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are not the less influential, though unseen-morally of powerful operation, though metaphysically never analyzed or beyond the reach of analysis. Even if they suggest but the imagination of a God they are not without their importance in Theologylaying man under a most direct obligation to entertain the subject, and fastening a great moral delinquency upon his irreligious neglect of it.
8. And there is one inquiry in Natural Theology, which the constitution of the mind, and the adaptation of that constitution to the external world, are pre-eminently fitted to illustrate—we mean the character of the Deity. We hold that the material universe affords decisive attestation to His natural perfections, but that it leaves the question of His moral perfections involved in profoundest mystery. The machinery of a serpent's tooth, for the obvious infliction of pain and death upon its victims, may speak as distinctly for the power and intelligence of its Maker as the machinery of those teeth which, formed and inserted for simple mastication, subserve the purposes of a bland and beneficent economy. An apparatus of suffering and torture might furnish as clear an indication of design, though a design of cruelty, as does an apparatus for the ministration of enjoyment furnish the indication also of design, but a design of benevolence. Did we confine our study to the material constitution of things, we should meet with the enigma of many perplexing and contradictory appearances. We hope to make it manifest, that in the study of the mental constitution, this enigma is greatly alleviated, if not wholly done away; and, at all events, that within this peculiar department of evidence there lie the most full and unambiguous demonstrations, which nature hath any where given to us, both of the benevolence and the righteousness of God.
9. If, in some respects, the phenomena of mind tell us less decisively than the phenomena of matter, of the existence of God, they tell us far more distinctly and decisively of His attributes. We have already said that, from the simplicity of the mental system, we met with less there of that evidence for design which is founded on combination, or on that right adjustment and adaptation of the numerous particulars, which enter into a complex assemblage of things, and which are essential to some desirable fulfilment. It is not, therefore, through the medium of this particular evidencethe evidence which lies in combination; that the phenomena and processes of mind are the best for telling us of the Divine existence. But if otherwise, or previously told of this, we hold them to be the best throughout all nature for telling us of the Divine character. For if once convinced, on distinct grounds, that God is, it matters not how simple the antecedents or the consequents of any particular succession may be. It is enough that we know what the terms of the succession are, or what the effect is wherewith God wills any given thing to be followed up. The character of the ordination, and so the character of the ordainer, depends on the terms of the succession; and not on the nature of that intervention or agency, whether more or less complex, by which it is . 'VOL. I.
brought about. And should either term of the succession, either the antecedent or consequent, be some moral feeling, or characteristic of the mind, then the inference comes to be a very distinct and decisive one. That the sight of distress, for example, should be followed up by compassion, is an obvious provision of benevolence, and not of cruelty, on the part of Him who ordained our mental constitution. Again, that a feeling of kindness in the heart should be followed up by a feeling of complacency in the heart, that in every virtuous affection of the soul there should be so much to gladden and harmonize it, that there should always be peace within when there is conscious purity or rectitude within ; and, on the other hand, that malignity and licentiousness, and the sense of any moral transgression whatever, should always have the effect of discomforting, and sometimes even of agonizing the spirit of man--that such should be the actual workmanship and working of our nature, speaks most distinctly, we apprehend, for the general righteousness of Him who constructed its machinery and established its laws. An omnipotent patron of vice would have given another make, and a moral system with other and opposite tendencies to the creatures whom he had formed. He would have established different sequences; and, instead of that oil of gladness which now distils, as if from a secret spring of satisfaction, upon the upright; and, instead of that bitterness and disquietude which are now the obvious attendants on every species of delinquency, we should have had the reverse phenomena of a reversely
constituted species, whose minds were in their state of wildest disorder when kindling with the resolves of highest excellence; or were in their best and happiest, and most harmonious mood, when brooding over the purposes of dishonesty, or frenzied with the passions of hatred and revenge.
10. In this special track of observation, we have at least the means or data for constructing a far more satisfactory demonstration of the divine attributes, than can possibly be gathered, we think, from the ambiguous phenomena of the external world. In other words, it will be found that the mental phenomena speak more distinctly and decisively for the character of God than do the material phenomena of creation. And it should not be forgotten that whatever serves to indicate the character, serves also to confirm the existence of the Divine Being. For this character, whose signatures are impressed on nature, is not an abstraction, but must have residence on a concrete and substantive Being, who hath communicated a transcript of Himself to the workmanship of His own hands. It is thus, that, although in this special department there is greater poverty of evidence for a God, in as far as that evidence is grounded on a skilful disposition of parts,-yet, in respect of another kind of evidence, there is no such poverty; for, greatly more replete as we hold it to be with the unequivocal tokens of a moral character, we, by that simple but strong ligament of proof which connects a character with an existence, can, in the study of mind alone, find a firm stepping-stone to the existence of a God.. Our universe is sometimes termed the mirror of Him who made it. But the optical reflection, whatever it may be, must be held as indicating the reality which gave it birth ; and, whether we discern there the expression of a reigning benevolence, or a reigning justice, these must not be dealt with as the aerial or the fanciful personifications of qualities alone, but as the substantial evidences of a just and benevolent, and, withal, a living God. So that after all, if the constitution of our moral nature bear upon it decisive indications of the character of God, it must furnish at the same time strong indications of his Being. The discovery of a character implies the dicovery of an existence. We cannot separate qualities of any description from the proper substance in which they reside; and, if told of an absolute goodness and rightness in the economy of the universe, we cannot dissever our observation of such attributes as these from our helief of a good, and righteous, and withal a living Governor by whom they are realized.
11. But beside this peculiar evidence afforded by mind for the being of a God, we shall, in connexion with the study of its phenomena and its laws meet with much of that evidence, which lies in the manifold, and, withal, happy conjunction of many individual things, by the meeting together of which, some distinctly beneficial end is accomplished, brought about in that one way and in no other. For it ought further to be recollected, that, simple as the constitution of the human mind is, and proportionally unfruitful, therefore, as it anay be of that argument for a God, which is