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A fact may be truly stated, and yet the cause or reason assigned for it mistaken, or inadequate, or pars pro toto,--one only or few of many that might or should have been adduced. The preceding Aphorism is an instance in point. The phaenomenon here brought forward by the Bishop, as the ground and occasion of men's belief of a future state--namely, the frequent, not to say ordinary, disproportion between moral worth and worldly prosperity--must, indeed, at all times and in all countries of the civilized world have led the observant and reflecting few, the men of meditative habits and strong feelings of natural equity, to a nicer consideration of the current belief, whether instinctive or traditional. By forcing the soul in upon herself, this enigma of Saint and Sage from Job, David and Solomon, to Claudian and Boelius,--this perplexing disparity of success and desert,--has, I doubt not, with such men been the occasion of a steadier and more distinct consciousness of a something in man different in kind, and which not merely distinguishes but contra-distinguishes him from brute animals--at the same time that it has brought into closer view an enigma of yet harder solution--the fact, I mean, of a contradiction in the human being, of which no traces are observable elsewhere, in animated or inanimate nature. A struggle of jarring impulses; a mysterious diversity between the injunctions of the mind and the elections of the will; and (last not least) the utter incommensurateness and the unsatisfying qualities of the things around us, that yet are the only objects which our senses discover, or our appetites require us to pursue:--whence for the finer and more contemplative spirits the ever-strengthening suspicion, 274 that the two phaenomena must in some way or other stand in close connexion with each other, and that the riddle of fortune and circumstance is but a form or effluence of the riddle of man:--and hence again, the persuasion, that the volution of both problems is to be sought for--hence the presentiment, that this solution will be found--in the contra-distinctive constituent of humanity, in the something of human nature which is exclusively human:--and--as the objects discoverable by the senses, as all the bodies and substances that we can touch, measure, and weigh, are either mere totals, the unity of which results from the parts, and is of course only apparent; or substances, the unity of action of which is owing to the nature or arrangement of the partible bodies which they actuate or set in motion (steam for instance, in a steam-engine);--as on the one hand the conditions and known or conceivable properties of all the objects which perish and utterly cease to be, together with all the properties which we ourselves have in common with these perishable things, differ in kind from the acts and properties peculiar to our humanity, so that the former cannot even be conceived, cannot without a contradiction in terms be predicated, of the proper and immediate subject of the latter--(for who would not smile at an ounce of truth, or a square foot of honour?)--and as, on the other hand, whatever things in visible nature have the character of permanence, and endure amid continual flux unchanged like a rainbow in a fast-flying shower, (for example, beauty, order, harmony, finality, law,) are all akin to the peculia of humanity, are all congenera of mind and will, without which indeed they would not only exist in vain, as pictures for moles, but actually not exist at all:--hence, finally, the conclusion that the soul of man, as the subject 275 of mind and will must likewise possess a principle of permanence, and be destined to endure. And were these grounds lighter than they are, yet as a small weight will make a scale descend, where there is nothing in the opposite scale, or painted weights, which have only an illusive relief or prominence; so in the scale of immortality slight reasons are in effect weighty, and sufficient to determine the judgment, there being no counter weight, no reasons against them, and no facts in proof of the contrary, that would not prove equally well the cessation of the eye on the removal or diffraction of the eye-glass, and the dissolution or incapacity of the musician on the fracture of his instrument or its strings.

But though I agree with Taylor so far, as not to doubt that the misallotment of worldly goods and for tunes was one principal occasion, exciting well-disposed and spiritually-awakened natures by reflections and reasonings, such as I have here supposed, to mature the presentiment of immortality into full consciousness, into a principle of action and a well-spring of strength and consolation; I cannot concede to this circumstance any thing like the importance and extent of efficacy which he in this passage attributes to it. I am persuaded, that as the belief of all mankind, of all** tribes, and nations,

**I say, all: for the accounts of one or two travelling French philosophers, professed atheists and partisans of infidelity, respecting one or two African hordes, Caffres, and poor outlawed Boschmen, hunted out of their humanity, ought not to be regarded as exceptions. And as to Hearne's assertion respecting the non-existence and rejection of the belief among the Copper-Indians, it is not only hazarded on very weak and insufficient grounds, but he himself, in another part of his work, unconsciously supplies data, from whence the contrary may safely be concluded. Hearne, perhaps, put down his friend Motannabbi's Fort-philosophy for 276 and languages, in all ages, and in all states of social union, it must be referred to far deeper grounds, common to man as man; and that its fibres are to be traced to the tap-root of humanity. I have long entertained, and do not hesitate to avow, the conviction that the argument from universality of belief urged by Barrow and others in proof of the first article of the Creed, is neither in point of fact--for two very different objects may be intended, and two or more diverse and even contradictory conceptions may be expressed, by the same name--nor in legitimacy of conclusion as strong and unexceptionable, as the argument from the same ground for the continuance of our personal being after death. The bull calf butts with smooth and unarmed brow. Throughout animated nature, of each characteristic organ and faculty there exists a pre-assurance, an instinctive and practical anticipation; and no pre-assurance common to a whole species does in any instance prove delusive.* All other prophecies of nature have their exact fulfilment--in every other ingrafted word of promise, nature is found true to her word; and is it in her noblest creature, that she tells her first lie?--(The reader will, of course, understand, that I am here speaking in the assumed character of a

the opinion of his tribe; and from his high appreciation of the moral character of this murderous gymnosophist, it might, I fear, be inferred, that Hearne himself was not the very person one would, of all others, have chosen for the purpose of instituting the inquiry.

*See Baron Field's Letters from New South Wales. The poor natives, the lowest in the scale of humanity, evince no symptom of any religion, or the belief of any superior power as the maker of the world; but yet have no doubt that the spirits of their ancestors survive in the form of porpoises, and mindful of their descendants, with imperishable affection, drive the whales ashore for them to feast on. 277 mere naturalist, to whom no light of revelation had been vouchsafed: one, who

---------------------with gentle heart

Had worshipp'd nature in the hill and valley,

Not knowing what he loved, but loved it all).

Whether, however, the introductory part of the Bishop's argument is to be received with more or less qualification, the fact itself, as stated in the concluding sentence of the Aphorism, remains unaffected, and is beyond exception true.

If other argument and yet higher authority were required, I might refer to St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, and to the Epistle to the Hebrews, which whether written by Paul, or, as Luther conjectured, by Apollos, is out of all doubt the work of an Apostolic man filled with the Holy Spirit, and composed while the Temple and the glories of the Temple worship were yet in existence. Several of the Jewish and still Judaizing converts had begun to vacillate in their faith, and to stumble at the stumbling-stone of the contrast between the pomp and splendour of the old Law, and the simplicity and humility of the Christian Church. To break this sensual charm, to unfascinate these bedazzled brethren, the writer to the Hebrews institutes a comparison between the two religions, and demonstrates the superior spiritual grandeur, the greater intrinsic worth and dignity of the religion of Christ. On the other hand, at Rome where the Jews formed a numerous, powerful, and privileged class (many of them, too, by their proselyting zeal and frequent disputations with the priests and philosophers trained and exercised polemics) the recently-founded Christian Church was, it appears, in greater danger from the reasonings of the Jewish doctors and even of its own Judaizing 278 members, respecting the use of the new revelation. Thus the object of the Epistle to the Hebrews was to prove the superiority of the Christian religion; the object of the Epistle to the Romans to prove its necessity. Now there was one argument extremely well calculated to stagger a faith newly transplanted and still loose at its roots, and which, if allowed, seemed to preclude the possibility of the Christian religion, as an especial and immediate revelation from God--on the high grounds, at least, on which the Apostle of the Gentiles placed it, and with the exclusive rights and superseding character, which he claimed for it. "You admit" (said they) "the divine origin and authority of the Law given to Moses, proclaimed with thunders and lightnings and the voice of the Most High heard by all the people from Mount Sinai, and introduced, enforced, and perpetuated by a series of the most stupendous miracles. Our religion, then, was given by God: and can God give a perishable imperfect religion? If not perishable, how can it have a successor? If perfect, how can it need to be superseded? The entire argument is indeed comprised in the latter attribute of our law. We know, from an authority which you yourselves acknowledge for divine, that our religion is perfect. He is the rock, and his work is perfect. (Deut. xxxii, 4). If then the religion revealed by God himself to our forefathers is perfect, what need have we of another?"--This objection, both from its importance and from its extreme plausibility, for the persons at least, to whom it was addressed, required an answer in both Epistles. And accordingly, the answer is included in the one (that to the Hebrews) and it is the especial purpose and main subject of the other. And how does the Apostle answer it? Suppose--and the 279 case is not impossible*--a man of sense, who had studied the evidences of Priestley and Paley with Warburton's Divine Legation, but who should be a perfect stranger to the writings of St. Paul; and that I put this question to him:--"What do you think, will St. Paul's answer be?" "Nothing," he would reply,"can be more obvious. It is in vain, the Apostle will urge, that you bring your notions of probability and inferences from the arbitrary interpretation of a word in an absolute rather than a relative sense, to invalidate a known fact. It is a fact, that your religion is (in your sense of the word) not perfect: for it is deficient in one of the two essential constituents of all true religion, the belief of a future state on solid and sufficient grounds. Had the doctrine indeed been revealed, the stupendous miracles, which you most truly affirm to have accompanied and attested the first promulgation of your religion, would have supplied the requisite proof. But the doctrine was not revealed; and your belief of a future state rests on no solid grounds. You believe it (as far as you believe it, and as many of you as profess this belief) without

*The case here supposed actually occurred in my own experience in the person of a Spanish refugee, of English parents, but from his tenth year resident in Spain, and bred in a family of wealthy, but ignorant and bigoted, Roman Catholics. In mature manhood he returned to England, disgusted with the conduct of the priests and monks, which had indeed for some years produced on his mind its so common effect among the better-informed natives of the South of Europe--a tendency to Deism. The results, however, of the infidel system in France, with his opportunities of observing the effects of irreligion on the French officers in Spain, on the one hand; and the undeniable moral and intellectual superiority of Protestant Britain on the other, had not been lost on him: and here he began to think for himself and resolved to study the subject. He had gone through Bishop Warburton's Divine Legation, and Paley's Evidences; but had never read the New Testament consecutively, and the Epistles not at all. 280 revelation, and without the only proper and sufficient evidence of its truth. Your religion, therefore, though of divine origin, is (if taken in disjunction from the new revelation, which I am commissioned to proclaim) but a religio dimidiata; and the main purpose, the proper character, and the paramount object of Christ's mission and miracles, is to supply the missing half by a clear discovery of a future state; and (since 'he alone discovers who proves') by proving the truth of the doctrine, now for the first time declared with the requisite authority, by the requisite, appropriate, and alone satisfactory evidences."

But is this the Apostle's answer to the Jewish oppugners, and the Judaizing false brethren, of the Church of Christ? It is not the answer, it does not resemble the answer, returned by the Apostle. It is neither parallel nor corradial with the line of argument in either of the two Epistles, or with any one line; but it is a chord that traverses them all, and only touches where it cuts across. In the Epistle to the Hebrews, the directly contrary position is repeatedly asserted: and in the Epistle to the Romans, it is every where supposed. The death to which the Law sentenced all sinners (and which even the Gentiles without the revealed law had announced to them by their consciences, the judgment of God having been made known even to them) must be the same death, from which they were saved by the faith of the Son of God; or the Apostle's reasoning would be senseless, his antithesis a mere equivoque, a play on a word, quod idem sonat, aliud vult. Christ redeemed mankind from the curse of the law: and we all know, that it was not from temporal death, or the penalties and afflictions of the present life, that believers have been redeemed The Law, of which the inspired sage of Tarsus is 281 speaking, from which no man can plead excuse; the Law miraculously delivered in thunders from Mount Sinai, which was inscribed on tables of stone for the Jews, and written in the hearts of all men (Rom. xi, 15)--the law holy and spiritual! What was the great point, of which this law, in its own name, offered no solution;--the mystery, which it left behind the veil, or in the cloudy tabernacle of types and figurative sacrifices? Whether there was a judgment to come, and souls to suffer the dread sentence? Or was it not far rather--what are the means of escape; where may grace be found, and redemption? St. Paul says, the latter. The law brings condemnation: but the conscience-sentenced transgressor's question, "What shall I do to be saved? Who will intercede for me?" she dismisses as beyond the jurisdiction of her court, and takes no cognizance thereof, save in prophetic murmurs or mute outshadowings of mystic ordinances and sacrificial types. Not, therefore, that there is a life to come, and a future state; but what each individual soul may hope for itself therein; and on what grounds: and that this state has been rendered an object of aspiration and fervent desire, and a source of thanksgiving and exceeding great joy; and by whom, and through whom, and for whom, and by what means, and under what conditions--these are the peculiar and distinguishing fundamentals of the Christian Faith! These are the revealed lights and obtained privileges of the Christian Dispensation. Not alone the knowledge of the boon, but the precious inestimable boon itself, is the grace and truth that came by Jesus Christ. I believe Moses, I believe Paul; but I believe in Christ.

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