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OR THE TEMPTATION EVER SO GREAT, IS A DEADLY SIN, AND THAT INDEPENDENTLY OF ALL WRITTEN LAWS WHATEVER; DEADLY, FOR EITHER DUTY HAS NO MEANING AT ALL, OR ITS SIGNIFICANCE IS IMMENSE AND ETERNAL. This is the great common law of all religions, whereby, according to St. Paul, the heathen are a law unto themselves : it is the beginning and end of Christianity as a code of practicable principles : towards this have we all to strive, honestly to be and do all we believe we ought to do and be. Oh, let us be brave in this fell conflict of conscience and rebellious passion: there is no other warfield to try it in, no fiercer enemy to cope with, no more glorious victory to win; and defeat will be irretrievably terrible to dree. Sinner! it is to no purpose that thou dost not feel it to be a fight at all ; it is the worse for thee; the foe has thrown thee into a false slumber by some deadly stratagem : awake! buckle on thine armour, stand to thy post, heed not thy gaping wounds! Ah me! thou groanest aloud in pain, bleedest too much, madly staggerest in the unequal contest, reelest to the ground a hundred times: who is sufficient for these things ? Is there no help ?—Yes, poor struggler ! endure a little longer : there is an ever-welling fountain of grace to refresh thy broken spirit, a helmet of safety to wear, a breastplate of faith to put on, a sword of subtlest edge which even thou mayest wield, and a rock of promise for thee to stand upon invincible.
Such, my brothers, is the maddening rout, of light battling with victorious darkness, on which the Sun of Righteousness has arisen with healing in his beams: a consummation memorable in the annals of eternity!
THE ARGUMENT OF DESIGN EQUAL TO NOTHING;
NIEUENTYTT AND PALEY versus DAVID HUME AND SAINT PAUL.
BY FIDIAN (LATE VICTORIOUS) ANALYSIS.
A FEW WORDS OF GRATITUDE, INTIMATION, AND
CONFIDENCE TO THE READER.
GENEROUS READER! now that I am fairly afield, I beg you to believe that every word I shall say about the mysteries of the most holy Religion of Christendom, is ground out of me by the forces of that universe of sensation, consciousness, and conscience, athwart the conflicting light and darkness of which we are both wending our rapid way towards the true immensity, with its everlasting alternatives of good or ill. That is my part of our mutual task; and, let me remind you, it is yours, either to make sure that your companion is one of a company of men who have no eye for the beauty of truth at all, or give earnest heed to our sincerity. One other word or two; and altogether in my own
Since the publication of our first number, a curious circumstance has occurred—nay, I would not have your curiosity too much excited, for, after all, it is a very trifling thing, and may annoy rather than in
struct, or even amuse you. Everything, however, has its significance, and this may have its meaning too, both for myself and my reader; so it had better be mentioned and dismissed. Besides, the particular and the special are always true types of the general and the universal : so that what I have to record about my private life will stand for some part of the great history of mankind, if it be told aright.
Well! you must know that Christopher Analysis, my reverend father, was essentially a man of faith, but was not aware of it. I would describe him as a thin, dark, yearning man, who worked hard and humbly all his days in the service of Christ,' and was sustained under the load of his meek labours by the incessant pulse of a strong heart of faith, without ever knowing he had such a heart at all: like an old Hebrew man of God, in this respect. There was this essential distinction between the Abrahamic kind of faith, however, and his: both unconscious, the former was quite unaccompanied by anything like analysis, as we have seen and admired already; while the latter was absolutely hidden from its possessor, though not from Him who 'seeth in secret,' by the overgrowth of modern science. Standing before the altar, he loved to pursue the planets in their invisible pathways round the sun; to track the flowing blood of life, from heart to heart again, through the myriad smooth channels and ducts of the alembic circulation in his own surpassing frame; and thence to think that he inferred the existence and attributes of a God, to the great corroboration of the truth of Revelation. I remember how he would lead me away, yet a child, to some expanse of seaside sand, when the tide had ebbed; draw a three-foot sun with his staff; put on all the planets, satellites, and comets at their right distances, and of
their proportional sizes ; trace their manifold interweaving orbits; and then, with glistening eye now upturned to the blazing sun on high, and now bent down on the radiated sand at our feet, set them all a-swimming in their appointed courses among the blue ether of heaven: and bid me conclude that such stupendous mechanism and exquisite design implied Divinity. Then those big, tortuous, and purpled veins on the back of his aged hand, how many a lesson about the Great Designer did he read from them, blessed characters that they were, as I sat upon his knee, with the clustering group of sisters and brothers about us, when the Sabbath-days came round. Our orreries upon the beach were swept away almost as soon as they were made; and the substance of those distended blood-vessels, which used to be our diagrams of physiology, has long ago gone down dust to dust, melted away into the common ocean of organific matter, and sprung up anew in, God only knows how many, beautiful forms of life; but there shall cease to be any unity in my successive days, when I forget these paternal instructions. Heaven forbid it! for what can we be without simplicity of progress from year to year, but suicidal rebels against the deepest and widest of the laws of the very world in which we have been appointed to dwell ?
The truth is, that the beauty and magnificence of the mere external machinery of the universe, and the power of the intellectual instrumentality by which these have been expounded with such signal success in our centuries, lay too heavy on my honoured father's mind; and that combined with his immovable faith in Christianity to produce a character, which is very nearly universal among the religious men of the present day in Britain, For example, he thought that he believed the word, and consequently the divinity, of the Christ, because the man Jesus bad given irresistible "evidence,' in his miracles, of the divinity of his mission; and that the proof accumulated to infinitude by the addition of the evidence' of prophecy, the evidence' of the general fitness of the gospel of peace to the constitution of man, and the like. Accordingly, his conception of the mysteries proper, such as the Holy Trinity, was that they resemble the solar system before the rise of Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton; and that they may all become comprehensible in God's own good time, if not on earth, at least in heaven. I say he thought that such was the foundation of his belief, or rather perhaps that such might be the foundation of a right Christian belief to others; for, after all, this was only his scientific statement of the theorem of Christianity, which is a very different thing, for every man, from the reality of the Christian life.
Abraham's religion was that of unconscious faith without any analysis, and necessarily assumed no spoken form, but could neither be heard nor seen, being his very self. My father's was the product of unconscious faith and conscious analysis, and it has been that of most reflective pious Britons since the philosophy of Locke was infused into our theology. That which my brethren have become minded to preach, with such power as may be given them, is the religion of conscious faith discovered, and then aided by conscious analysis ; and that by no means as originators, for it is as old as Paul, who was the first analytical writer on Christianity. Not as originators of any novelty, but as men who have themselves passed through every form of scientific doubt and dismay, and yearn to clear the much-obstructed passage towards the one true religion of charity, for the sake of such as may stand in jeopardy, and need their