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of severe trial there was little time or taste, he observes:
"In a period of leisure and security, like ours, the imagination is drawn upon to supply, as it may, that excitement, and administer to that novelty which is so natural to man. This it is which above all blinds the mind's sight to the occasions presented by the hand of God. They are not sufficiently striking forsooth, they are associated with common-place and the detail of ordinary life; they are tricked out in none of those brilliant colours with which it has invested the day of proof and trial. They are, therefore, carelessly passed by. Another comes, and still another, but neither is it yet the time. He reserves himself for a day of his own choosing, and not of God's offering; he looks forward in his carnal mind to some theatrical exhibition of his faith, and the future confessor amid his lofty speculation is overthrown, and brought to the ground by the slightest and the most despised of daily incidents. For the value of any excitement of mind, where this power is concerned; for the reality of his zeal, his love, his faith, and all on which he builds, I would refer him to no unsubstantial vision, but an actual scene which shortly preceded the death of our blessed Lord. Of all that immense crowd which with waving boughs of palm, and loud hosannas, were conducting him through the streets of Jerusalem, over their strewn garments, in triumph to his temple, how many but a few days after interfered to save him from the cross,how many did not surround that cross with mockings and revilings?
"Shall the opportunity, then, set before his eyes, serve at best but as a keynote to a strain of idle dreaming and unprofitable speculation? Yet, to use the words of the Lawgiver, it is not hidden from him, neither is it afar off; it is not in heaven, nor beyond the sea, but it is nigh unto him, that he may do it. O never let the healthy activity of practice yield to a morbid habit of speculation. Hurtful as the effects of such an exchange will be, they will not stop at mere neglect of opportunities, but go on to undermine the foundations of religious faith, which can continue pure in doctrine, and vital in practice, only by resolutely casting off all self-conceived notions; by bringing the imagination in strict subjection to the sober tenor of Scripture; by giving up the heart in all simplicity, and the mind in concentrated attention upon its facts
and doctrines, and by seeking diligently every occasion to put the grace of God into practical effect." pp. 96-98.
We quote one passage more, like the last, of a directly practical character. It may be said there is a coldness and legality in such
exhortations; but who, in days
"In that fold, in his holy and blessed
"Can he complain that these opportunities come to him not sufficiently distinct for his apprehension ?-this is but to admit that he was deficient in vigilance. His heavenly Master gave him ample notice of their passage." pp. 99-101.
We have dwelt, in the above
bearing upon Dr. Paley's theory of
look for a treatise that would wholly supersede it; but the main principle on which the writer's moral philosophy is based is unsound: it not only was not needed as a rule of moral conduct, by those who have the light of Christianity to guide them, but it is absolutely prejudicial, as it professes to derive right practice from motives which were in themselves inadequate, or improper. Mr. Evans deserves the thanks of the Christian student for raising his voice against Paley's system; and also for the masterly manner in which he has acquitted himself in this enterprise. We would not utter a word to derogate from the just praise of Paley. To say nothing of his preliminary work on Natural Theology, his Evidences of Christianity and his Horæ Paulinæ entitle him to be gratefully mentioned by Christians; and some of his sermons, particularly those written in his latter years, contain admirable vindications of scriptural statements and doctrines. Let then his works maintain their just place in the estimation of the Christian world; as they will maintain it, so long as calm discussion and sound argument are considered suitable instruments for defending the cause of truth: but the Moral Philosophy is fundamentally defective, as a code for Christians; and we trust the day is not far distant when it shall cease to possess much of its present weight and authority. It is no small advantage gained, that, filling a most responsible situation in the university of Cambridge, Mr. Evans has come forward unequivocally to express his conscientious conviction, and to utter his solemn warning, upon the subject.
We offer these remarks with the distinct recollection in our minds of the arguments which have been offered in favour of Paley's system, and fresh from the perusal of the
most powerful defence of it which has hitherto appeared, in a recent publication by the Rev. Latham Wainewright. It is but justice to refer our readers to this reply to the objections of Mr. Dugald Stewart, Mr. Gisborne, Dr. Pearson, Dr. Brown, and Dr. Whately, against Dr. Paley's theory; and we are quite willing to concede to Mr. Wainewright, what we have stated again and again years ago, that Paley may have been partly misunderstood, and that he did not mean, as he himself tells us, to shut out Scripture as the supreme guide of the Christian, or to set up expediency or utility against the will of God. But it is clear to us, and our perusal of Mr. Wainewright's "Vindication" has only confirmed us in the opinion, that, to say the least, Paley, in his view of utility and expediency, grievously neglects, if he does not wholly overlook, the very point on which Mr. Evans so powerfully dwells-the cross of Christ. The advocate for Paley might reply, that the cross of Christ is a motive, not a law; but, take it either way, (and we think it partakes of both,) it forms an essential part of the " theory of (Christian) morals," and it was for Christians that Paley was writing. Dr. Young was not less correct as a moral philosopher than as a theologian, when he affirmed:
Talk they of morals? O thou bleeding
The great morality is love to Thee. We see not how a Christian can separate utility, or expediency, from this all-absorbing "theory;" a theory not barren or unfruitful, but connected with every detail of practical duty. We differ from Paley, much as we think Mr. Evans would differ from Mr. Wainewright, on this topic; for we think that even when Paley, and Mr. Wainewright himself, speak of the will of God as the highest standard of expediency, the idea of "the
cross of Christ" does not of necessity pass through their minds, as a necessary element in the question; so that their "theory of morals" is practically defective by the whole difference between a revelation which makes known to us God in his self-existing relations, and God as a reconciled Father in Christ Jesus. To shew that we have not overstated this difference (which we should be the more unwilling to do, as the author might think we dislike his "theory of morals" from remembering his strictures, in a former work, on what he was pleased to call "the Evangelical party"), we copy the following passage, which he quotes with approbation from Dr. Adam Smith:
"When it is asked," says Dr. Smith, "why we ought to obey the will of the Deity; this question, which would be impious and absurd in the highest degree, if asked from any doubt that we ought to obey him, can admit but of two different answers. It must either be said that we ought to obey the will of the Deity, because he is a Being of infinite power, who will reward us eternally if we do otherwise; or it must be said, that, independent of any regard to our own happiness, or to rewards and punishments of any kind, there is a congruity and fitness that a creature should obey its Creator, that a limited and imperfect being should submit to one of infinite and incomprehensible perfections. Besides one or other of these two, it is impossible to conceive that any other answer can be given to this question."
Now let us see how this matter hangs together. Dr. Smith was the bosom friend of Hume; with whom he too much fraternized in scepticism, though he differed from him in his theory of morals. Smith pleaded for sympathy; Hume urged that what was right was expedient; which Paley, convers
ing, turned into what was expedient was right. It is not to the purpose of the present remarks to settle the point between them. Hume's" what is good is useful," is better than Paley's "what is useful is good;" though the truth of both propositions must depend upon what is meant by "good," and still more upon what is meant by "useful." Smith did not like the coldness of either the expediency of goodness, or the goodness of expediency, and argued for the instinctive affections of our nature, as an essential part of morals. But in one point all three bend the same way-the two philosophers altogether, and Paley we fear too much practically-that is, in not making the cross of Christ (we keep to Mr. Evans's text) an essential and predominant part of the theory of morals, as morals are, or ought to be, explicated by a Christian. And have we spoken untruly in so asserting, when we find Mr. Wainewright, in his defence of Paley, quoting from Adam Smith, whose "admirable practical observations and precepts he panegyrizes, the above passage, in which our "obedience to the will of the Deity" is avowedly placed upon the grounds of simple Deism? Thus rises the climax: Virtue, says the philosopher, is to be followed, because it is useful; but utility itself, adds he, upon second thoughts, should have reference to the "will of the Deity," where that will is known; and for two reasons, first, because of future rewards and punishments, and, secondly, because of the natural congruity of a finite being obeying the Infinite. besides these, concludes the philosopher, there is no other answer to the question, Why should we obey God? Thus the Bible is virtually excluded. We are to obey God, says Smith, says Paley, and virtually says Mr. Wainewright, because it is expedient, and because it is congruous (Paley in
adverted to from its connexion with Mr. Evans's argument, will, upon further consideration, admit that the objections to the doctrine of expediency and utility are of more importance than he had allowed; for, could we conquer all minor objections (especially that of the utter practical invalidity of the rule, no man knowing all the ultimate relations of general utility, so as to make it a guide to his actions), yet we could not set aside the palpable fact that the scheme is virtually founded on a basis independent of the peculiarities of Divine Revelation, and what are most truly called " the doctrines of grace." Hume went as far as he knew and believed; and Adam Smith went somewhat further and better, not excluding moral sensibility, or, as the Apostle, with true philosophy, expresses it, a conscience accusing or excusing;" but a Christian divine ought to go much further still and Mr. Wainewright assuredly will not consider it as an over-refinement of what he calls "the Evangelical party," but the plain teaching of Scripture, in which all true Christians, without any party distinctions, are agreed, that we assert, with Mr. Evans, copying Chrysostom, and Chrysostom copying the Apostles, that no theory of morals, based on any foundation whatever, is of any value, except that which flows directly from the cross of Christ : "when we rise, the cross; when we lie down, the cross; in our thoughts, the cross; in our studies, the cross; in our conversation, the cross; everywhere, and at every time, the cross shining more glorious than the sun." If Paley's expediency can be shewn really to come to this, we shall rejoice to learn the fact; but his own statements, we repeat, would never have left such an impression on
cluded congruity); but the true
A Memoir of the Rev. Alexander Waugh, D. D. By the Rev. J. HAY, M. A. and the Rev. H. BELFRAGE, D.D. 8vo. London. 1830.
THE subject of this interesting memoir was a Presbyterian, a Seceder, and, till Christianity triumphed over party dissensions, an Anti-burgher; and had he been living we might have been disposed to hold a few friendly arguments with him-if not with the hope of mutual conviction, at least with the expectation of learning from his example how to smooth down asperities without violating conscience, and to make even controversy a banquet of affection. For deceived we are not, we cannot be, by that beaming portrait that eyes us as we open the volume; and if the portrait did not speak, the book does, and tells us of one whose gentle and saintly spirit, beyond that of most of his fellows in the school of Christ, was conformed to that of his Divine Exemplar. Our pleasing task will be to exhibit him by the ad duction of a few passages from the memoir, with as little of our own remark as will serve to bind together the extracts.
We commence with the following graphic sketch of the class of Scottish society among which Dr. Waugh was born and educated; and between whom and the present living race (too much degenerated, we fear, from this lovely simplicity), he formed one of the few remaining links.
"Alexander Waugh was born on the 16th of August, 1754, at East Gordon, a small village in the parish of Gordon, Berwickshire. Thomas Waugh and Margaret Johnstone, his parents, belonged to the class of small farmers, who for some centuries were the cultivators of the soil throughout every part of Scotland; and who, being generally considered by their landlords as the hereditary feudatories of their families, were accustomed to succeed each other from father to son, with nearly as little variation as the proprietors themselves.
"This valuable order of husbandmen,
who constituted a very considerable properiod, of the third generation in descent portion of the population, were, at this from the Covenanters who lived towards the latter end of the seventeenth century; to whom their country owes a deep debt of gratitude, for their pious zeal, their patient sufferings, and their severe, longprotracted, and ultimately successful struggle with a despotic and persecuting government. Like their ancestors, whose cherished and venerated, besides being memory for the most part they warmly zealous Presbyterians, they were distinguished by frugal habits, simple manners, and an ardent regard for evangelical doctrines. In addition to a regular and exemplary attendance on the public ordinances of Divine worship, they faithfully performed the exercises of devotion in their families, and laboured, with patriof their children and domestics the prinarchal diligence, to instil into the minds ciples of sound doctrine and a holy life. The strict and regular observance of the duties of family religion, appears to have in scriptural knowledge, in sobriety of been one chief cause of the high eminence manners, as well as in every domestic virtue, for which the northern part of Great Britain was then justly celebrated."
"The habitation of a Scottish husbandman in the southern counties, sixty or seventy years ago, was generally a plain, substantial building, holding a middle rank between the residences of the inferior gentry and the humble cottages of the labouring peasantry. The farm-house, with the small windows of its second story often projecting through the thatched roof, occupied, for the most part, the one side of a quadrangle, in which the young cattle were folded; the other three sides being enclosed and sheltered by the barns, stables, and other farm offices. A kitchen garden stocked with the common potherbs then in use, and sometimes with a few fruit-trees, extended on one side, sheltered perhaps by a hedge of boortree or elder, and often skirted by a few aged forest trees; while the low, thatched dwellings of the hinds and cotters stood at a little distance, each with its small cabbage-garden, or kail-yard, behind, and its stack of peat or turf fuel in front.
"An upland farm, of the common average size, extending to about four or five hundred acres, partly arable and partly pastoral, usually employed three or four ploughs; and the master's household, exclusive of his own family, consisted of six or seven unmarried servants, male and female. The married servants,—namely, a head shepherd, and a hind or two (as the married ploughmen were termed),-occupied cottages apart; as likewise did the cotters, who were rather a sort of farm retainers than servants, being bound only to give the master, in lieu of rent,