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overlooking any defect or shortcoming in connection therewith ; while at the same time we would interrogate the pretensions of modern innovation.
This argument has a PSYCHOLOGICAL aspect and bearing. What has the human soul to say on this subject? Has the inner man any instructive indications to present us? There is, we think, unquestionably, a consciousness in every man, felt more or less at all times, of a certain dependence upon some thing or person higher than himself. Every language expresses it, every life illustrates it. No more, in proportion to circumstances, does the infant feel dependent on its parents or guardians, than does every man, especially in certain crises of existence, feel himself to be dependent on some higher power.
That eminently gifted rationalist, Theodore Parker, has some beautiful statements upon this point: “We are not sufficient for ourselves; not self-originated; nor self-sustained. A few years ago, and we were not; a few years hence, and our bodies shall not be. A mystery is gathered round our little life. We have but small control over things around us; are limited and hemmed in on all sides. Our schemes fail, or plans miscarry. One after another our lights go out. Our realities prove dreams. Our hopes waste away.
We are not where we would be, nor what we would be. After much experience men, powerful as Napoleon, victorious as Cæsar-confess, what simpler men knew by instinct long before, that it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” Here, if we are to listen to the voices of Nature, there is an indication of a greater, a higher than we; else there is a vacuum and a contraction in the facts of existence. And hence, as we know, in extremities in particular, man looks heavenward for a Helper, for a Deliverer, for a Father's guiding hand; while in facts of history, in human experience, we have many witnesses that the expectation is not in vain.
On the supposition that thus there is one over us “ in whom we live, and move, and have our being,” nothing is more reasonable than that he should have the right to exercise the authority, to rule and govern us; and equally rational and to be expected, that he should give us a consciousness of this. And have we no indication of this in man's nature ? Whence have we our code of morals ? How is it that every nation upon earth, and every man and woman in every nation, declares, not merely, “thou shalt and thou shalt
, not,” but “ thou ought and thou oughtest not: this is right, that is wrong?” How is it that through the wide world this obligation of duty is acknowledged as imposed by one upon whom we depend? It is demonstrative evidence that human nature has everywhere the same stamp and seal; that universally a sense of personal responsibility and accountableness is written upon the heart. This conscience, moral judgment, moral sense (call it what you will
a rose would smell as sweet by any other name,”) is common and extensive as man. “ It speaks in all languages; all dialects, barbarous and civilized, have terms which it has coined to express itself.” Hence, there is such a thing as the will seeking its law.
And thus, while the instinct, or intuition of dependence naturally points us to the existence of a being upon whom we depend ; the consciousness of subjection, not merely in fact, but as a duty, the inner conscience, calls attention to the character of that being as a moral governor, as one who has the right and the will to expect our lives to be guided and ordered according to his dictum.
And if there is thus a being in whose hands we are, upon whom we depend for our existence, a moral governor whom we ought to obey, there will be other and correspondent indications throughout the various fields of Nature. For, on the supposition of a great controlling intelligence, his works will be as one grand whole, bearing the impress of the same Divine band.
And thus, the Argument has a side, which is COSMOLOGICAL. The outer frame of nature has formed the battle ground of many an atheistic controversy, and may be the arena of many more.
But this latter we rather doubt; for the sceptical world find the ground giving way beneath them: the more nature, animate and inanimate, is interrogated, the more distinct becomes her utterances on behalf of the great Creator. All past experience and discoveries are on the side of Theism. Bacon says : "I had rather believe all the fables in the legend, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a mind. It is true that a little philosophy inclineth men to atheism, but depth in knowledge bringeth men's minds about to religion ; for while the mind looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but where it beholdeth the chain of them, confederate and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity."
“Know, by these speaking signs, a God to-day
“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his handy work.” “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and God." In this well-trodden path of the Design. Argument, the services of Paley and others who have followed him, whatever their defects, and however sneered at by certain advanced philosophers, we regard of inestimable value, and the Argument in the main, and for all practicable purposes, unanswered and unanswerable. The pith of it we would give as briefly as possible. “Contrivance,
if established, appears to me to prove everything we wish to prove. Amongst other things it proves the personality of the Deity, as distinguished from what is sometimes called "nature,' sometimes a principle;' which terms, in the mouths of those who use them philosophically, seem to be intended to admit and to express an efficacy, but to exclude and deny a personal agent. Now, that which can contrive, which can design, must be a person. These capacities constitute personality, for they imply consciousness and thought. They require that which can perceive an end or purpose, as well as the power of providing means and directing them to their end.
They require a centre in which perceptions unite, and from which volitions flow, which is mind. The acts of a mind prove the existence of a mind; and in whatever a mind resides, is a per
The position here taken by Paley is impregnable, and has never been successfully assailed. It may indeed be that his Argument, in one aspect, has been pressed too far; but then it is in the form and manner of putting it, rather than the matter: the great principle of the Argument is a rock immovable. Perhaps the term “design” ought to be limited to the acting on a plan, and not incautiously extended to the peculiar operation of thought by which a plan is constructed. Let us thus limit it, regarding the world, as bearing evidence that it is pervaded by a controlling intelligence, and the position we believe is unassailable. And the most childish, dimsighted reasoner will surely admit that intelligence implies mind, and that mind requires personality.
Our difficulty here is, not to give illustrations, but to select them, for they are profuse as summer flowers; every one may find them for himself: every branch of Nature is adapted to every other branch, and each part of organized beings correspondent to the rest : what were eyes without light, ears without sound, nostrils without perfume, &c.? But rather than give a thousand superfluous fragments, we would just instance one illustration, as given in that noble work, by Dr. Cook, Theiotes :--“Some years ago I had the misfortune to meet with the fallacies of Hume on the subject of causation. His specious
His specious sophistries shook the faith of my reason as to the being of a God, but could not overcome the repugnance of my heart to a negation so monstrous; and, consequently, left that infinite restless craving for some point of fixed repose, which Atheism not only cannot give, but absolutely and madly denies.
“One beautiful evening in May, I was reading by the light of a setting sun in my favourite Plato. I was seated on the grass
interwoven with golden blooms, immediately on the crystal Colerado of Texas. Dim in the distant West, arose, with smoky outlines, massy and irregular, the blue cones of an offshoot of the Rocky Mountains.
“I was perusing one of the Academician's most starry dreams.
It laid fast hold of my fancy without exciting my faith. I wept to think it could not be true. At length I came to that startling sentence: God geometrizes! Vain reverie,' I exclaimed, as I cast the volume at my feet. It fell close by a beautiful little flower, that looked fresh and bright, as if it had just fallen from the bosom of a rainbow. I broke it from its silvery stem, and began to examine its structure. Its stamens were five in number; its great calyx had five parts; its delicate coral base, five, parting with rays, expanding like the rays of the Texas star.
This combination of five on the same blossom appeared to me very singular. I had never thought on such a subject before. The last sentence I had just read in the page of the pupil of Socrates was ringing in my ears—God geometrizes!' There was the text, written long centuries ago; and here this little flower, in the remote wilderness of the west, furnished the commentary. There suddenly passed, as it were, before my eyes a faint flash of light-I felt my heart leap in my bosom. The enigma of the universe was open. Swift as thought I calculated the chances against the production of those three equations of five in only one flower, by any principle devoid of reason to perceive numbers. I found that there was one hundred and twenty-five chances against such a supposition. I extended the calculation to two flowers by squaring the number last mentioned. The chances amounted to the large sum of fifteen thousand six hundred and twenty-five. I cast my eyes around the forest: the old woods were literally alive with those golden blooms, where countless bees were humming, and butterflies sucking honey dews.
“I will not attempt to describe my feeling. My soul became a tumult of radiant thoughts. I took my beloved Plato from the grass, where I had tossed him in a fit of despair. Again and again I pressed him to my bosom, with a clasp tender as a mother's around the neck of her sleeping child. I kissed alternately the book and the blossom, bedewing them both with tears of joy. In my wild enthusiasm I called to the little birds on the green boughs, thrilling their cheery farewells to departing day -Sing on, sunny birds ; sing on, sweet minstrels. Lo! ye and I have a God!”
Let any one thus carefully, intelligently interrogate nature : the inner man, with its constant limitations and dependence; its rational and moral instincts and faculties; the outer world, with its thousandfold indications of bright intelligence of purpose and design ; and we are persuaded he will come to the conclusion—a conclusion, surely, devoutly to be wished-that
“ The meanest pin in Nature's frame
There's not a spot, nor deep nor high,
Now, if our position is tenable, if man's very constitution prepares him for the belief, and naturally leads him to the conclusion—that there is a supreme, intelligent, governing mind, upon whom he depends, if outward nature corresponds to this, answering to the yearnings of the inner man-then, of course, it will follow that in every country, in every age, wherever and whenever man is found there should be a general acknowledgment of the existence of this Supreme Deity. And is there not such an acknowledgment? Notwithstanding great and dark-stained accompaniments and perversions, has not every nation, has not every age borne witness to this grand foundation-truth? Where is the soil that has not witnessed the altar-sacrifice and the devout prayer ? Where the people that have not bent the knee in adoration ? And if you speak of idolatry, and object to our theory on account of the many gods of the nations, we refer you to the higher generalization, and ask you for the origin of the idea—the date and place of the invention of a God.
But it is time that we turn to a consideration of the great objections usually brought against our argument.
[An answer to objections will be given in our next number.-Ed.]
ART. VIII.DR. VAUGHAN AS AN ORATOR.
R. VAUGHAN'S sermons were too elaborate, too argumen
tative, too philosophic in their texture, to be popular with a miscellaneous audience. Nor can it be said that they gained much from his delivery; for though it was extremely artistic and finished, it generally lacked passion and pathos. Those who could follow his clear and connecting reasoning, appreciate the beauty of his historic references, and recognise the blending of vigorous thought with strong devotional sentiment which pervaded the whole, regarded his preaching as a rare treat. ourselves have always felt that we heard him to disadvantage in