, he has no disorder upon him, and very prevalent at this day, that are that he will be well enough, if he termed nervous diseases,* because leaves off attention to diet and regi. their origin is either in the nervous men, and eats, and drinks, and system, or the nerves are power- lives, like other folks. Others, fully affected. And so great is their who have seen somewhat more of influence upon the mind, that a ma. nervous complaints, suppose that jority of mankind, who have not they indicate some slight derangestudied their nature, or felt their ment of the system, which needs power, regard them as mere men- only a little additional exercise to tal weakness or aberration. To correct. But they have no idea these disorders, to their effects upon that these complaints, like other the mind, we wish, in this place, to disorders, have usually a regular call the attention of the reader. course from one stage to another, Yet it is not the object of this paper until, if unchecked, they terminate to consider all their relations to in dissolution. mental operations, except so far as That such are the views of a will illustrate this particular point, large portion of mankind on this
subject is undeniable. But are * In strict medical language, we sup- these views correct? We have no pose apoplexy, palsy, epilepsy, &c. are hesitation in stating decisively, that called nervous diseases, but we use the term in its more popular sense to denote
nervous diseases are as real as any those chronic complaints in which the
other ; that they are not merely nerves and the digestive organs are chief- mental hallucinations ; but that ly affected.
the particular affections of the mind