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Owing to the very great hurry in which this work has been printed, and much of it never having been in MS, a few typo. graphical errors have been overlooked ; which, it is hoped, he who reads for instruction will excuse. The most material that anyways interrupt the sense are, a Y for an 0, in the word Your, page XXVI, 12th line from the bottom; and where the character of Bacchus suffers a metamorphose
from the masculine to the feminine gender; which the reader will transpose back when he reads page XIII, line seventh.
SCRIPTURAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL
AR @ UMENTS,
I said in mine heart concerning the estate of
the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they theme selves are beasts.
Eccl. III. 18.
MAN by Man has been accounted the lord of the creation, while the brutes have been thought an encumbrance on the earth. Were we justly and impartially to consider the link thať unites the one to the other in the necessary scale of nature, from the least inanimate entity, to the highest animated being, our pride and hatred would cease, made a little lower than the angels, and the brutes a little lower than man. Man, in the structure of his body, commands reverence and respect; but above all, that rational and thinking part which we call Soul, with which he is endowed, and of which he ignorantly
boasts of having the sole privilege. Of the nature, of the properties, and of the composition of the body, we can form some adequate idea; but of the perfections and extent of the powers of the soul, no man knoweth, nor can he have the most indefinite conception. Divines, Philosophers, and Naturalists, have differed strangely in opinion when speaking of this most important part of our existenice. The Stoicks count it a spark of heavenly light which effulges from the pres. ence of God. But the Cartesians make thinking the essence of the soul; and Xenocrates, as we are told by Clem. Alex. held that brutes had sense of God.
Of God unconscious even brutes obey ;
· In scripture, the soul, in general, is understood to be that spiritual, reasonable, and immortal substance which is the origin of the thoughts, of the desires, and of the reasonings, and which bears some resemblance to its divine Maker.
Origen observes that, the soul is, in its proper nature, incorporeal and invisible, and always needs a body suitable to its place. This opinion that, the soul always needs a body, was so rooted in the fathers that, one
and all, they suppose the soul in the state of the dead to be invested with an aerial or luminous body.
Whatever are, or may have been the fancies of Schoolmen or Philosophers in regard to the substance, or immateriality of the soul, of one thing we are certain, and that is, that allanimate beings posses a rational and thinking part which we call Mind or Soul, unconnected with, but in subjection to matter, capable of willing and reasoning. But, as the pious and learned Dr. Watt says, when speaking of Reason, “ It is the common gift of God to all men, though all are not favoured with it by nature in an equal degree; but the acquired improvements of it in different men, make a much greater distinction between them than nature had made. I could even venture to say, that the improvement of reason hath raised the learned and the prudent in the European world almost as much above the Hottentois, and other savages of Africa, as those savages are by nature superior to the birds, the beasts, and the fishes. And, Dr. Johnson says,
66 It is the power by which we dednce one proposition from another, and proceed from premises to consequences.