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for themselves, remove what would otherwise prove a source of annoyance and disease to other animals."*
And the modes and forms of animal existence are not more multiplied and varied, tban are the contrivances to render life happy. Natural history is little else than an enuineration of manifest proof, that the character of the Deity is wisdom and goodness, and the end, at which he aims, is the happiness of his creatures.
And the history of God's dealings with man, teaches, as a whole, the same lesson. Every organ of his frame, every element in his constitution, every event in his life is designed and adapted to promote his happiness. If he abused no part of his original constitution, and perverted no bounty of providence or gift of grace, he would be entirely happy; and the miseries he suffers, are intended to secure his ultimate highest happiness by reclaiming bim from past, and deterring him from future abuses and perversion. Moral beings can be happy only by being virtuous and holy, and all the provisions of providence and of grace, are directed towards the great object of making them happy in that way. For this object, God inflicts natural and providential evils. For this object, he subjected his beloved Son to untold agonies. For this object, in part at least, he will punish forever the incorrigible sinner. And I know not how a Being of infinite benevolence, would exhibit more convincing and affecting proofs of his regard for the highest happiness of the universe, than in the very pains, which he inflicts so unwillingly upon the children of men, and the agonies, which he laid upon his beloved Son, for the sake of securing a higher degree of happiness on a larger scale.
*“No sooner is the signal given, on the death of any large animal, than multitudes of every class hasten to the spot, eager to partake of the repast, which nature has prepared. If the carcass be not rapidly devoured by rapacions birds, or carniverous quadrupeds, it never fails to be soon attacked by swarms of insects, which speedily consume its softer textures, leaving only the bones. So strongly was Linnaeus impressed with the immensity of the scale, on which these works of demolition by insects are carried on in nature, that he used to maintain, that the carcase of a dead horse, would not be devoured with the same celerity hy a lion, as it would by these flesh flies (Musca vomitoria ) and their immediate progeny: for it is known that one female will give birth to at least 20,000 young larvae, each of which will in the course of one day devour so much food and grow so rapidly as to require an increase of 200 times its weight; and a few days are sufficient to the production of a third generation. The very bones are the favorite food of the hyena, whose powerful jaws are peculiarly formed for grinding them into powder, and whose stomach can extract from them an abundant portion of nutriment. No less speedy is the work of demolition among the inhabitants of the waters, etc.” -See Rodget's Bridgewater Treatise, l'ol. 2, p. 49.
The highest possible amount of happiness, is also the aim and tendency of that universal law of progression, which we have already considered. An infinite progression of goodness and happiness, will produce a greater sum total, than any changeless state, however exalted ; just as the sum of any progressive infinite series in mathematics, however small the first term, is greater than the sum of any unchanging infinite series, however large the fixed term may be. How delightful it is to the enlarged and benevolent mind, to contemplate the onward and upward progress of a holy and happy universe through infinity! Who can sum up that progression! Who can grasp, even in imagination, such an aggregate of excellence and bliss! Oh, they know little of God, who deny his benevolence, little of his universe, who think it not made to be a happy universe !
With the happiness of the creature, the glory of the Creator is associated, as the end of all his works. That glory consists in the display of his glorious attributes, and the exhibition of those attributes, is manifestly a chief end of nature, providence,
Is the natural creation a display of his power ? So is the new spiritual creation.* Does the system of nature illustrate his wisdom? The plan of redemption illustrates it more. Is the goodness of God conspicuous in bis works of creation? It is not less conspicuous in his works of providence and grace. Is his terrible and resistless justice set forth in his providential dispensations? These exhibitions of his displeasure at sin, are premonitions of that great day revealed in the Scriptures, when he will judge the world in righteousness. Is the uniformity of nature's laws and operations, a standing monument of his truth and fidelity to bis promises? The prophecies fulfilled and fulfilling, the promises and threatenings of his word executed, likewise shows his veracity. I He is at once the author, the sub* Eph. 1: 19. Ps. 110: 3.
† Eph. 3: 10. | This analogy is often adverted to in the Scriptures. Ps. 119: 89, 90. Matt. 5: 18.
ject, and the object or end of the book of nature, the book of providence, and the book of grace. All his works are dedicated to himsell-to what other being could they with propriety have been dedicated? They treat of himself, the greatest and best subject. They speak of bim consistently and harmoniously. One book may speak more of his natural, and another, more of his moral attributes. One may treat of some particular topics which are omitted in another, or may discourse of the same topics more clearly and fully; but God is the sum and substance of them all, his character their subject, and his glory, their end. “ All his works praise him, and all his saints bless him.” In nature, the heavens declare his glory, and the firmament showeth his handy work. In providence, day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge of him. And the great end, for which the church is established, is to show forth the praises of him, who called its members out of darkness, into his marvellous light. Every thing animate and inanimate, voluntarily and involuntarily, responds to the call of the "sweet singer of Israel :” “praise ye the Lord;” and the student of nature, and the observer of providence, may unite with the Apocalyptic seer, and
say : Every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be. unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, forever and ever.
I might specify other analogies. I might adduce the intimate analogy between the doctrine of social liabilities in this life, with which nobody thinks of finding any fault, and the proper doctrine of the imputation of Adam's sin, and of Christ's righteousness, of which multitudes complain ; in other words, the analogy between what we actually suffer and enjoy in consequence of our involuntary connection with others in this life, and what we are alleged in the Scriptures to suffer and enjoy, in consequence of the constituted connection between us, and the first and second Adam. I might speak of that uniforinity amid variety, which forms so characteristic and interesting a feature both in the constitution and course of nature, and in the composition and operation of the Bible—which pervades the vegetable, animal, and spiritual kingdoms, the forms and features of mankind, their languages and social institutions, and their moral and religious characters. I might advert to that happy
blending of beauty with utility, which constitutes a striking analogy between the divine works and the divine word; in the former of which natural religion joins hands with the music and poetry of nature, while in the latter, revealed religion is “ wedded to immortal verse." I might mention that simplicity of means, which exalts the divine wisdom so far above all human skill, and which is so well expressed in those oft cited lines,
“ In human works, tho' labored on with pain,
Yet seems to second, too, some other use. But why should I specify. The whole natural world in its constitution and laws, its particular and aggregate, is a counterpart of the spiritual world.* Every object in the former, is a kind of image or type of something in the latter. Nature is a preliminary dispensation, like the Mosaic, true and holy so far as it goes, insufficient by itself, imperfectly understood without a further revelation, but when thus understood, illustrating and confirming the Christian dispensation. The temple of nature, like Solomon's temple, is full of types and shadows of heavenly things, though the " candlestick” of Christianity must be lighted up in it, before they become distinctly visible. Have not the flowers a language, and the brutes a voice, to teach us the domestic, the social, the Christian virtues ?t Read Pollok's description of nature's preaching.
The seasons came and went, and went and came,
Mankind unostentatious charity."
* The writer does not mean to countenance the mysticism of the Hutchinsonians, or tbe subtile speculations of the Platonists, but simply to present the external world in that intimate relation to the spiritual world, which it sustained in the mind of the sacred writers, who certainly saw everywhere marks of the divine presence, and enablems of heavenly things.
+ Matt: 6: 26–30. Prov. 6: 6-8. 30: 24–28. Isa. 1: 3.
and say, whether it is all poetry, or wirether the objects of nature, and the events of providence do in truth teach us lessons of spiritual wisdom. Follow, above all, in the train of our Saviour, and as he utters bis parables, and delivers bis sermons, see all nature a picture-gallery filled with likenesses and sketches of heavenly things. Indeed it is a striking characteristic of all the sacred writers, that they find memorials, and types of God and heaven in every natural object and event; and the allegories, the similes, all the figurative language of the Bible, is a standing illustration of the analogies that pervade the realms of nature, providence and grace.
Now I need not spend time in establishing the inference from these numerous and striking analogies, that the realms in which they prevail, have the same head. When we see similar laws administered in a similar manner, in different provinces, and the same characteristic features prevailing, with only those differences which diverse circumstances require, we inser that they are under the same government. The same striking and characteristic peculiarities of sentiment, style and imagery, prove the books in which they are found, to have the same author. When I apply these principles to the present subject of discussion, I am constrained to believe that nature, providence, and grace, are provinces governed by the same head, books written by the same great author. I would as soon believe that man administers the providential government of the world, as that he devised and established the church; and when I come to the conclusion that man made the heavens and the earth, then I may be ready to believe that unaided man was the author of the Bible.
A few remarks, which are suggested by the foregoing discussion, but could not conveniently find a place in it, will close this protracted article.
1. Analogy affords us the best ineans of answering objections both against science and religion. The scientific man has few objections to urge against religion, which do not lie with equal force against nature and providence; and the religious man has few objections to urge against science, which if valid at all, would not be equally valid against religion. Press hence upon both the analogy, and if you do not convince, you will silence. Does the philosopher object to the theological doctrine of divine sovereignty ? Show him, that the same doctrine is written on every page of nature and providence. Does the theologian