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fashioned into a clock, these parts work regularly upon each other. We may assume, that impenetrability is an inherent quality of matter, because it is a necessary part of our conception of brute substance. But gravitation is no such necessary element. The term is nothing but a convenient generalization of many facts. We say, that a stone falls to the ground, and the earth revolves round the sun, both by the force of gravity, only because the velocities and distances of the two movements bear a fixed ratio to each other. That this similarity of action is caused by some occult quality common to the two bodies, a quality of which we have no experience, and which it is impossible to detect, is a wholly gratuitous supposition, even when the bodies are connected as parts of one system. But to carry this guesswork still further, to suppose that this imaginary quality in the parts of a machine is a property also of the inorganic substance, from which those parts are fabricated, is to turn theory into burlesque. If imagination is allowed to wander in this manner in forming hypotheses, it is unnecessary to confine ourselves to such a comparatively inefficient agent as gravitation. We may as well suppose, that every atom of matter is animated by a free and intelligent spirit, and that the unanimity of these principles regulates the action of the engine, just as proper concert between them caused its fabrication. Such a theory would be quite as plausible, as the one which considers gravity as a quality inherent in matter, to which, indeed, it is perfectly similar in character. Neither is susceptible of direct proof, or of direct refutation. They are purely imaginary.
Our position is, that in respect to the condition of matter considered entirely apart from mind, but three hypotheses are possible. First; that it is dead, formless, and motionless, and that the slightest change in its state is inconceivable. No winds agitate the surface of a chaotic ocean ; no tides heave its waters ; no waves break upon its silent shores. Secondly; that it is so moulded and arranged, that a foreign force constantly applied in one or a few directions, answering to what we call the general laws of nature, suffices to produce a great variety of effects; just as the single downward tendency of a weight causes a very complex movement in the interior of a clock, and gives origin to all the different appearances on its face. Thirdly ; that what are called secondary causes are really no causes at all, but only mark the occasions on which events and changes take place, all of which are brought about by the direct agency of a power, that is wholly foreign to this world. The second and third suppositions are equally consistent with the doctrine of the being of a God, the only difference between them relating to the manner in which his influence is exerted. In both these theories, he is represented not only as the creating, but the sustaining, power of the universe. The last of the three is certainly the most philosophical opinion, for it avoids the difficulty of attributing efficient causation to matter, where it can never be perceived, and of believing from the immediate sequence in time of two events, that there is a necessary connexion between them. But the second hypothesis is the more common one, and is equally favorable to the great doctrine, that the Deity is not only constantly present in all his works, but actuates and sustains them through his unceasing power. The succession of events is never stopped; the great clock of the universe never runs down. To deny the existence of a God is to fall back upon the first hypothesis, according to which creation and change are alike impossible, and the actual nature and appearance of things is an inexplicable dream.
Human experience, arguing from a limited number of effects, can only establish the existence of a Cause proportionate to them. The infinite power and wisdom of the Deity cannot be inferred directly from the finite evidences, which alone are subject to our observation.
But this defect in the argument a posteriori, though much insisted really of little consequence. The proof is sufficient for the great doctrine of his existence as an independent and primal cause, and with attributes beyond the power of human intellect to comprehend. The argument from the effect cannot stop short of the primitive cause. This point being established, we may safely reason from it in the inverse order of our former course, and thus supply the deficiency by a strict and unexceptionable argument a priori. That is ; the conception of the Deity and the reality of his existence, to which we rise from evidence afforded by his works, supply the required data for reasoning of the opposite character, and enable us to demonstrate his infinite goodness, wisdom, and power. Each of these attributes may be easily deduced from the doctrine of his independent nature, and primary, or un
upon, is caused, existence. We have not room to develope the proof, but refer the curious reader to Clarke's treatise, the portion of which relating to the Attributes is unexceptionable.
We had purposed to illustrate still further the positions, that the argument from design is perfectly analogous to the reasoning employed in all the inductive sciences, and that the conclusion to which it leads us cannot be rejected, without destroying at the same time the basis of all human knowledge. The illustrations which we have given are chiefly drawn from geology, not because they are more numerous and complete in that science than in any other, but because they are more obvious and striking, and require little collateral information in order to be fully understood. In astronomy, and that part of chemistry relating to imponderable agents, in the investigations respecting the history and condition of ancient tribes, and the physical history of the human race, or the science which is now called anthropology, matter enough might be found to elucidate and sustain our conclusion. But we can only allude to these sources, and leave to others the task of drawing from them additional confirmation of the truth, which we have endeavoured to establish. Enough has been said to answer our original purpose, and to vindicate the judgment of Paley in selecting his argument and avoiding all impertinent and extraneous matter. His object was merely to present in the smallest compass an argument, level to the comprehension of all, and perfectly conclusive, in favor of the great truths of natural theology. The metaphysical subtilties, with which the argument had been encumbered, were avoided by him, not more from a natural distaste for such speculations, than from a conviction that they were out of his path, and had nothing to do with the point at issue. He saw clearly the nature of the inquiry, and the place which it held relatively to other exercises of the human mind. He pursued it, not as a theorist, but as a searcher after truth ; not as a logician, nor an anatomist, nor a historian, but with the single purpose of imparting to others the full conviction, that was present to his own understanding. And the consequence has been what we noticed in the commencement of our remarks; that, while metaphysicians have exposed his errors and quibbled upon his reasoning, and men of the highest scientific reputation, with all the assistance furnished by recent discoveries, have followed upon his track, his work as a whole has never been refuted or superseded. It remains the chief text-book on the subject of which it treats, and thousands are indebted to it for a confirmation of their faith on matters of the most vital importance to man.
ART. V.- History of the Netherlands. By Thomas Col
LEY GRATTAN. New York: Harper, Brothers, & Co. 1840.
LITTLE more than a year has passed since the establishment of the Boston and Liverpool line of steam packets placed England, as may be said, in close neighbourhood with this country.
We now learn that Belgium, following the example of Great Britain, has taken the next step among the European powers towards facilitating an intercourse with the United States. We should certainly meet this movement at least half way. And before the fine steam-ship the “ British Queen,” lately purchased by the Belgian government for the passage between Antwerp and New York, makes her next voyage across the Atlantic under her new owners,
and probably with a new name, we think it advisable to lay before our readers on this side of the ocean some information, not yet generally diffused, relative to the country between which and us this gallant vessel is to form another bond. And we may fairly promise them convincing proofs of the many claims to regard and admiration, possessed by this new and still imperfectly known kingdom, - the only state which, in all the European revolutions of the last half century, has effected its independence on a rational and solid basis.
According to usage, we have placed at the head of this article the tiile of a work connected with the subject of which it treats. But, although furnishing a text on which we may extensively dilate, we regret that we have been led, by the date on its title-page, to expect much more than the volume contains. We find, in fact, that this volume, brought forth by the New York publisher so lately, is but a re-issue of the stereotyped edition published in Philadelphia some years ago, being a mere reprint of the first London edition of ihe work, which appeared in 1830, bringing the history down only to the battle of Waterloo ; while the alterations required by circumstances, and the additions called for by the popularity of the subject, and contained in several subsequent London editions which bring the matter down to 1830, are altogether omitted.
We think this extremely unjust, to the author as well as to the public. Nothing can appear much more absurd than to find in the opening paragraph of a work, bearing the date of 1840, a description of boundaries as belonging to the Kingdom of Netherlands,” which kingdom had actually ceased to exist (by the action of the revolution which separated Belgium from Holland) ten years previously. And it is, on the other hand, rather unfair to those who desire to learn the important events of Dutch and Belgian history from the year 1815 to 1830, and who are aware that the late editions of Mr. Grattan's work contain a succinct account of those transactions, that they should find themselves deprived of what may be by many considered the most valuable portion of it; for it is scarcely to be expected, that any other American publisher will reprint the book, in rivalry with the one issued from the New York press, merely for the sake of the additional matter, important as that may be.
It is but two years ago, that, in an article on international copyright,* we exposed some of the injustice done to alien writers by the present system of republication in this country. Since then a remarkable instance of hardship has been put forward in Mr. Combe's “ Notes on the United States,” in reference to a book written by his brother; and we think this new example of an old edition, quite imperfect in comparison with several subsequent editions, being re-issued merely because it had been stereotyped and the publishers do not choose to go to the small expense of recasting some passa
and reproducing the new matter, furnishes another strong argument in favor of a revision of the laws which regulate and restrain, and too often violate, the rights of foreign authors.
In the present case, however, we happen to have obtained a copy of the edition published in London in 1838. And from that source, as well as from the “ Essai Historique et Politique sur la Revolution Belge," by Nothomb, never yet translated into English, together with lighter publications on
* North American Review, Vol. XLVIII., p. 257 et seq.