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All the horrors of the French Re- la terre capable de lui donner des volution, and consequently the ulti. eloges, il n'y a qu'à lui souhaiter mateslavery in which it has resulted, un tel maitre." originally sprang from the mischief Thus, to many a celebrated sinof misapplied talente. The god- ner, has the pride of his fame dess of Reason was worsbipped with proved the ruin of his real glory; darker rites, than ever were pre- ihe height to which he has attained, sented in the temple of Moloch. a gibbet, which holds him up, like But to multiply examples were another Haman, to disgrace. A an endless task. Usurpers and ty-genius at once so splendid and so rants have never wanted, in their base, having powerful talents and train of sycophants, men of genius terrestrial aims, has been happily and ability, who have prostituted described as the fragment of an imtheir tongues, their pens, and their mortal soul, cast down from its lyres, to the baseness of holding up sphere, mingled with rubbish, and to admiration characters which glirtering in the dust. Its appearuncorrupted truth would contem ance is that of a brilliant but maplate only with horror. Injustice lignant star, scattering dismay from and oppression have been extolled, its beams, and announcing calamiin the narrative of the historian, ties to the nations, the eloquence of the orator, and
- Talents, angel bright, the song of the poet. These If wanting worth, are shining instrumenta have combined to elevate the In false anbition's hands, to finish faults wrotch into a hero; they have Illustrious, and give infamy renown, diffused a gleam of false glory over On the whole, no doctrine can be the carnage through which he has conceived more dangerous, than that waded to the plenitude of his power: which identifies hunan wisdom and they have drowned the cries of human virtue : no axiom more false, widows and of orphans, of mana than that the understanding is, of cled captives, and of injured men, itself, a certain and infallible guide who would have protested against to moral excellence. their eulogies, and heaped maledic But even where a cultivated un. tions upon their idol." Quel fleau derstanding is discovered to produce pour le genre humain !" they would all the happier effects which we have said, “et s'il y a un peuple sur commenced with describing; where usually arises from not having talents enough; of natural religion, in active occu
it settles the mind in the principles and have pointed out the reniedy, as consisting solely in making the higher degrees of Pations, in habits of reflection, and talent more generally attainable. But the in intellectual relishes; the mora. Teviewer admits, that mediocrity must ne. lity generated from such circumcessarily be the lot of the main body; and, stances will, after all, in its highest therefore, this bypothesis would lead rather state, fall infinitely short of that to the “ Drink deep or taste not,” to keep which Christianity is calculated to ing the mass of every community in profound form. Talents, not disciplined in ignorance. A narrow and unworthy policy! the school of Christ, render their The true remedy is a simple one : namely, possessor vain, presumptuous, over. that of mingling religious principle with bearing. Excellence is, in his estieducation. Here; as well as in discussing the theory ject,'having no respect to moral
male, a matter solely of the intelof perfectibility, which is next brought forwurd, Madame de Stael bungles, and die superiority or degradation; and he critic wastes much time, from not taking into
casts a look of disdain on simple inthe account the doctrine of man's inherent tegrity, when unaccompanied by depravitg ; which they might not bave dis. secular knowledge. The Deist loo dained, since Scripture, in declaring it, is is for the most part indifferent to cchued by universal experience. Both iu. the exercises of piety; little if at deed profess themselves Christians.
all given to prayer; more versed in
scientific researches and metaphy- strated, as well by their writings as sical distinctions, than in devout by their lives, that there is nothing meditations and charitable offices. incompatible betwixt sound philoAnd how imperfect and scanty must sophy, and strict Christianity. So be the morality of those, whose hope true does it seem that that secular of future retribution amounts not wisdom of the mind, which is mated to Christian assurance ! whose con to the folly of the heart, never assciousness of imperfection is not en cends higher than an imposing mecouraged to perseverance, by the diocrity : while the nobler knowbelief in a supporting Saviour and ledge, Tinked to the Throne of God, a succouring Spirit! How worldly, is for the most part the same which, minded, how sensual, how wedded in science, takes the widest range must they be to the present, since over his works, and makes the nearthe present is with them the only est approaches to his wisdom. secure moment! When they re
Talents, 'tis true, gay, quick, and bright, has ly only on their own exertions for
God the working out of their future feli- To virtue oft denied, on vice bestowed ; city, how presumptuous must be Just as fond nature, livelier colours brings the confident; the timorous, how Tv paint the insect's than the eagle's wings ; desponding!
But of our souls the high-born loftier pari, The subject now discussed might Th’etherial energies that touch the heart
, well afford scope for indulging in a Conceptions ardent, labouring thought inlarge variety of interesting reflec
tense, tions : but, for brevity's sake, let us
Creative fancy's wild magnificence; confine ourselves to the most striking These Virtue, these to thee alone belong;
And all the dread sublimities of song, and important.
These are celestial all, por kindred hold, I. All who devote themselves
With ought of sordid or debasing nould; to the improvement of their vader Chilled by the breath of vice, their radiance standings ought vigilantly to be dies, ware of the perversion of intellec. And brightest burns when lighted at the skies; tual power. 'Let “the fear of the Like vestat flanes 10 purest bosoms given, Lord be the beginning of their wis. And only kindled by a ray from lieaven. dom." The grand eleinents of
Grant's Restor. of Learning in the East. Christian knowledge, and the springs Let it also be remembered, that of Christian hope,-faith in the pro. all accounts of the world which have pitiatory merits of Jesus Christ, and been set up in contradiction to the reliance on the supernal aids vouch. scriptural narrative, and all systems safed to human frailty, let them of morals which have been offered keep as the apple of ihe eye; not as substitutes for the Gospel, have pulled up by the pride of earthly lived but for their day, and have wisdom, not debauched by vain vanished like dissolving clouds, disputations and by false philoso- when touched by the morning sun pby. Far from them be the notion of sacred illumination. In particuthat the valuable religious princi- lar, since Sir William Jones opened ples, instilled by parental care, are a new path of research in the East, prejudices which must be dismissed the march of discovery, whether in before they can assert the character language or in science, has more of educated and liberal miods. Let clearly elucidated the Mosaic Costhem remember that these principles mogony; has pared down the have been formerly held by men of boasted thousands of pagan years, the most gigantic lalents, and the to the epoch of the scriptural demost profound research ; that Bacon Juge; and exhibited an analogy and Newton, that Milton and Locke, amongst languages, religions, and that Pascal and Bentley, that Gro- manners, which indisputably proves tius and Bossuet, that Johnson and the common origin of mankind; Addison, have all of them demon- so that Moses finds his best com
mentary among the superstitions of Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze, ibe Bramins. All the inost eminent Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees. geologists also of the present times, Remember, that if this specious De Luc, Kirwan, Saussare, Cuviers principle be once admitted, the Townsend, and Davy, reconcile monstrous conclusion must inevi. their systems to the sacred records. tably and immediately ensue, that While these facts incline us to study every human soul, even the souls the evidences of Christianity, let of wicked men, (impious and selfthem confirm the conviction which exposing paradox) are a part of that study will innpart. Thus built Deity. When the thunder of up in our most holy faith, let us Heaven, which the uninstructed jealously watch, and reject as neces- have considered, as it muttered sarily false, every the slightest insi. or pealed on high, to be the voice nualion presented in works of of ihe Aimighty Sovereign, is disscience, which levels an indirect covered to proceed from a law of blow at the religion of Jesus. And nature, let it not be presumed that much occasion have they, whom in this discovery, you have arrived rank, or leisure, or taste directs to at the First Cause, at the Eternal the pursuit of wisdom, for exercis- Throne. Think that you have only ing this vigilant circumspection. ascended one link nearer to it: for For, jo truth, it is not only by the Nature, in all her works, is still avowed assaults of infidelity, that and for ever no more than another the stability of their faith is endan- name for “ an effect, of which the gered. So almost every science to cause is God.” “O! beware, leste which the mind applies itself, the any man spoil you, by oppositions subtle poison has been oudningły in- of science falsely so called, and fused. Is attention directed lo the draw you away from the simplicity materials which compose our earth? that is in Christ.” The mineralogist will shew it to be 2. How bighly becoming is it many centuries older than is re- that they who have been happy in presented in the records of the Pen- the possession of a sound and culfateuch. Or is civil history chosen tivated understanding, should unas the favourite pursuit ? Behold a ceasingly apply its power to the Hume aud a Gibbon prepared with promotion of the Divine glory.. their fatal touch, to conduct you To God a faithful account of the to the regions of doubt and obscu- talent must be rendered. He is the rity. A lover of metaphysical re Giver, and entitled to the first fruits search, do you seek after guides, of its benefits. By instructing who shall unfold to you the nice ignorance and vindicating truth; and curivos structure of your own by preceptive recommendations of mind? You learn that the faculty piety; by adding that charm of of season proceeds from the organic alluremeni, and ibat dignity of zation of the body; and that the command, to moral worth which is suul has no positive separate existe borrowed from its.combination with ence, although the Scriptures have intellectual ability ; let mental cul. told you, that immediately after ture prove itself, within the sphere dissolution, it is dust" ONLY wbich of every man, the reflection of an returns to its native dust ; wbile the emanation from Heaven. spirit arises unto the God who gave The pure aod orihodox faith, too. it. Prepare to hear, and resolve to deserves well 10 be defended, with disbelieve, statements wbich deprive all the resources of an improved the Deity of his personality ; and understanding, against the doubts represent bim as the universally. of scepticism, and the cavils of un ditlused principle of life, the soul belief." We ought to be ready te of nature, the wide-spread cause give a reason for the hope that is in which
8s; and ta the artifices of sophisti
to apply the detecting talismans“ Unlearned mea,” he adds, “ have of sound logic, historical investiga- been betrayed into heresies, by tion, and scientific analogy. This their inability to distinguish betwixt has been deemed a heterodox notion sound and false argumeglation. by certain fanatics, who have de- Moses, Daniel, Solomon, and St. cried homan learning, by observing, Paul, were all instructed in the that “the natural man perceiveth depths of human learning. Reason not the things of the Spirit, which is not added as a supplement to Scrip are spiritually discerned;" that St. ture, as though that were defective, Paul desires men to beware of philo- but as an instrument for reaping the sophy, or the knowledge attainable benefit which Scripture yields. St. by human reason; that profound Paul denies not that his speech had secular learning has in faci usually been persuasive, but merely affirms occasioned, not obedience, but re that he was not behind the other pugnance to the truth; and that apostles in supernatural gifts. It God's sentences are heavy against seems strange, is reason be not nethe wisdom of the wise. They cessary, that men only are capable have observed that the word of God of rightly knowing God, and this is a two-edged sword, and reason, only when they attain to ripe ability like the armour of Saul, cumbersome of understanding. The Apostle calls about the soldier of Christ: that St. on man to judge of what he speaks. Paul's preaching was pot in the wis. I Cor. x. 15. Though Scripture dom of man, but in the power of teaches in things above reason, yet God; that where the Gospel is be- it is reason wbich convinces us that lieved, there needs no reason ; and Scripture is the word of God. We where it is discredited, it must be dispute with infidels and profane the Spirit of God, not the reason of persons, for their persuasion or conman, which shall convert the heart. version : and however needsul may “ By such and similar arguments," be the testimony of the Spirit, to says Hooker, an, opinion has seal the convictions of reason, it spread itself very widely in the were useless to allege that testimony world, that the way to be ripe in to such opponents. It is only by faith, is 10 be raw in wit and judge reason we ourselves discern, whether ment; as if reason were an enemy we are taught by the Spirit of God, to religion; childish simplicity the or the spirit of error. Reason dismother of ghostly and divine wis covers the sense and meaning of dom.” After slating that such dę. Scripture. Our Lord himself en. clarations are founded in the two tered into disputations ; an example delusions, of imagining human wis- followed by Paul and Barnabas, dom to be absolutely condemned, both in addressing the Greeks and when it is only depreciated in the the Jews. Matt. xxii
. 43. Acts sir, comparison with something beyond 15. and Acts xv."- Ecclesiastical its compass ; and of conceiving the Polily. reproof of false wisdom to be the 3. It must, nevertheless, afford reproof of the true ; that great man matter of much consolation to the proceeds to reply, that the Apostle poor, who possess not opportunities testifies concerning mere natural of making high advances in human. men, that they know both God, learning, to reflect that salvation is and the law of God, and that there attainable without it. fore, though nature has need of Had we been told, chat onadorned grace, grace may build ou natural with intellectual refinement, none knowledge; that the true way to should enter into the kingdom of beware of false philosophy is to be leaven, it might have been justky possessed of the amidote of souod objected 10-Christiaļy, that it was reasoning; and that many, sound in a partial religion ; a religion made belief, have been great philosophers. exclusively for the learned and great,
and not for the poor and simple. For plans to their duration of existence : it is not given to every man to be if it were short, forming no scheme informed or intelligent. Many are which they could not accomplish; deficient in natural capacity, and if long, extending their views to many want leisure and opportunity grand and ample designs, and enfor application. To be learned and couraged to protracted, unwearied intelligent, therefore, though allow- perseverance, by the certainty of able as an innocent pleasure; though ultimate success. If their talents, Jaudable as far as these qualities are then, and their salvation, were intiuseful, and as far as they lift their mately connected, doubtless some possessor above the baseness of ani- arrangement of this nature would inal enjoyment; though strictly have taken place. But, as if to denecessary for those who are to lead stroy every proud notion of such an their brethren in the way of life; association, the sons of science are could not have been inculcated as frequenily swept from life, in the an universal and indispensable obli- midst of even important and useful gation, in a Gospel preached to the projects and designs. Now this poor, or by a God whose ways are precarious duration of terrestrial those of equity and mercy. It sojourning is, on the other hand, would have beon as unfit to have of the most essential service to virmade the attainment of extensive tue. Her flights are short; her exerknowledge or profound wisdom a tions are quotidian; and she is conreligious duty, as it was in the tinually prompted, by a consciousheathen world, to attach superlative ness of her unstable term, to labour merit to the costly immolation of a while it is day, and to crowd much hecatomb. Among the demands good into little compass. A lease of made by Christianity upon the ser- life-would probably embolden the vant of God, not one exacts offer- soul to procrastinate its repentance, ings which his fortune could not or to relax its efforts. procure, or acquirements which his Thus, with reference to schemes understanding is incompetent to of extensive speculation, such as grasp. No! There stands no priest planning a vast range of buildings, in the porch of the temple of Christ, or projecting how to drain, to plant, to drive away the vulgar, and to to embellish a large tract of terripronounce them profane. My tory: such as contemplating the yoke is easy," is the inscription over twelve years' labour of the epic poet, the gate : and in a system designed or forging the first link in that profor all, that only is insisted on to tracted process of reasoning which which all can have equal access. is to establish a philosophical theory; Now the wide field of piety and did our salvation depend on the virtue is freely open; and into this completion of such toils, a lengthall are permitted, are encouraged, ened term of life would be requisite are enjoined to enter. Here the high to work it out. But to practise and the low, the learned and the diurnal duties, to resist temptation ignorant, may expatiate, with equal from hour to hour, to succour helpcase, and to equal advantage. lessness, to soothe adversity, to
4. And, indeed, it may be ob- visit the fatherless, and to live unserved, in corroboration of this re- spotted from the world, demand mark, that it is to piety and virtue, no prophetic eye; no far ken into and not to talents, that the econo- futurity; no assurance of continumy of this world has been accom- ing on earth for many years. Such modated. It would be highly ad. a course is accommodated to the vantageous to men endowed with commandment: “ Be ye therefore science, to number their future days, ready; for in such an hour as yo to be certified how long they had to think not, the Son of God cometh." live. They might proportion their Nor is this adaptation of the eco