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every mind; but while instances may be pointed out, (and such exist, though happily they are rare,) of utter indifference to the suffering of others, of entire ignorance of the distinction between virtue and vice, it is clear that moral sentiments are not instinctive. In p.

347 of Vol. I., we find the proposition, “ All men are mortal,” adduced as an example of an intuitive truth. This is an oversight, which only needs to be noticed to be corrected.

It would be much less easy to point out the numerous excellencies of the work before us than it has been to notice its few apparent defects. It contains a valuable body of facts applied to the establishment of a doctrine of the utmost importance. Its reasonings are, for the most part, clear, though encumbered by occasional repetitions, for which, in his preface, the author begs his readers' excuse, on the plea of an earnest desire to produce a due impression.

The time will arrive, we are persuaded, when inquiries of the nature of those before us will become more popular than they have ever been. The notion of their being surrounded by peculiar mystery, and attended by peculiar danger, is wearing out. The authority of Milton has, in this case, as in some others, been regarded with too much deference; and while orthodoxy and piety have been maintained in conjunction in the cottage, because Paradise Lost and the Bible lay together on the shelf, many wise heads have been shaken in the drawing-room, the library, and the college, at the mention of

Providence, foreknowledge, will, and fate,

Fixed fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute;” and many an allusion to the diabolic nature of such inquiries has alarmed and perplexed the young reasoner.

A little further research proves, however, that it is only through indolence, impatience, or some peculiar infirmity, that either devils or men can “find no end, in wandering

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mazes lost.” It may, perhaps, be at length allowed, that it is as unreasonable to deny the existence of eleven planets because Milton speaks of “five other wandering fires besides the moon, as to conclude that any objects of discussion are forbidden because any man suggests by implication that they are so; even if that man be Milton. Every good is liable to abuse; and the most valuable instruments are precisely those which may effect the most injury, if improperly handled; but if presented for our use, our part is to apply them carefully, and not to shrink from touching them. The real dangers which attend metaphysical inquiries are the same which attend all other inquiries, and which are wholly unconnected with the subjects of inquiry. They arise from our prejudices, our ignorance, our weakness, our presumptuous confidence, pur debasing fears; and they can no more be annihilated by depriving them of one mode of indicating their existence, than indiscretion can be cured by cutting out the tongue, or internal inflammation relieved by cooling the hands. A world of truth is before

We cannot help desiring to explore it; and we know of no interdiction which need exclude us from any part of it. We ought, therefore, to disregard the mistaken advice and impotent threats which would deter us, and


forward to the limits of science, determined to ascertain for ourselves where we must stop, and to heed no prohibition but that of Nature, or of Him who constituted Nature.


56 Nature," says Dr. T. Brown, “has not abandoned us, with principles which we must fear to examine, and with truths and illusions which we must never dare to separate. In teaching us what our powers are incapable of attaining, she has, at the same time, taught us what truths they may attain ; and within this boundary we have the satisfaction of knowing that she has placed all the truths that are important for our virtue and happiness. He, whose eyes are clearest to


discern the bounding circle, cannot, surely, be the dullest to perceive the truths that are within. The study of the power and limits of the understanding, and of the sources of evidence in external nature and ourselves, instead of either forming or favoring a tendency to scepticism, is the surest, or rather the only, mode of removing the danger of such a tendency. That mind may soon doubt even of the most important truths, which has never learned to distinguish the doubtful from the true. But to know well the irresistible evidence on which truth is founded, is to believe in it, and to believe in it for ever."


Two Essays have been added to the three published some time ago under the title of " Essays on the Lives of Cowper, Newton, and Heber ; or, an Examination of the Evidence of the Course of Nature being interrupted by the Divine Government.” We notice them as a whole, not only because we have hitherto been silent on the first publication, but because the five essays have a close connexion with each other, forming the component parts of a fine treatise on the doctrine of an Interruptive Providence.

The three first parts of this treatise contain the inferences from facts respecting the tendency of this popular doctrine: and the two last, - on Human Corruption and Divine Grace, and on Nature and Providence, — proceed to apply the principles thus obtained to a more extensive class of facts. The issue is a logical triumph over a wide-wasting superstition ; and, since Providence gave us our logic as well as our grace, we conceive that no adversary can gainsay the result without first confuting the logic.

* Essay on Nature and Providence to Communities. 8vo. pp, 79,

No three men ever lived more according to their opinions than those whose names stand in the title. No one will deny their being fair representatives of the different classes to which they belonged, whatever name is given to each class. Whether the first be called by different parties, the evangelical or the superstitious, the same class is meant, and Cowper is its representative. Whether the second be called the elect or the enthusiastic, the same class is meant, and Newton is its representative. Whether the the third be called the lukewarm or the religious, the same class is meant, and Heber is its representative. What were these men ? The first, with all his gifts and all his graces, was the most abject of spiritual slaves. The second, with all his Christianity, was the most despotic of spiritual tyrants. The third, with all his orthodox entanglements, was free, and tried to make others free, with a glorious liberty. And whence this difference, while the faith of the three was, according to the letter, the same ? The two first were practical believers in an Interruptive Providence; the third was not.

The evil tendency of such a belief being established by a chain of evidence as interesting as it is complete, it is applied to the explanation of some of the ills under which man is groaning, — the spiritual sufferings and consequent moral perversion of individuals, and the political evils and consequent moral hinderances of society. This last method of testing principles assumed to be religious, - by applying them largely to the state of society, — has not been used so exten. sively as it deserves. In the work before us, it is done with admirable success. Mr. Sadler may be ineffably scandalized at the ridicule cast upon his favorite principle of “ a selfadjusting, sacred equipoise, by which Nature proportions her numbers to her means of sustentation ;” but those to whom

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our author addresses himself, men of a clear judgment, of feelings and imaginations under their own control, and too fearful of error not to be bold in the cause of truth,” will fully agree with him in the principle which it is the aim of his book to establish, that Providence governs man by giving him unvarying principles, natural and moral, whose operation he must modify himself.

To perceive this is the best wisdom, to act upon it is the highest glory of a human being; and though but few minds have discerned this truth otherwise than faintly, and still fewer have acted upon it otherwise than fitfully and indolently, yet through it alone has there been happiness in the world. We are ready enough to allow this in whatever relates to the external world, while we hesitate to admit its uniform operation in the world within.

We admit, because we cannot help it, that the whole duty of man as regards his outward condition is to modify the operations of unchanging principles. When we grow our corn, we modify, as it suits our purpose, the influences of principles which we cannot touch, – those by which roots strike down, and sap rises, and affinities act, so as to produce now a verdant leaf and a juicy stem, and then a hard and golden grain. When we erect our dwellings, we bring various forces to bear upon one another, and obtain our purpose through their counteraction. We avail ourselves of gravitation when we lay the foundation, and of cohesion when we plaster the walls, and of combustion when we kindle our fires, and of radiation when we light our candles, and of far more principles of light and colors than the ancient world dreamed of, when we dispose our curtains and carpets and pictures and chandeliers so as to please the eye. When we cure diseases, we expose certain substances to the operation of certain principles, and either obtain the wished for result without reaching the principles themselves, or fail through

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