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-he retraces his steps and continues to renew his investigations, until he discovers the secret of his miscarriage. They serve the same purpose to him, which the answer to its sum serves to the child in learning his arithmetic. They are at once a guide and a check to his speculations. Paley* has depreciated the sufficiency of the Scriptures as a rule, from the absurd notion, that if they were admitted to be complete, they would dispense with the use of moral philosophy. He took it for granted that the sole business of philosophy was to furnish rules; and, of course, if they are already furnished to our hands, there is no need for its investigations. To save, therefore, the credit of the science which he had undertaken to expound, he has impugned the value of the ethical teachings of the Bible. His argument is curious; he has very singularly confounded moral philosophy with the moral constitution of man, and because the Scriptures "presuppose, in the persons to whom they speak, a knowl

* Moral and Political Philosophy. Book i. chap. 4.

edge of the principles of natural justice;" that is, because they pre-suppose a conscience, or a sense of the fundamental differences of right and wrong, he gravely concludes, that they exact of men, in order to be understood, some tincture of philosophy. But it is one thing to be a moral agent, and quite another to be a moral philosopher. The Scriptures. certainly expect that those to whom they speak, are possessed of those principles of practical common sense, without which their instructions are utterly unmeaning and absurd. But to possess these principles is not to be a philosopher. Philosophy implies reflection, speculation-it is thought questioning the spontaneous processes of mind-thought returning upon itself, and seeking the nature, authority and criterion of its own laws. A man may have all that Dr. Paley ascribes to him, without having once reflected upon the mysterious furniture, or asked himself a single question, which properly belongs to the domain of philosophy. The Scriptures, consequently, in prescribing an adequate and per

fect rule of life, are far from dispensing with speculation. They leave untouched its peculiar work. The moral nature, in its phenomenal variety and essential unity, still invites the researches of the curious; and the more it is studied, the more conspicuous will appear the absolute sufficiency of the Bible. The law of the Lord is perfect.

2. The superior efficiency of the Bible is universally conceded by all who admit a revelation at all. It teaches duty with greater certainty, and enforces it by motives of greater power. Dr. Paley thinks this the great merit of the Scriptures; and that it is a merit of incalculable importance, will at once appear, by reflecting on the tendency of temptation to blind the mind to the truth of the law, or the danger of the consequences. Whatever certifies the rule, or illustrates the misery of disobedience, assaults temptation in its strong hold, and strips transgression of its favourite plea. The certainty of the law is put beyond question in the Scriptures, because it rests upon the immediate authority of God.

It is


not a deduction of reason to be questioned, but a Divine command to be obeyed. The power of the sanctions is found in the unlimited control which He, who promulgates the law, possesses of the invisible world. legal motives of the Scriptures are projected. on a scale of inconceivable grandeur. The Bible deals with the vast, the awful, the boundless. If it addresses our hopes and proposes the prospect of future happiness, it is an exceeding, an eternal weight of glory it dispenses. Does it remind us of a judgment to come? God is the Judge, earth and hell the subjects; angels spectators, and the complexion of eternity the doom. Does it address our fears? It reminds us of a worm that never dies-a fire that is never quenched-the blackness of darkness forever. It is a grand system; it springs from the bosom of an infinite God, and opens a field of infinite interests. Eternity is the emphasis it gives to its promises, the terror it imparts to its curse. Conscience, under the tuition of nature, may dread the future; it is the prerogative of revelation

alone to lay it bare. Conscience may may tremble, but revelation alone can show how justly its fears have been excited. Hence the Bible is without a rival, when it speaks in the language of command. It wields the thunder

of infinite power, as well as utters the voice of infinite righteousness. Still, its mightiest sanctions are not what may be be called its legal motives. The scheme of redemption, in its conception and evolution, is a sublime commentary upon the sacredness and supremacy of right, which, while it reveals the ineffable enormity of sin, presents the character of God in such an aspect of venerable grandeur, that holiness becomes awful and majestic, and we insensibly adore under the moral impression which it makes. He that stands beneath the cross and understands the scene, dares not sin-not because there is a hell beneath him, or an angry God above him, but because holiness is felt to reign there—the ground on which he treads is sacred-the glory of the Lord encircles him, and, like Moses, he must remove the

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