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and say to Mr. Norton ; We have indeed their opinion or their account of these matters ; but inasmuch as you admit that they have “misapprehended” some things, “confounded” others, “misplaced” some, and “not sufficiently discriminated” in respect to others; while you even admit that they have “ blended fable and fiction together ;" how can we, who are not, like you, well-read critics, and have no knowledge of the original Scriptures, in any way distinguish between the cases which you thus present to our view, and those where you admit that mere and simple facts and truths are stated ?-if, I say, such questions should be asked, (and they certainly will be), then will Mr. Norton tell us what answer is to be given that will “stop the mouths of such gainsayers ?” I know of none. Where Mr. Norton doubts, he can be appealed to in many ways which are closed up with regard to such individuals as I have just described. But when they doubt, even after reading his book, whether to give their practical assent to Christianity, how are they to be made to feel the awful responsibility under which they place themselves by rejecting the word of the living God?
But I am not writing against Mr. Norton's theology, nor composing a polemical essay against skepticism. I will therefore desist. The importance of the subject; the attitude in which Mr. Norton's remarks have placed it; and the obligation which lies upon every conscientious reviewer not to conceal things in a work the tendency of which he believes will be exceedingly hazardous; have induced me to say thus much. I am sure Mr. Norton, with his desires of canvassing all subjects, and with his strenuous sentiments as it respects liberty to speak our opinions, will neither misconstrue nor take amiss what I have now said.
I have only to add, that the book is printed throughout with great correctness and elegance. A small number of mistakes in the typographical execution, an attentive perusal of the whole has discovered; but they are too triling to deserve mention. The press at Cambridge has few rivals indeed in this country, as to the correctness with which it executes its publications,
THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH, HEAD OVER ALL THINGS ; IL
LUSTRATED BY ANALOGIES BETWEEN NATURE, PROVIDENCE, AND GRACE.
By W. S. Tyler, Professor of Languages, Amherst College.
The Head of the church is likewise “head over all things” - sovereign alike in the kingdom of nature, the kingdom of providence, and the kingdom of grace. He is “ God over all” —the God of nature, of providence, and of grace. This is evidently a doctrine of revelation, directly asserted in many passages,* and clearly innplied in the whole tenor of Scripture.
It is my present design to show, that reason teaches the same doctrine that a rational and candid examination and comparison of the kingdoms of nature, providence and grace will lead us to the conclusion, that they have the same head. My arguments will be drawn from Analogy,“ that powerful engine, which” as has been well said, “in the mind of a Newton, discovered to us the laws of all other worlds, and in that of Columbus, put us in full possession of our own;" and which, it might have been added, in the mind of a Butler disclosed to us the indissoluble ties, that pervade the economy of the natural and the spiritual worlds." The analogies which run through nature, providence and grace, are such, as if not to establish the proposition, yet to create a strong presumption, that they have the same head, and are in fact but different provinces of the same empire-distinct departments of the same government.
The principle involved in this argument is so fully elucidated and so powerfully enforced by Butler in his “ Analogy," as to be familiar to the memory, and convincing to the judgment, of every reader of that important work. He has left little for those, who come after him, to do, but to gather new instances of analogy and thus furnish fresh illustrations of the principle and additional confirmations of the argument.
This field of investigation, which Butler merely opened to our view, is as boundless as the universe ; its treasures and wonders will be
* Eph. 1: 22. Roin. 9: 5.
· Let no
exhausted only when the plan of God's universal government is fully developed and perfectly understood. Into this field
my readers are now invited, with the promise, that if they discover nothing new, they shall see something, that cannot fail to be interesting to the admiring student of the divine works.
1. The first analogy, which I shall mention, respects the qualifications for entering into the kingdoms, whether to explore, or to enjoy them. In all these alike, the qualifications are humility and faith.
Without a humble and modest spirit, we are unprepared to investigate the question before us. On the outermost walls and gates of each of the kingdoms, which we are about to examine and compare, on every side is inscribed the motto : man enter here, save in the garb of humility.” Bacon was the first to discover and apply this analogy, "The kingdom of men founded in science," he says, " is like the kingdom of heaven; no man can enter into it, except in the character of a little child.” A child-like humility and docility was the key by which he opened the vestibule of nature, and in his “Novum Organum," he committed the same key into the hands of subsequent philosophers and commended it to them, as alone capable of unlocking every chamber and cloister in the spacious temple. It need scarcely be remarked that the same key is necessary and adequate to unlock the mysteries of providence and of revelation.
The book of nature, the book of providence, and the book of grace are severally dedicated to children. None but those who have the simplicity and docility, the humble and inquiring disposition of little children are permitted to read them. If others make the attempt, they cannot understand, still less relish their contents.
Without a figure, they who would study the system of nature, providence or grace, must come disposed and prepared, not to determine how things should be, but to inquire how things are; not to dogmatize and dictate, but to learn and obey; not to reason a priori, but to observe and infer. And they who would live happily under either system, must have a contented and submissive spirit, and wear the apparel of humility and modesty.
Faith in its essential elements sustains a relation to each of the three kingdoms akin to that which humility sustains. It is the passport for admission. Not a step can be taken in the study of nature or the observation of Providence, any more than Vol. XI. No. 30.
in the knowledge of revelation, without a belief in the divine veracity-in other words a belief that God will fulfil his tacit promise by maintaining a uniformity in his laws and plans of operation. It confers the right of citizenship. No man can be a useful or happy citizen in the kingdom of nature, providence, or grace, without combining with the intellectual belief just mentioned, a heartfelt confidence in the power, wisdom and goodness of the supreme Ruler of the Universe.
Hence it is, that true science and true religion mutually aid each other. Pure Christianity begets the confiding modesty yet eager hope of the philosopher; and sound philosophy fosters the humility and faith of the Christian. The philosopher believes any thing with evidence, nothing without; and so does the Christian. The Christian feels himself to be merely a humble inquirer at the oracles of God, with vo authority to dictate, no power to control; and so does the philosopher. The proud and dogmatizing spirit of the old Greek philosophers was not more unchristian than it was unphilosophical; accordingly their knowledge of nature and providence was as crude as their notions of religion. The same spirit as exhibited by the modern schools of a priori reasoning is not more unphilosophical than it is unchristian ; accordingly while most philosophers of the observing school have been believers in revelation, skepticism has made sad havoc among those of the school of reasoners a priori. The humble, inquiring and believing philosophy of Socrates made him almost a Christian without a revelation. The proud, dictating and dogmatizing philosophy of the German Neologist makes him an infidel in spite of revelation. We know not, whether the modesty of Newton partakes more largely of true religion or of sound philosophy. We know that Voltaire in his arrogance and conceit was neither a philosopher nor a Christian.
The humble believer,-he it is in every age, that discovers the truths, beholds the wonders, and enjoys the blessings, of nature, providence and grace he alone possesses the elue, that will conduct him through the labyrinth of the divine works. To return to the figure, with which this head was introduced, humility and faith, not exactly in their Christian forms but in their essential elements, are the passports for admission, and the qualifications for citizenship alike in the kingdom of nature, the kingdom of providence, and the kingdom of grace. This analogy, so interesting in itself, it was peculiarly appropriate and important, that we should notice at the commencement
of our inquiries. But we must not linger about the walls ; let us enter the kingdoms in the spirit of humble and believing inquirers, and we shall find secondly, that
2. They are all governed by general laws. This is a characteristic feature of the divine government. Human governments multiply statutes, and strive, but strive in vain, to enact an express law for every specific case. Each day gives birth to an unforeseen emergency, and calls for a new enactment. With the increase of population and national prosperity, the difficulty of legislation increases, till the uninterrupted exercise of legislative wisdom is insufficient to provide for the ever varying interests and relations of the people.
Suppose now some lawgiver should arise, who could comprise every specific right and duty and interest and relation in one simple, comprehensive law. How would he throw into the shade the far-famed lawgivers of antiquity, and the boasting legislators of the present day! But Lycurgus and Solon may rest in peace in their glory; and our representatives in the Legislative hall need indulge no fear of being superseded in their functions and prerogatives. Such a legislator never has arisen and never will appear.
Yet it is by such laws that the kingdoms of nature, providence and grace are governed. Take for examples the law of gravitation, the law of society, and the law of love.
The first regulates the relations and movements of every world and every atom in the material universe. The falling pebble and the rising mote, the descending rain and the ascending fog, the revolving planet, the eccentric comet and the central sun are alike subject to its sway.
The second regulates the relations and movements of every individual in society. Not a human being but feels the power of the social principle attracting him towards other human beings. None are so high as to be independent of the principle; none so low as to escape its all pervading influence.
In like manner, the third regulates the relations and movements of every Christian in the church. However different their denominations and forms and ceremonies, however diverse their rank or talent, or dress, or deportment may be, just so far as they are Christians, all their thoughts and feelings and words and actions are controlled by one general law-the law of love. Thus the material, the social, the spiritual universe each has one general law, all-pervading, all-controlling and allcomprehensive.