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Memoirs of John Urquhart
Appendix C


ESSAY ON THE DIVISIONS OF PHILOSOPHY.

The first which I shall give, is the essay read at the commencement of the class, and which has been repeatedly referred to already. At this time it must be remembered the writer had not enjoyed the benefit of Dr. Chalmers’s course. It had only then begun. The subject is difficult, the paper is short; but the statement is most luminous, and the illustration uncommonly beautiful and felicitous.

In considering this subject, the question has very forcibly presented itself to us, "Why, in the physical department of philosophy, have the divisions and sub-divisions been carried to such a degree of minuteness, while in the moral department, they are comparatively few?" Not, we conceive, because in the latter the field of observation is more limited, or the materials more scanty than in the former; (for quite the reverse of this we believe to be true,) but chiefly because the latter is involved in the darkness of mystery, which entirely obscures many of those lines of demarcation, which even in the former, are not very strongly delineated.

Let us suppose, in illustration of this, that a man wholly unacquainted with the classifications of philosophy, looked around on an ordinary landscape. There are traces of such marked distinction between some of the objects, and such strong points of resemblance between others, that he could not fail to make some general arrangement and classification of the whole. He would at once distinguish the land from the water, and the green herbage from the naked rock, and the houses from the trees, and the animate from the inanimate objects that surrounded him. If we further suppose that while he was thus gazing on the scene, the shades of night began to gather around him, it is easy to conceive how many of the nicer lines of distinction which were before so apparent, would now become dim and undiscernible; how the sky would seem to mingle with the ocean; and how the herbage, and the trees, and the houses, and the animals, would be involved in one dark shade of unvaried sameness; and how, where he could before point out many a division, and many a sub-division, two or three grand lineaments, and these but faintly perceptible, would be all he could discern within the whole range of his survey.

And thus it is with the two grand divisions of philosophy; the philosophy of matter, and the philosophy of mind. In the one we have to do with an external world, where all is luminous and distinct; in the other we have to do with the busy world within, where all is seen as through a glass, darkly. Need we wonder, then, that the one has been far more minutely divided and sub-divided than the other?

Accordingly we find that while mental science has been divided into three parts, viz., Logic, Rhetoric, and Moral Philosophy, the divisions of physical science amount to at least ten times that number.

But not only are the divisions of mental science few, but few as they are, they have been confounded together. And this we think has arisen, not so much from that obscurity which envelopes the whole subject, as from the intimate connection with each other of its different departments.

There is here a distinction, which we would notice, between the physical and mental sciences, that while the materials of the former are widely scattered over the whole face of nature, and seem not to be connected by any common tie, those of the latter have all a reference to a single object—the human mind. It is thus, that, as among the members of the human body, there exists among all the departments of this latter science, a common sympathy, if we may so speak; so that if one suffer, all suffer with it; if one is injured, all are injured. And it is this very close connection which has been the cause of their being confounded together.

To illustrate this, let us suppose that war has been declared against one of two confederate states, and that the inhabitants of the other come promptly forward, to defend the territories of their ally, and that after they have succeeded in beating off the enemy, they still linger in the country, and become gradually so amalgamated with the original inhabitants, that in process of time the two peoples are confounded in one.

Now this, we think, is just what has happened with regard to the moral and intellectual philosophies. Distinctly separate, yet nearly allied; the attack which Mr. Hume made upon the one, struck, though indirectly, at the very vitals of the other, and the champions of moral science wisely took the alarm. It was then first, that with a laudable zeal, they overstepped the limits of their own domain; and had they returned when tranquillity was restored, they had done well. It is not for going forth to meet a common enemy that we censure them, but because when that enemy was defeated, they still lingered in a foreign land, and forgot to retire within their own peculiar territories.

ESSAY ON THE ANALOGY WHICH SUBSISTS BETWEEN THE OPERATIONS OF NATURE AND THE OPERATIONS OF POLITICAL ECONOMY.

On the 31st of the same month he read another essay in the class, on one of the topics of Political Economy, around which the fertile genius of Dr. Chalmers has thrown a fascination and a splendour, of which the subject was not previously supposed to be susceptible. How thoroughly his pupil was imbued with the ardent spirit of his professor, this essay most powerfully illustrates. Every reader will form his own judgment of the argument. Of the composition of the paper, and the beauty of the illustration, there can be but one opinion.

It has been said by some writers of natural history, that an antidote to the venom of the serpent is to be found within the body of the animal itself. We know not whether there be any truth in this assertion; but if there he, that must surely be a very beautiful mechanism by which those very organs which produce a deadly poison, produce also a remedy for its fatal effects; and surely that arrangement is a display of the most consummate wisdom by which the efficient cause of an evil is also the efficient cause of its cure.

Now there is a principle very much akin to this, which exists in almost all the operations of nature, a principle to which nature in a great measure owes that constancy for which she has been so greatly admired. The principle we refer to is this, —That an operation of nature whenever it arrives at that stage in its progress, where its effects would begin to be detrimental, by a very beautiful constitution of things, gives rise to an operation of an opposite tendency, and thus works out a cure for those very evils which itself seemed to threaten. Thus, were we unacquainted with the workings of nature, and did we behold the sun, day after day, shining on the earth with unclouded splendour; and did we perceive that, day after day, in consequence of this the soil was becoming more parched; and did we further know that, without moisture, vegetation would cease, and the fruits of the earth could not come to perfection, — we might well look forward with the most dismal foreboding to what would seem the inevitable consequence. But how would our fears give place to our admiration of the Creator’s wisdom and goodness, when we were told that that sun which we were thus contemplating as the cause of so much misery, was at that very moment gathering by the influence of his rays, the waters of the ocean, and suspending them in mighty reservoirs above us, which would again gently descend over the whole surface of our earth, and thus refresh the drooping plants, and give a new impulse to the economy of vegetation. There is another very beautiful instance of the operation of this principle. When any particular region of the earth begins to be overheated, the air is rarefied, -- it consequently ascends; the cool air which is around, rushes in to supply its place, and thus does a refreshing breeze blow over that land, which had else been in a short time rendered uninhabitable.

And now to apply this to the subject before us. In the operations of political economy, as well as in the operations of nature, there is a beautiful constancy; and it is truly wonderful to think what a rough handling a nation will come through, and with what hardihood she will endure it; to think how famine and pestilence, and foreign war, and internal commotion, will successively lay hold of her; and how she will escape from their grasp, and in a few short years will be nearly what she was before she was subjected to it. And as the operations of political economy resemble the operations of nature in their constancy, we think they also resemble them in the cause of this constancy; and we shall try to illustrate this by an example or two.

Thus, in every country there should be a certain relation between the produce and the population; and it is interesting to observe how the constancy of this relation is maintained, through all the changes to which a nation is exposed.

Let us suppose, for example, that by improvements in tilling the ground, in the rotations of the crops, &c., the agricultural produce is increased, and thus the constancy of the relation between the produce and the population is for a time destroyed. There is in this instance a superabundance of produce, or what is the same thing, there is a deficiency of population. Now let us see how the original relation between them is again restored. The agricultural produce being increased, more corn is brought to market, and the demand, in the first instance at least, remains the same: the consequence is, corn is cheapened. The cheapening of corn again puts more of the inhabitants in a condition to support a family; marriages take place earlier, and the population is increased; and thus is the deficiency made up, and the proper relation between the produce and the population again restored.

But it must be evident to every one, that were the population thus to go on increasing indefinitely, the proper relation would soon be more than restored, the ratio would become reversed, and instead of a superabundance of produce, there would soon be a redundancy of population. But here, too, may we behold the beautiful effect of that arrangement, by which the remedy for the evil is involved in the evil itself. As the population has now increased, the demand has also increased: but in this latter instance the supply has remained the same; the natural consequence of which is, that the price of corn rises. It is now of course more difficult to support a family; marriages are discouraged, and thus does the very increase of population, as soon as it comes to that point where its further increase would be detrimental, actually bring a check upon itself.

Again, from various causes we sometimes see an old manufacture abolished. And here there would seem to be a great and immediate evil; a vast number of operatives are thrown out of employment. And yet, if we consider the subject attentively, we shall find that here, too, as well as in the example already adduced, if let alone, will remedy itself. And wherever we thus see an old manufacture abolished, may we with confidence predict that the wealth which supported that manufacture, will either give rise to a new one, or will so divide itself among those that yet remain, as to give a new impulse to each. And thus will the evil be remedied, and that class of the community which have been thrust from their old occupation, will either find employment in a new manufacture, or will be parceled out among the manufactures that yet remain. There is still as much food for them in the country as before, and all that they will suffer will merely be the temporary inconvenience attending a change of employment.

Were one of the mouths of the Nile to be stopped up, that river would not discharge less water into the ocean than it did before. The water which used to flow through that channel, would at first, it is true, flow backwards; but it would not continue to do so, nor would it even remain stationary; it would seek another direction, and it would either overflow the banks, and hollow out a new channel for itself, or it would divide itself and flow to the sea, through the channels that yet remained. And here, by the way, would we advert to that political delusion which would magnify the importance of any one branch of manufacture or commerce. The waters of the ocean would not be diminished by one drop, because they had ceased to receive the tribute of that stream. So long as the same body of water continued to flow on from the fountain head, so long would the monarch of waters know no diminution in his resources. And it were well if our statesmen, as well as our operatives, could perceive that the manufacture does not produce either the taxes in the one case, or the wages in the other; that it is merely the channel through which they flow; and that so long as the national ability remains the same, neither the revenues of the state, nor the wages of the operatives will suffer one iota of diminution by the decay of any one branch of commerce or manufacture We do not say that in such an event there would be no loss at all; but we do affirm that ultimately the loss would not be sustained by the government, nor by those employed in the manufacture, but by the public at large.

To return to our illustration. That particular branch of the Nile might have added much to the beauty of the scenery on its banks, and might have ministered in a high degree to the enjoyment, and even to the comfort of those who dwelt among them; and the stopping up of its channel would be felt by them to be a very serious inconvenience. And thus, too, the particular branch of manufacture might have furnished an article which contributed very much to the enjoyment or the comfort of the public; and in so far its decay might be felt as a very calamitous event. But still our remark holds true, that ultimately the operatives will not suffer; that ultimately the state will not suffer; that in this respect the evil will remedy itself; that if the stream of public wealth flow not through that channel, it will seek out another, and that if there be a temporary stagnation till the new outlet be formed, it will be compensated by the more than usual rapidity of the current, when it has cleared away the obstructions.

We hope the two examples we have adduced may have been sufficient to illustrate that constitution of things, by which an evil is made to remedy itself, and to show how the operation of this principle serves to regulate the vast machinery of a nation, and to give a constancy and a steadiness to all its movements. And we would now ask to what should the discovery of this lead us?

We might have concluded a priori that that God whose goodness is over all his works, while he regulated all the changes of nature, and maintained an unvarying constancy in all her operations, would not leave to chance, or to the guidance of mere human wisdom, the regulation of those principles on which depends the temporal happiness of his rational creatures. And when in the workings of these principles we discover that same constancy which distinguishes the operations of nature, and the same means employed to preserve that constancy; and when we perceive, further, that all this may go on independent of our knowledge, and most certainly does go on independent of our direction; should it not go very much to strengthen the conclusion? Let us acknowledge then, that there is here the working of a mightier agency than man; and let us ascribe that constant hardihood with which a nation survives all the changes that pass over her, to the care and the wisdom of that same Mighty Being, "who causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth who maketh lightnings for the rain; and who bringeth the wind out of his treasuries."

The concluding paragraph is a beautiful instance of the prevailing disposition of the writer’s mind, and of the happy ease with which he could connect every speculation and exercise with his leading and darling subject. His mind traced the hand of the benevolent Creator in all his operations, whether of nature or of providence. He beheld and adored his wisdom, both in the uncontrolable and efficient laws of the universe, and in the frame and constitution of society. What affected his own mind, he was desirous should affect the minds of others; and "out of the fulness of his heart, his mouth spake." Yet there is no thrusting of the subject forward. It is not only presented in all its importance, but with the grace and modesty which could not fail to command respect and attention.

Not satisfied with his labours in the several classes which he attended, he took an active part in a Literary Society, consisting of the young men attending the University; and at one of its meetings, held on the 11th of December, he read an essay, or delivered a speech, on the following subject:—

THAT KNOWLEDGE GIVES ITS POSSESSOR MORE POWER
THAN WEALTH DOES.

It has been said by Lord Bacon, that "knowledge is power," and the same thing has been asserted of wealth by Mr. Hobbes. And with both these statements we perfectly agree. The very nature of our present debate presupposes the truth of both. The question this evening is, "Whether does wealth or knowledge give its possessor more power ?" Now we do think that there is a great deal of vagueness in the terms of the question; and we do anticipate, from this, a good deal of misapprehension, and a good deal of wrangling about words and definitions, when, after all, the disputants may be one in sentiment. There are various views that may be taken of the question; and we shall first consider it in its strict and literal interpretation; and in this view, we think, there can be little or no debate at all. The very fiercest of our opponents, we should think, will allow, that wealth, altogether apart from knowledge, can accomplish nothing at all; for a certain degree of knowledge is necessary to the right application of wealth. An idiot might lavish the most boundless fortune, and after all be further from his point than he was before. On the other hand, we frankly confess, that knowledge, altogether apart from wealth, can accomplish but little, since a certain portion of wealth is necessary to carry our plans into execution. The fact is, that, to accomplish anything of importance, they must go hand in hand, knowledge must devise the plan, and wealth, in general, must furnish the means to carry that plan into execution. To knowledge and wealth may we justly apply the language of Sallust, when speaking of the mind and the body; "Utrumque per se indigens, alterum alterius auxilio eget."

But even in this view of the subject there are some things which knowledge can do altogether independent of wealth, though we know of none that wealth can do altogether independent of knowledge. Thus, with a mere knowledge of the power of the lever, (a machine so simple that it may be had for nothing,) I can raise a very great weight; a thing to accomplish which, wealth might have been lavished in vain.

But there is another view of the subject, and we think the most correct of all, in which wealth itself may be said to be the result of knowledge, and, consequently, all the power which is attributed to wealth may be referred to knowledge as its ultimate cause. And, that this a correct view, a very slight attention to the subject will convince us. Let us look to that country which is sunk lowest in the depths of ignorance, and we shall invariably find that that country too is sunk lowest in the depths of poverty and wretchedness; and that, on the other hand, that country which stands highest in the scale of knowledge, stands highest also in the scale of wealth. And if we just consider how much commerce is indebted to the invention of the compass, and the discoveries of astronomy, and how much manufactures owe to the invention of machinery, and how much their productive powers are thus increased, we shall come to the conclusion, that almost, if not altogether, all our wealth is the result of our knowledge. Most justly then, viewing the subject in this light, might we turn the weapons of our opponents against themselves, and make their every argument, for their side of the question, to tell most powerfully against them on our own.

But this, though the most just and philosophical view of the question, is evidently not the view that was intended to be taken of it; for it is a view that resolves the question itself into an absurdity--a view, which, if the framers of the question had taken, they would never have framed it at all. And though we could thus take the advantage of our adversaries by disarming them, and then by those very arms, compelling them to surrender, we are not reduced to such a shift; we can meet them upon more honourable terms.

We shall therefore attempt to show, that, even in the more loose and ordinary interpretation of the question, knowledge gives its possessor more power than wealth does. And, as the word power is very general and undefined, we shall take two modifications of it; viz., mechanical power, and political power. By the mechanical power of knowledge, we mean that power which it give us over our fellow-men; and from both these acceptations of the term, we shall try to show, that knowledge gives us more power than wealth. First, with regard to its mechanical power. We would remark here, that two agents may both be capable of performing the same thing, and yet the power of the one may very much exceed that of the other; and in such a case we must estimate their relative power by the effort which it costs each to perform the thing in view, and we shall find that the power is inversely as the effort. Thus I may be able to lift a weight with my little finger, which a child can do only by exerting his whole strength, and in this case I am said to have more power than the child, because the effort it costs me to do the same thing is not so great. Now, we shall take a case analogous to this where something is to be done, and where knowledge and wealth may be said to be the agents, where we have a distinct view of the way in which each performs it. [The problem is to carry water across a valley.] Wealth performs the task, but it is with such an effort as almost drained the coffers of even Roman resources. She builds a gigantic bridge across the valley, while knowledge accomplishes the same object by simply laying a pipe along the ground. When we compare the vast and imposing fabric of an ancient aqueduct with the simple, and withal, undignified apparatus of a modern water-pipe, we cannot fail to be struck with the ease and simplicity with which knowledge can perform that which it costs wealth such an effort to accomplish. And one would think, that in viewing these proud remains of Roman wealth and Roman ignorance, a feeling of the painfully ludicrous would stifle our rising admiration of their sublimity, and that the very grandeur of their structure, when compared with their design, would remind us of

-------"an ocean into tempest wrought
To waft a feather, or to drown a fly."

But though, in the present instance, wealth, by the mightiness of the effort, may seem to rival knowledge in solving the problem, there are many instances were she is left far behind, and cannot by the very mightiest efforts, come up with knowledge.

By the assistance of knowledge, we are enabled almost by a touch of our finger, to raise the most immense weights, and may almost be said to weigh the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance. By her assistance can we scour the unknown regions of ether, and penetrate the still more secret caverns of the deep. By her assistance too, can we guide a floating city over the main, and turn it at our will by a little helm. By her assistance, too, can we impress the very elements into our service, and make the winds our messengers, and the water and the fire our slaves. And by her assistance, too, can we give to inanimate objects all the vigour of animal life; thus creating for ourselves a Behemoth, whose bones are brass, and sinews bars of iron; thus making him our slave, and forcing him to prepare for us those necessaries and conveniences which formerly we obtained by the sweat of our brow. Such is the power of knowledge; and, till our adversaries can give us instances of the power of wealth, which can be compared with them, we think that we have gained the question.

We intended next to have treated of political power; but we shall first hear refuted the arguments we have already adduced.

None of my young friend’s Essays have please me more than the one, which is now to follow. It was read to the moral class on the 10th of January, 1825. The subject afforded a favourable opportunity of introducing the evangelical system, and that opportunity was not neglected. But there is more than the introduction of the system—there is a beautiful exposition of it, in which the writer steers clear of the selfish system of Sandeman on the one hand, and the ultra-spirituality of some of the American divines on the other. The one does not sufficiently distinguish between self-love and selfishness; the other treats man as if he were a being capable of merging all his personal feelings and interests, in a vague and undefined idea of God, and of holiness. The Scriptures never require us to lose sight of our personal interest in the divine favour; but they never urge it as the principal or the only plea, that we should do the will of God. They bring us, as is here well stated, under the influence of the great principles which govern Deity himself; and thus combine the perfect enjoyment of blessedness, with the perfect exercise of benevolence.

AN ESSAY ON THE SELFISH SYSTEM.

We are told of the Emperor Nero, among his other unnatural actions, that no sooner was his appetite so satiated with one course of gluttony, as to refuse more food, than he again fitted himself in a most revolting manner, for renewing the round of sensual gratification. Of another individual we are told that such was his dred of future disease and death, that he sat continually in one scale of a balance, with a counterpoise in the other, and that it was his constant employment to watch the deflections of the beam, and most studiously to preserve the equality of the balance, so that he never took food till his own scale ascended, and stopped eating as soon as the equilibrium was restored. As the motives which induced each of these individuals to take food are evidently very different from each other, so are the motives of both strikingly different from those which in this matter actuate the great mass of mankind. Of the first individual we would say, that pleasure was his object, and that he took food merely as a means of obtaining this pleasure. With regard to the second, again, we would say that it was self-love that dictated his extraordinary conduct; that he took food, not like the other, for the sake of gratifying his palate, but purely from a consideration of the posterior advantages which would thence accrue to him. With the great mass of mankind, again we would say, that hunger is the primary and ruling incitement; that they eat not in general to gratify their palate, and far less from a consideration of any posterior advantage; but chiefly for the purpose of satisfying their appetite. Food is not used by them as the mere means of obtaining something else, it is itself the primary and terminating object of their desire.

From these familiar illustrations, we think we may discover the difference between self-love, and the more special affections of our nature. The chief distinction seems to be, that the latter terminate in some external object, while the former uses that object as a means of promoting some plan of future interest. Of all the characters we have mentioned, only one seems to have been actuated by self-love, he who took food from a sense of the beneficial effects which would follow. It may be thought, that Nero, too, was actuated by selfishness, inasmuch as he used the food as a means of obtaining something else; but on a close examination, we shall find that it was not the love of self, but the love of pleasure, which was his actuating motive; that if he had any regard to self-interest, his conduct would have been altogether different: that he was in fact pursuing a line of conduct in direct opposition to all that self-love would dictate. We may here just remark by the way, the wisdom displayed in this constitution of our animal frame. Our Creator has not left us to discover that without being invigorated by food, and refreshed by sleep, our bodies could not long subsist; and thus, from a principle of self-love to attend to the taking of food and repose, as duties which it was necessary to perform, in order to self-preservation: but He has endowed us with special affections; with a desire for food and sleep when the body requires them: just as he has given us a sense of injury, and a feeling of resentment, to preserve us from the injustice of our fellow men.

Now in morals there are facts analogous to those which we have just mentioned, with regard to our animal frame. As there is a desire for food altogether apart from any future consequences; and as there is a more immediate pleasure, and a more remote advantage which attend the satisfying of this desire, -- so is there a motive to the performance of a virtuous action, altogether for its own sake, and apart from all its consequences; and there is also a more immediate pleasure, and a more remote happiness attending the performance of such an action. As it has appeared that there are different motives which may induce us to take food, so are there different motives which may urge us to the performance of a virtuous deed. The abettors of the selfish system seem to have erred in confounding these together, or rather in making the one motive of selfishness swallow up the rest.

It may be true that much of the seeming virtue of our world must be put to the account of selfishness; and much of it, too, to the account of sentimentalism; and yet, is it true, that virtue may be followed for her own sake; that she has a native grace and attraction of her own, altogether independent of the pleasure and the happiness which follow in her train.

In the illustration which we took from our animal nature, we felt it difficult to adduce a solitary instance where selfishness was the actuating motive; and there one would think it impossible to confound, unless designedly, self-love, with the more special affections; but in the moral world, alas, the case is different. Here are thousands who perform virtuous actions, altogether from selfish motives, for one that follows virtue for her own sake. And when we find that many seem virtuous in their outward conduct, who care not to swerve from the path of rectitude, if they can but do it unobserved; that the merchant who would shudder at the thought of forgery, or any such gross and palpable crime, can yet in his every day transactions, impose on those he deals with, and indulge in a thousand little and unperceived deceits; and when we find that this is a true delineation of the moral character, not of one in a city, or even one in a family, but of the great bulk of our species, — need we wonder that, from such a view of human nature, some should have come to the conclusion that all virtue is the result of selfishness, or rather that there is no true virtue at all?

But all this is easily accounted for by the fact, that a blight hath corrupted the moral scenery of our world; and it just tallies with what we are told in the book of revelation, of the total depravity of our whole race.

If, then, there were a system which professed to be able to renew our nature, and to restore us to our original purity, we should most confidently expect that the disciples of such a system should follow virtue, not from any selfish principle, but simply and solely for her own sake. There is such a system, by which these expectations have been fully realized, — even the system of evangelical Christianity. We know that it has been asserted, that here, too, self-love is the actuating motive; that the disciples of this system are influenced in their conduct by the hope of reward, and the fear of punishment; but if we rightly understand this system, the assertion is most false. It is true that the evangelical system makes its first appeal to our self-love, or otherwise it could not have been adapted to depraved and selfish creatures; but it is equally true that the virtue to which it leads, is of the most pure and disinterested nature. The way in which this is accomplished, is, we think, well illustrated, in the case of that young man who was couched for a cataract in the beginning of the last century, and whose case so much interested the philosophers of Europe. To induce him to submit to the operation, his friends told him of the loveliness of scenery, and of the pleasure to be derived from gazing on beautiful objects. — Such reasoning had no effect, — he could form no conception of beauty; they were in fact addressing a special affection which did not exist. An appeal was made to his self-love, he was told of the advantages to be derived from reading, and this we are told, proved effectual. And thus it is that the gospel addresses itself to man. It might tell him of the loveliness of virtue, and the deformity of vice; and well do we know that such reasoning would prove utterly powerless. True, he has a faculty for perceiving moral beauty, just as the blind man has an eye; but as in his case, too, there is a thick film spread over it. True, the most depraved of our race can distinguish virtue from vice, and perceive a rightness in the one, and a wrongness in the other, just as many blind people can tell the light from the darkness; but just as they cannot perceive that harmonious variety of colour and shade which constitutes the loveliness of natural scenery, so cannot the unrenewed mind perceive that which is so emphatically termed the "beauty of holiness." The same appeal which proved effectual in the case of him who was blind, is also effectual in the case of fallen man, — an appeal to self-love. The Bible can tell him of the future punishment of sin, and to the whispers of his own conscience it can add the voice of its authority, in telling him that he is a sinner: it can constrain him to cry out, "What shall I do to be saved?" and to such a question it can give a most satisfactory answer. If he is thus led to accept of its terms, he not sooner does so, than the film which obscured his moral vision is removed. He is now in some degree restored to the lost image of the Godhead, and can therefore perceive an independent beauty in virtue, and an independent deformity in vice. It is not now, we conceive, from the hope of heaven, or the fear of hell, that he is virtuous; it is because he loves holiness that he follows after it; — it is because he hates sin that he flees from it; his attachment to the one, and his recoil from the other, will still continue to strengthen: and even now, all weak and imperfect as they are, do they proceed from a principle similar to that which determines the choice of Diety himself.

Little do they understand the evangelical system, who urge against it the plea that the virtue of its disciples is a virtue of selfishness. So far is this from being the case, that let but self-love be the principle that regulates our conduct, — let but the hope of reward, and the fear of punishment be all that prompts us to virtue, and the reward itself will never follow. Some there have been, who from this principle have refrained from many of the vices, and even from many of the innocent enjoyments of life, — who have been ingenious in inventing self-torments here, that they might escape eternal punishment hereafter; but yet, is the character of such virtue, and the final judgment which shall be passed upon it, most truly described by the poet, when he exclaims,

"What is all righteousness that men devise?
What, — but a sordid bargain for the skies?
But Christ as soon would abdicate his own,
As stoop from heaven to sell the proud a throne."


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