תמונות בעמוד

interminable state which is to follow; when we see that the object of these divine precepts is to produce peace on the earth and good will anong men, and also consider that one of the most glorious attributes of the Deity is love, the source from which these precepts have originated becomes apparent, and there is no longer room for doubt.

“ 26. As it is clear, then, that the dispensations of the Divine Being have a reference to the happiness of man, it follows that the exercise of benevolence and deeds of mercy must, in a peculiar manner, be consistent with his will. It seems, indeed, that by an ordinance of his providence these acts are made a source of the purest pleasure. If, says a celebrated author, thou doest good to man, as an evidence of thy love to God, that peace which is the foretaste of Paradise shall be thy reward on earth. And I need not tell those who are engaged in the medical profession how many opportunities they have of exercising the best feelings of the heart. They will be called to see human nature under the most afflicting and trying circumstances. It is when the mind is subdued by misfortune, and when the body is oppressed with disease and pain, that the value of the balm of sympathy is most fully appreciated. He who is qualified to administer it, under these circumstances, may be regarded as an angel of mercy, a delegate from Heaven. Yoar

, profession is a liberal one, and it is expected that your conduct should do honour to that profession. It is not enough that you merely bring to it that knowledge which is essential to the cure of diseases, suffering humanity requires something more : it requires soothing manners, it demands sensiblity of heart, and those exalted feelings which distinguish the man and the Christian. These qualifications are necessary to complete the character of a medical man ; they will not only be acceptable in the sight of God, but being congenial with every noble sentiment of the heart, will powerfully contribute to advance éven your temporal interest, and enable you to make your way in the world.

“ 27. In all your commerce with mankind, and in every action of your lives, endeavour to be guided by that sense of right and wrong which is given to every human being, and which is only lost by continued disobedience to manifested duty. Let truth be your constant object: pursue it with noble simplicity, and you will disdain cunning, for there will be nothing which you could wish to hide. If

you should ever be placed in delicate circumstances, where your duty may seem opposed to your temporal interest, dare to do right, trusting to Him who sees in secret, and who will not fail to reward you openly. While


thus act from principle, you cannot but be happy; for none have more right to be cheerful, none enjoy the good things even of this life more fully than those who are endeavouring to be fouud in the performance of their duty to God and to man : such have no cause

for anxiety as to the future: they know that they are under the protection of the greatest of beings; and He will bless them with that internal tranquillity, with that peace of mind which the wealth of the Indies cannot purchase, and which nothing in this world can deprive them of. He will support them through the trials of time, and when these are over, will receive them to himself in a happy eternity:

“ 28. The signs of the times we live in are interesting in no common degree. Never, perhaps, in the annals of mankind was so much active benevolence at work, never on so extensive a scale; and gratifying must it be to our feelings as Englishmen, that the centre of these operations is in our own beloved country; that from Great Britain light is breaking forth and spreading into all lands : it shines from our public institutions for ameliorating the condition of man, and from none with rays more diffusive than from the British and Foreign School Society. This institution, by its comprehensive and liberal plans, has long been preparing the means for the spread of light and knowledge through the great mass of the people all over the world. It put France in motion from one end to the other. Schools for the poorest of the people were formed in all the departments, with the sanction of government; and though a sinister policy has been too success. fully exerted to check them, it will be impossible wholly to stop the good work, but it must from the progress of light and knowledge and the nature of the human mind break forth again under more favourable circumstances. In Russia, Germany, Prussia, and Sweden, the plan is embraced ; it has even been adopted in Spain, and is making rapid progress in the East Indies. In North and South America this system of instruction is peryading immense districts, and even in Africa schools have been established. The moral effects which this institution must necessasily produce are incalculable; and its ultimate success will be greatly accelerated by the stimulus it bas given and continues to give to rival institutions, which sprang up after its first establishment, and which, although not conducted on the same comprehensive and efficacious plan, are all contributing to perform part of the great work. Education may be regarded as the plough which breaks the fallow ground and eradicates the weeds, which prepares the untutored mind for the reception of the truths of religion. And see the British and Foreign Bible Society preparing for the harvest, by scattering the good seed through every clime,

• From the world's girdle to the frozen pole,' while pious individuals, of various religious persuasions, are running to and fro to increase that knowledge, on which the present and future well-being of the great human family depends. Surely these things speak in language not to be misunderstood,


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May we not hope that the era is advancing, foretold by prophecy, when the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea ?' When one song shall employ all nations ; then shall

" The dwellers in the vales, and on the rocks,
Shout to each other; aud the mountain-tops
From distant mountains catch the flying joy,
Till nation after nation, taught the strain,
Earth rolls the rapturous hosanna round,

The first principle of this address is the dogma that a something exists under the appellation of God and that its existence is distinct from all other existence. Therefore, the question proper between us, is What is God?

In your first paragraph, you find certain existences, yourself, or man as one; and finding such existences, you infer a creator or creating power; to which I would assent, if you stopped there; but you go farther, and infer also, that this creating power is like man intelligent, designing and artful. You infer, that, it was a condescension on the part of this creating power to create man and to endue him with the attribute of reason to comprehend a little of his wonderful works. · Aud but a little! Man does not appear to know any thing of the minutiæ of his creation, with reference to the original stock, and does be know more about his creator or creating power? I cannot perceive that he does, and yet we hear him, and see you, in full dogma upon the point. Of nothing does man appear to me more ignorant than of the immediate cause of his existence. -. There appear to me to be the following errors in your first paragraph. You call upon us to lift up our hearts in reverence to that awful and infinitely perfect being. What awful and infinitély perfect being? What does the lifting up of the heart mean? What function has the heart of man applicable to any such motion ? you invite us also to lift up our hearts in reverence ; while I understand the word reverence to mean, a sense of the humility of self in comparison with another object:' and therefore, that we are to lift up our hearts in humility; a contradiction that implies the double act of elevating and lowering our notions of ourselves. i My object is not a criticism on trifles of this kind; but to shew, that good sense cannot be associated with a dogma, wbére a man is ignorant: that a word of sense cannot be associated with the word god in its common acceptation.

Your first paragraph infers, that god is a being uniting ombipotence with intelligence; and that man is a being with a portion of that intelligence, but without omnipotence, an' inferior · being to god. There appears in your first paragraph the pre

sumption of comparing god with man, the creator with the creature. You find man, an effect, and create god, as the cause. You invent, from the want of that humility which you recommend to the students at Guy's Hospital, a cause, or attempt to define a cause, of which you otherwise confess a total ignorance. You call upon the students to perforin certain acts towards a power, or being, or imaginary something, which, to them and to all, is unknown, unknown too whether such acts be proper, and in another part of your address, you condemn certain persons whom you call atheists, for not following your advice, or similar advice, where they have no better instruction about what is God, than that which you give to the medical students. The gist of which is, that you call for acts to be performed, as acts founded upon positive knowledge, and make one stipulation with regard to such acts in direct contradiction to the others, that the actors must admit their humble ignorance as the necessary attribute of their positive knowledge. They must act as if they knew, and declare, as a part of that action, that they know not. Reasoning and acting from such ill-founded premises, is it strange, that so much error should exist about what is God?

Every attribute that we can see associated with intelligence is that of tickleness and variation, and still the Theist infers divine intelligence from the order and regularity of mere mechanical power. What is intelligence ? Let a sensible and sincere minded man follow up that question, and he will find nothing in it of sufficient importance to associate with superhuman power. I have asked myself the question—what is intelligence ? and I have found that I can make nothing of it distinct from animal life and the recorded experience of that life. I can make nothing superhuman of intelligence. I see it no where higher in degree than among men; and, with reference to their vices, no where lower. If William Allen can remove any part of my ignorance; I shall owe him an obligation; but why should I be so presumptuous, so foolish, as to assert and to act where I have no knowledge of what I am doing? I have no knowledge of what William Allen, in his first paragraph, calls perfect being, author and supporter of all, omnipotence, He; nor can I perceive, throughout the address, that William Allen has a knowledge, beyond his words, of any thing with such attributes.

I understand well, what, the diffusing as much comfort and happiness in our respective circles, as our abilities and peculiar circumstances will permit, means. I know this well. It is a moral precept that can be felt by all, even the most ignorant; but I know nothing of what is God. Can William Allen teach me? Can he. instruct an Atheist, or what he calls an Atheist, who presents himself for instruction to superior knowledge with due humility, and who will rejoice in any instruction, and venerate his instructor as his God?

No. 7. Vol. XIV.

Another error in your first paragraph is the passage where you say:-“ let us ever remember, that throughout these a provision for the happiness of his creatures is eminently conspicuous." What happiness? Do we find it in the vices, the diseases, the jarring interests, and the irregular deaths of mankind? Do we see it in any other animal on which man preys, or among those which prey on each other? The very best state of life is but an absence from pain; and nine tenths of animal life constitute a state of pain. Where then is the happiness? It is the phantom of the imagination only, that missing it here, weakly contemplates and hopes for it in the future-a future, to animal life, which never comes.

The identities of matter, the all that we know of it, prey upon each other ; one is fed by the decay and annihilation of others. What then is happiness, or where is it? Man is not an exception. Sooner or later, he becomes, like every other identity, the prey

of other animals or of the material elements. Where then is the providence of happiness? If I flourish by the decay of my neighbour, the power or providence that is good to me is evil to that neighbour. So it is with every other identity of matter, with every animal in particular; because, there alone our knowledge of sensations, of pleasure and pain, extend.

I have done with your first paragraph and find the question still open as to WHAT IS GOD?

In the second paragraph, you begin, by saying that nature is but a name for an effect whose cause is God. But what is God? What is nature? What do you know of matter, beyond your che. mical laboratory? And, in that laboratory, do you pray to God, to produce your compounds and your decompositions ; or do you rest entirely upon your knowledge of the powers of matter? If, with acids and alkalies, you can produce certain important effects, if you can dissolve all substances and fix all fluids in solid matter, why cannot you reason from your laboratory to the great laboratory of matter and see that it is equal to the production and preservation of that planetary system which is produced and of those animal, vegetable and mineral systems which are produced probably on each planet ?

Little minds may find a god, a thing of their own stamp, as the creator and ruler of matter; but my view of matter is, that it is beyond the power of intelligence and that intelligence cannot produce the slightest change in the motion of the smallest satel. site of the smallest planet. When I contemplate the immense bodies of fixed matter in the shape of what we call planets and which constitute the all that we know of the universe and the immense distances at which these planets roll and move frow and around each other in their universal fluid medium, my difficulty is not in considering the being that produced such effects, but how any being of the stamp of man could possibly produce such

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