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himself'through sin perverted the happy na ture that God had given him at his creation. Of two things, then, we must say one; either that God has taken delight in making beasts so vicious as they are, and of giving in them models of what is most shamefulin the world; or that they have, like man, original sin, which has perverted their primitive nature.
: 1 24:“ The first of these propositions finds very difficult access to the mind, and is an express contradiction to the holy scriptures; which
that whatever came out of God's hands, at the time of the creation of the world, was good, yea very good. What good can there be in a monkey's being so very mischievous, a dog so full of envy, à cat so malicious ? But then many authors have pretended, that beasts, before man's fall, were different from what they are now; and that it was in order to punish man that they became so wicked. But this opinion is a mere supposition of which there is not the least footstep in holy scripture. It is a pitiful subterfuge to elude areal difficulty: this at most might be said of the beasts with whom man has a sort of correspondence; but not at all of the birds, fishes, and insects, which have no manner of relation to him. We must then have recourse to the second proposition, That the nature
of beasts has, like that of man, been corrupt ed by some original sin: Another hypothesis, void of foundation, and equally inconsistent with reason and religion, in all the systems which have been hitherto espoused concerning the souls of beasts. What party we are to take? Whiy, admit of my system, and all is explained. The souls of beasts are retractorý spirits which have made themselves guilty towards God. The sin in beasts is no original sin; it is a personal crime, which has corrupted and perverted their nature in its whole substance; hence all the vices and corruption we observe in them, though they can be no longer criminal, because God, by irrévocably reprobating them, has at the same time divested them of their liberty.”
These quotations contain the strength of father Bougeant's hypothesis, which also hath had its followers; but the reply to it is obvious. Beasts,though remarkably mischievous, are not completely so; they are in many intances' capable of gratitude and love, which devils cannot possibly be. The
The very same passions that are in the brutés exist in the human nature; and if we choose to argue from the existence of those passions, and the ascendency they have over mankind at some times, we may say with a great justice, that
the souls of men are devils, as much so that the souls of brutes are. All that can be reasonably inferred from the greater prevalency of the malignant passions among the brutes than among men, is, that the former, have less rationality than men; and accordingly it is found, that among savages, who exercise their reason less than other men, every species of barbarity is practised, without being deemed a crime.
The misery which brutes undergo is apparent in most of their actions. That they have the sense of feeling, &c. cannot be denied, and we have already shown from scrip-, ture the precepts which are given for the alleviation of their sufferings. That they are also liable to death itself
is never disputed. To account for these seeming difficulties, we are at no loss, without attributing it to their original sin, or the devils with which father Bougeant says they are possessed. They have no sin, neither original nor actual; nor are they inhabited by devils. What we have already said under Man's Original Sin,* is sufficient, we hope, to convince our readers,
* This is a work the author intended to have published along with the present ; but, for various causes, it is laid aside for a little time.
and explain to them the causes of the external misery, and the death of brutes : however, for the better satisfaction of the unbelieving few, we shall enlarge a little upon the same subject here.
In the chapter on the Human Soul,* we have shown that, the soul is that immaterial and immortal part which never dies, but endureth for ever. It is only the body therefore, of which we have to treat in the meantime. The body of brutes being made subject to the curse pronounced upon the earth for man's disobedience; consequently,were made partaker of all the miseries that flowed from the same.
We have many passages in scripture, of which we have already given a few,that prove the existence of souls; what they are; and, that they must necessarily be immortal. Although those
passages of holy writ that speak of the spirits of beasts, have been wrested not only by the ignorant,but by many of the learned, and basely perverted into meanings for which they never were intended. It can be no subterfuge for a sceptic. Ambiguous, as these passages of scripture seem to be; we think ourselves sufficiently warranted to say, they contain all that is necessary for our conviction and belief. Man being “ the noblest. work of God," was made lord of the whole habitable globe, only a little lower than the angels in heaven, and crowned with glory and honour, capable of answering the great end of his creation; every thing on earth being made subject to his princely authority while he continued in an immaculate and innocent state, obedient to his great Creator's will. But he, after his desertion from his Maker, and the paths of righteousness, lost this mighty prerogitive, and became liable to diseases and death, the wages of his rebellion. The earth was then cursed for his sake, and all the green herbage, the sweet and variegated flowers, and the blooming and bewitching fruits which it produced so luxuriantly, lay under the anathema which followed him, and became sickly, and withered on their stalks in a desponding condition, as if conscious of their fate. Briars and thorns, thistles, obnoxious and poisonous weeds sprung up in their place. No more was the green carpeted walk strewed with the fragrant, the healing and health giving báťm which was cropt by the sportive lamb as it thoughtlessly wantoned by the side of its dam; but henbane, and other weeds of deeper and blacker dye.