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the increased illumination of later times.

Had modern ways

of thinking been applied to their works, had the results of a deeper investigation into the laws of the mind and the principles of biblical criticism, been in their possession, their works would have been the most perfect records of human wisdom which the world contains.

Some of those great monuments of the power of human thought, however, stand complete. By a mighty effort of genius, their authors seized on truth; they fixed it in permanent forms; they chained down scattered reasonings, and left them to be surveyed by men of less mental stature and far feebler powers. It is a proof of no mean talent now to be able to follow where they lead; to grasp in thought what they had the power to originate. They framed a complete system at the first touch; and all that remains for coming ages corresponds to what Johnson has said of poets in respect to Homer, to "transpose their arguments, new-name their reasonings, and paraphrase their sentiments."* The works of such men are a collection of principles, to be carried into every region of morals and theology, as a standard of all other views of truth. Such a distinction we are disposed to give to Butler's Analogy; and it is because we deem it worthy of such a distinction, that we now single it out from the great works of the past, and commend it to the attention of our readers.

There are two great departments of investigation respecting the "analogy of religion to the constitution and course of nature." The one contemplates that analogy as existing between the declarations of the Bible and ascertained facts in the structure of the globe, the organization of the animal system, the memorials of ancient history, the laws of light, heat, and gravitation, the dimensions of the earth, and the

Johnson. Preface to Shakspeare.

form and motion of the heavenly bodies. From all these sources, objections have been derived against revelation. The most furious attacks have been made, at one time by the geologist, at another by the astronomer-on one pretense by the antiquarian, and on another by the chemist, against some part of the system of revealed truth. Yet never have any assaults been less successful. Every effort of this kind has resulted in the establishment of this great truth, that no man has yet commenced an investigation of the works of nature, for the purpose of assailing revelation, who did not ultimately exhibit important facts in its confirmation, just in proportion to his eminence and success in his own department of inquiry. We are never alarmed, therefore, when we see an infidel philosopher of real talents, commence an investigation into the works of nature. We hail his labours as destined ultimately to be auxiliary to the cause of truth. We have learned that here Christianity has nothing to fear; and men of science, we believe, are beginning to understand that here infidelity has nothing to hope. As a specimen of the support which Christianity receives from the researches of science, we refer our readers to Ray's Wisdom of God, to Paley's Natural Theology, and to Dick's Christian Philosopher.

The other department of investigation to which we referred is that which relates to the analogy of revealed truth to the actual facts exhibited in the moral government of the world. This is the department which Butler has entered, and which he has so successfully explored. It is obvious that the first is a wider field, in regard to the number of facts which bear on the analogy the latter is more profound and less tangible, in relation to the great subject of theological debate. The first meets more directly the open and plausible objections of the blasphemer; the latter represses the secret infidelity of the human heart, and silences more effectually the ten thousand clamours which are accustomed to be raised against the peculiar

doctrines of the Bible. The first is open to successive advances, and will be so, till the whole physical structure of the world is fully investigated and known. The latter, we may almost infer, seems destined to rest where it now is, and to stand before the world as complete as it ever will be, by one prodigious effort of a gigantic mind. Each successive chemist, antiquary, astronomer, and anatomist will throw light on some great department of human knowledge, to be moulded to the purposes of religion by some future Paley, or Dick, or Good; and in every distinguished man of science, whatever may be his religious feelings, we hail an ultimate auxiliary to the cause of truth. Butler, however, seems to stand alone. No adventurous mind has attempted to press his great principles of thought still further into the regions of moral inquiry. Though the subject of moral government is better understood now than it was in its day; though light has been thrown on the doctrines of theology, and a perceptible advance been made in the knowledge of the laws of the mind, yet whoever now wishes to know "the analogy of religion to the constitution and course of nature," has nowhere else to go but to Butler; or if he is able to apply the principles of Butler, he has only to incorporate them with his own reasonings, to furnish the solution of those facts and difficulties that "perplex mortals." We do not mean by this, that Butler has exhausted the subject. We mean only that no man has attempted to carry it beyond the point where he left it; and that his work, though not in our view as complete as modern habits of thought would permit it to be, yet stands like one of those vast piles of architecture commenced in the Middle Ages— proofs of consummate skill, of vast power, of amazing wealth, yet in some respects incomplete or disproportioned, but which no one since has dared to remodel, and which no one, perhaps, has had either the wealth, the power, or the genius requisite to make more complete.

Of Butler, as a man, little is known. This is one of the many cases, where we are compelled to lament the want of a full and faithful biography. With the leading facts of his life, as a parish priest and a prelate, we are indeed made acquainted. But here our knowledge of him ends. Of Butler as a man of piety, of the secret, practical operations of his mind, we know little. Now it is obvious that we could be in possession of no legacy more valuable, in regard to such a man, than the knowledge of the secret feelings of his heart; of the application of his own modes of thinking to his own soul, to subdue the ever-varying forms of human weakness and guilt; and of his practical way of obviating, for his personal comfort, the suggestions of unbelief in his own bosom. This fact we know, that he was engaged upon his Analogy during a period of twenty years. Yet we know nothing of the effect on his own soul; of the mode in which he blunted and warded off the poisoned shafts of infidelity. Could we see the internal organization of his mind, as we can now see that of Johnson; could we trace the connection between his habits of thought and his pious emotions, it would be a treasure to the world equalled perhaps only by his Analogy, and one which we may in vain hope now to possess. The true purposes of biography have been hitherto but little understood. The mere external events pertaining to great men are often of little value. They are without the mind, and produce feelings unconnected with any important purposes of human improvement. Who reads now with any emotion, except regret, that this is all he can read of such a man as Butler— that he was born in 1692, graduated at Oxford in 1721, preached at the Rolls till 1726, was made Bishop of Durham. in 1750, and died in 1752. We learn, indeed, that he was high in favour at the university, and subsequently at court; that he was retiring, modest and unassuming in his deportment; and that his elevation to the Deanery of St. Paul's, and

to the princely See of Durham, was not the effect of ambition, but the voluntary tribute of those in power to transcendent talent and exalted though retiring worth. An instance of his modest and unambitious habits, given in the record of his life, is worthy of preservation, and is highly illustrative of his character. For seven years he was occupied in the humble and laborious duties of a parish priest, at Stanhope. His friends regretted his retirement, and sought preferment for him. Mr. Secker, an intimate friend of Butler, being made chaplain to the king in 1732, one day, in conversation with Queen Caroline, took occasion to mention his friend's name. The queen said she thought he was dead, and asked Archbishop Blackburn if that was not the case. His reply was, "No, madam, but he is buried." He was thus raised again to notice, and ultimately to high honours in the hierarchy of the English church.

Butler was naturally of a contemplative and somewhat melancholy turn of mind. He sought retirement, therefore, and yet needed society. It is probable that natural inclination, as well as the prevalent habits of unbelief in England, suggested the plan of his Analogy. Yet, though retiring and unambitious, he was lauded in the days of his advancement, as sustaining the episcopal office with great dignity and splendour; as conducting the ceremonies of religion with a pomp approaching the grandeur of the Roman Catholic form of worship; and as treating the neighbouring clergy and nobility with the "pride, pomp, and circumstance," becoming, in their view, a minister of Jesus transformed into a nobleman of secular rank, and reckoned among the great officers of state. These are, in our view, spots in the life of Butler; and all attempts to conceal them have only rendered them more glaring. No authority of antiquity, no plea of the grandeur of imposing rites, can justify the pomp and circumstance appropriate to an English prelatical bishop, or invest with

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