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eminences of the earth; and, like an worlds which immediately accompany insect dwelling on a tuft of grass, or this,--to the systems which lie beyond animalculæ which move in a drop of the number increasing as the soul water, his means of information lie either gradually expands, or is overchiefly within the boundary of his whelmed with the idea of vastness) observation.
till at last he catches some glances of A little insect, if it be capable of immensity, and soars to that Being thinking, fancies that the water is who brought all this amazing range of made for none besides itself; a bird, worlds into existence, and who hath while it ranges in the forest, or glides existed from everlasting, surrounded upon the breezes of the heavens, ima- with glorious light, which no mortal gines that the trees were planted for | eye can penetrate,--he must then sink its accommodation, and the heavens with the deepest humility on the clods created for its pleasure. From this which support him, and exclaim with narrowness of intellect, all finite a faltering voice, “Lord, what is beings are liable to deception. Every man, that thou art mindful of him, or one is situated in some particular the son of man, that thou visitest him?" sphere, where the boundary around As bills, a little varying in extent, rises high, and the materials, which present the same size in the distant are very opaque, suffer him not to prospect, so must all men appear, look beyond them. Even man is no physically, equal in the sight of God. exception. A person living in a se They must be equal as it regards the cluded spot, where the bills which en | nature of their existence, the love circle him form the horizon, and igno which he bears towards them ; and if rant that any other human being has he has appointed a little variation in ever existed, naturally believes that their persons or circumstances, it is he alone is the chief object of the di- only in conformity to the laws of creavine favour; that the earth was raised tion, that two things not being possibly on its mighty pillars for his exalta- similar in every respect, must occasion tion; that the arch of the heavens was diversity, and diversity conséquently thrown over him as a covering ; that exists. But for these partialities the sun was formed to give him light which appear on earth, we suppose by day, and the moon occasionally to there will be a satisfactory settlement cheer him by night; that the stars in a future state. Those who have were made to amuse bim by their much now, will have much required beautiful appearance ; and that when then. Those who possess little now, he dies, if he ever should, all nature will have proportionably less demandwould cease to live. But let this man ed of them at the day of judgment. be removed, and let him be surround Hence, in reality, there is no great ed with others equally intelligent with advantage on the one side beyond the himself, possessing bodies as fair in other, and the little inequality in time, appearance, and indeed in all respects will quickly vanish in the unending exhibiting as many proofs of the care periods of eternity. and bounty of Providence;-his high But man is liable to error as much notions must then gradually sink, he in regard to time, as in respect to space must then allow that creation was not or distance. If the limited nature of formed for him alone, but that others his situation exclude him from vieware as much noticed by the Deity as | ing the distance which lies beyond he. His feelings must suffer as much given boundaries, so the limited nature transition as those of a courtier, who of his thought keeps him from travergat one period fancied himself the sole ing, on the wings of time, to future favourite of his monarch, but after- / ages. If a person examines and diswards discovered, that he was only covers that he has certain advantages one in the midst of a crowd of depen at present, he erroneously takes them dants. If this person were thus hum-as a pledge of happiness in future. bled by his removal from solitude to Some, however, without even a proof the company of other human beings, of this sort, foolishly conceive, that so he would sink lower and lower as they were appointed special favourites he viewed the extent of the world, its of heaven, exclusively of all human cities and kingdoms, and the size and actions, and indeed previous to their populousness of them. Let his atten- own existence; as if the Supreme tion be farther raised to the various | Being took the dark particles of chaos,
which extended through space ere each of his creatures, that all differcreated worlds were formed, and ere ences existing now, and all that shall the music of those earthly spheres exist in future, will either be requited proclaimed the inherent goodness and in a future state, or else they are or beneficence of their Maker,- that he will be differences caused merely by. selected one portion of matter, and the actions of the creatures themselves. proclaimed it evil, and another portion, And though we cannot readily account and proclaimed it good, though it was for the capability of man's acting, and all the workmanship of his own hands, his just responsibility for his actions, and controlled by power which could and the freedom which he has to folnot err,)—that he breathed into this, in low good or evil, to benefit or injure after times, the breath of life, and himself, yet we are surely taught this peopled the earth with inhabitants ; doctrine in the Scriptures, and reason and though their bodies were framed teaches us the same, unless we willof the same materials, and their souls ingly introduce fatalism and blind formed of the same substance, yet He necessity as the directors of all human must set his affection on one part actions, and thus exclude the justice more than the other, and eyince a de- of retribution, and attribute the misegree of weakness which is totally in ries of mankind to the unbeneficence consistent with His character, and and sovereignty of the Supreme Gowhich the nature of man is hardly ca- vernor. In this case we resemble him pable of possessing ; namely, that one to an earthly governor, and make him object should be loved because of the a partaker of human weakness and substances from which it is produced, passions, purposing cruel things, and, and another be hated because of the in the plenitude of his dominion over materials from which it is formed; and all, hear him exclaiming, “I have a yet, that the nature of them both, being right to do what I will, I care nothing alike, can only, in a sane mind, pro- for the happiness of my creatures, my duce the same feeling. If the mind of inclinations are evil towards them, and God is perfect, and views every thing I will not deny myself.” We may according to its nature of being, so venture to affirm, that an Archangel that he cannot approve one thing more has not so contemplated the Divine than another, where the quality is the cbaracter; his superior intellect teaches same, and could not have done so in him, that the Almighty is invariably the case of man; and if there appears just, that He is equal in all bis ways, a difference in the situation or hap- and that He is holy in all his works. piness of his creatures, we mast judge Junius. I have been listening with it is owing to the peculiar nature of some attention to your sentiments, the state wherein they are placed ; and and I do not disagree with you in our error in attributing the variation many respects. As it regards the of the mind of the Deity, arises from situation of nan on earth, and the the narrowness of our faculties. We various discrepancies which appear may judge also, as I have already on the score of happiness, I believe intimated, that all irregularities, on a with you, that the Almighty will comcoming day, will be removed, -that pletely regulate them on some future all men will stand on one level, as it day, so that all advantage or disadregards the simple love of God to- vantage of this kind shall die away. wards them, but higher than each | But this refers chiefly to temporal other, according to the “ deeds done things, and to the regulation of the in the body." And that all persons Almighty as the governor of the unimuch enlightened, in a moral sense, verse. Now, I wish to inquire somewill be strictly judged, and all in igno thing respecting the management of rance will be leniently judged ; in fact, the moral world ; and a thought arises that all will be rewarded according to in my mind, respecting the various their works, and according to the cir- states of the nations on the face of the cumstance under which these works earth, as it regards spiritual light; and have been perfornied.
having some conviction in my mind, To gain a correct notion of the na- that earth is the stepping-stone to ture of the Most High, and of the na- heaven; and as man must be fitted ture of man, we must certainly come here for the celestial regions, I wish to to this supposition,—that the love of inquire how those, who are now living the Almighty is equally divided to 1 in darkness, can be admitted there;
and how, for instance, a beatben, ac- at last in heaven. He thinks it depends cording to the present system of things, much upon the conduct and inclinacan be saved ?
tion of a person, and that no necessary Philo. You have now narrowed the connexion exists between beginning subject a little ; since, however, you and completing, as the text implies. wish to remove from the universal | A Calvinist, on the other hand, may beneficence of God towards universal read in the Scripture, “it is better for nature, I am willing to accompany a man not to bave known the way of you to a consideration of the benefi- righteousness, than that, after he has cence of the Almighty, in reference known it, to turn aside from the holy merely to our moral relations. But I commandment I delivered unto him." think you must feel, as well as myself, And again, “ the latter end” (of such a consciousness, that all the actions of a man)“is worse than the beginning." the Almighty are just, and that His But the Calvinist believes, that a man conduct towards man can be ruled who has once “known the way of only by pure benevolence.
righteousness," is in no danger of a Šunius. I do believe this, and the bad end. He does not imagine, that remarks you have made have not at the latter end" will be “ worse than all lessened my opinion in this respect. the beginning," but that the latter end But I bring forward this question will be, if there is any difference, better merely on the foundation of certain than the beginning, for then the soul will opinions which exist, and on the in- / be purified, and admitted into the joyg terpretations of Scripture, which those of heaven ; and that grace, where it who hold these opinions have given. has once controlled, will inevitably And now, again, I ask, can a heathen, rule and save the soul : according to your interpretation of " As sure as the earnest is given, Scripture, be saved ?
More happy, but not more secure, Philo. What do you mean by a
The glorified spirits in heaven." heathen, one who knows not God ac- If sects, therefore, agree to differ on cording to our notions of the Deity? various passages, and class them to
Junius. I mean one who does not gether as doubtful, why not agree to enjoy the light of revelation, which put this which you have quoted, among would enable him to live and die as the same class, as doubtful also? a Christian.
Junius. The passages which you · Philo. A man, surely, who possesses have quoted, refer to å point of docnot the light of revelation, can neither trine, namely, Predestination, and a live nor die as a Christian, but he can doctrine which is not essential, so that be no more responsible for the omis various persons may disagree on this sion of this light, than he can be re-point, and yet be right in others. But sponsible for the absence of a sixth as it regards the heathen, there is not sense, and can be no more punished that difference of opinion among Chris for not using the light of Christianity, tians, but all, or nearly all, agree as and for not forming his conduct by it, they do upon essential points. than a man can be justly punished Philo. On many occasions, sects because he does not use his sixth agree, because their various systems sense, and regulate his life by it. allow it. But you may discover, that
Junius. But does not the Scripture the Creed rules the signification of say, those who die without law, shall Scripture, and not vice versa. Where also perish without law? And if this the system of faith allows all Chrishappen, a man may be a heathen, and tians to agree, they do, and all give a know not God, and yet be punished corresponding signification to a pasfor his conduct.
| sage; but wben it does not, the one Philo. Every passage of Scripture gives one meaning, and the other an will not bear a literal interpretation. Other. So it proves nothing, that most General consent proves this. An Christians give the same sense to this Arminian may find in the Bible, “He passage. And if persons may disthat hath begun a good work in you, agree as to the meaning of a text, bewill perform it," &c. But the Arminian cause it is a point of doctrine, or bebelieves, that a good work may com-cause it is not essential to their salvamence, and yet that the Almighty, may tion; so, persons may vary on this not in all cases, be bound to carry the passage respecting the heathen, bez man over every barrier, and place him cause the belief one way or the other, 81.-VOL. VII.
with respect to them, is not essential ON THE INFLUENCE OF EARLY EDUCAto our salvation; and as it regards the
TION IN THE FORMATION OF THE welfare of the heathen, their safety
MENTAL CHARACTER. cannot depend on a mere contingency, or the mere notion which other COMPARATIVELY, little is known, and human beings, at a thousand miles' therefore many erroneous ideas are distance, may have of a few words. / entertained, relative to the subject of But of this, I shall say more hereafter. | intellectual discipline: notwithstand
Again, if all parts of Scripture must ing its importance, and the almost be taken literally, I may require you universal diffusion of knowledge, the to believe, that “where there is no mass of mankind are yet unacquainted law, there is no transgression.” Now, with the whole extent of that power if the heathen know not God, if they which it exerts upon the mental conhave no law from Him, there is “ no stitution. The possession of knowtransgression." And, of course, where ledge has been estimated so highly, there is no transgression, there can be and its advantages placed so vividly no punishnient.
before us, that the mind bas been Junius. But may not a man be more occupied with the object itself, punished on account of the crime than with the means of obtaining it. which Adam committed ? And if so, This I do not condemn. But whilst the heathen may be punished, though our admiration is excited by the they have had no knowledge of God, former, it is the part of wisdom to inand no law.
vestigate the latter. The artist not Philo. As to the sin of Adam, I will only bears in his “mind's eye" the not say much, as it will cause a digres- beauties to be created on his canvass, sion into another subject. But I may or the breathing form wbich the marsuggest, that the effect produced on ble block is hereafter to exhibit, he man by Adam's sin, is rather negative looks at his brushes or his chisels, than positive. It is rather the absence with which his design is to be accomof real good, than the committal of plished. This inattention to the inreal evil. The former is not punish- strument by which knowledge is acable, as in the case of infants ; the lat- quired, has doubtless been the cause ter cannot exist, on the Scripture doce of that ignorance, so universally pretrine, that where there is no law, there valent, and over wbich we cannot but is no sin, and consequently no cause lament. Much improvement, we trust, of punishment.
bas taken place during the last few Junius. But this is relying too much years, in the more extensive diffusion on human reasoning.
of information relative to the powers Philo. What method should we adopt? of the human mind, an extensive ac
Jurius. I think it better to take the quaintance with which, is the only testimony of revelation.
foundation on which we can rear any Philo. That testimony we have al-correct system of intellectual disciready taken. But we must judge of pline. revelation by the meaning of the words. It has been customary, except in which it contains. If you wish for a some honourable instances, to refer the contrary method, you must judge of cultivation of the mind, in its infanrevelation contrary to the signification tine state, to a period when it makes of its words; and who would fancy this more decided development of those new method were consistent with the predilections with which the God of design of the Almighty? Upon this the spirits of all flesh has endowed it. principle, a way would be open for the This, it is conceived, is exceedingly wildest visionary that the earth could erroneous, because it affords time for produce. Therefore, wben you object the acquisition of habits, which soon to reason, you should remember, that attain the appearance, and possess reason is essential to accompany re- all the force, of natural propensities. velation, and that the former without We say, with Mr. Foster, that “we the latter is the only kind to which the are not entertaining the extravagant Christian objects. In too many cases, | fancy of the possibility, except in some those persons declaim most violently rare instances of premature thoughtagainst reason, who are got into the fulness, of turning inward into deep pyreasonable side of the subject. habitual reflection, the spirit that na
(To be concluded in our next.) | turally goes outward in these viva
Influence of Early Education. rom
" ......................... ................. ..... ...... cious, active, careless beings, when notions of those objects which present we assert, that it is possible to teach themselves to its senses; with respect many of them with a degree of suc- to the objects of sight, for instance, cess in very juvenile years." But we the distance and size is determiped by do not mean to say, with him, that reiterated experiment. If then the every “ human being should, as early operations of this power were more as possible, bave infixed within him, closely watched by the attentive ina notion of what he is in existence for,” structor, would he not be able to dithat "it ought to be among the chief rect it, and bring it at an earlier period of the things which he early becomes to that degree of perfection which the aware of, that the course of activity mind's original capabilities will enhe is beginning should have a leading able it to attain? principle of direction, some predomi The attention, on wbich abstraction nant aim, a general and comprehensive and memory so much depend, powerpurpose, paramount to the divers par- fully demands the closest superintenticular objects he may pursue.”
dence, for it is in this that the greatest It should be as much in his settled difference exists. According to its apprehension as the necessity of his state, will be the excellency or the having an employment in order to live, defects of the mental character; and that there is something it imports him there is no power more easily into be, which he will not become merely fluenced, and over which we may by passing from one day into another, exercise a more absolute control. It by eating, growing taller and stronger, is peculiarly the subject of mental seizing what share he can of noisy discipline, since mathematical inquisport; and that not to be that which ries and mataphysical speculations it so “ imports him to be, will, of ne are resorted to, in order to strengthen cessity be, to be worthless and miser it. The power of attention, when ocable."
cupied upon the subjects of consciousThat the mind is capable of almost ness, is designated reflection; when infinite improvement, is a truth so engaged with external appearances, universally admitted, that it almost observation. Now, the former of these possesses the force of an axiom ; and (although it may be cultivated much why that improvement should not be earlier than is usually supposed) will allowed to commence its progressive | not develop itself so soon as the latadvancement at a much earlier period ter. Observation, then, is the first tban that to which it is usually assign- thing which a careful instructor should ed, seems difficult to account for, ex aim at improving. Children are usualcept on the principle already laid | ly curious, and are willing to occupy down, and that indifference some themselves for a considerable period times displayed by parents, with re- with an object before them, and pergard to the mental character of their haps there is no desire more predomioffspring.
nant than that of knowing the cause of It may be said, that in the imbecile things which take place around them. state of the mind common to infancy, The musical toy has often been deit would be a waste of energy to aim stroyed, in order to discover the proat its cultivation; but we do not con- ducing cause of the notes which pleassider the effort to induce it to walk, ed them. The province of an instrucor to speak, as worthless, and we tor is to direct the operations of this know those efforts are usually crown- power, and to excite them. This, we ed with success. Why then should are aware, cannot be so well done in we refrain from every attempt to im- large schools, although they may be prove the faculties of the mind? We conducted on philosophical principles, know that its perception of sensation because mind, in the abstract, is legisis acquired, and perception is a power lated upon, and not individual inof the human mind, whose operation stances. It seems essential to the commences with the first dawn of ex-proper development and beneficial istence. Here, then, we have a power employment of intellectual energy, of the human mind, that is not only that the peculiarities of every indicapable of receiving cultivation, but vidual should be consulted in that absolutely needs it. In the child, we system of discipline which we pursue see this power progressively advanc- towards them. It appears to the ing in the acquisition of more correct writer, that formal measures and regu
HI TINH THI