Imagens das páginas

What blessings Thy free bounty gives,

Let me not cast away;
For God is paid when man receives;

To enjoy is to obey.

Yet not to earth's contracted span

Thy goodness let me bound,
Or think Thee Lord alone of man,

When thousand worlds are round:

Let not this weak, unknowing hand

Presume Thy bolts to throw, And deal damnation round the land

On each I judge Thy foe.

If I am right, Thy grace impart,

Still in the right to stay ; If I am wrong, oh teach my heart

To find that better way!

Who hung with woods yon mountain's sultry brow?
From the dry rock who bade the waters flow,
Not to the skies in useless columns toss'd,
Or in proud falls magnificently lost,
But clear and artless, pouring through the plain
Health to the sick, and solace to the swain.
Whose causeway parts the vale with shady rows ?
Whose seats the weary traveller repose ?
Who taught that heaven-directed spire to rise ?
“ The Man of Ross," each lisping babe replies.
Behold the market-place with poor o'erspread!
The Man of Ross divides the weekly bread:
He feeds yon alms-house, neat, but void of state,
Where Age and Want sit smiling at the gate ;
Him portion'd maids, apprenticed orphans bless'd,
The young who labour, and the old who rest.
Is any sick? the Man of Ross relieves,
Prescribes, attends, the medicine makes, and gives.
Is there a‘variance ? enter but his door,
Balk'd are the courts, and contest is no more.
Despairing quacks with curses fled the place,
And vile attorneys, now an useless race.

B. Thrice happy man! enabled to pursue
What all so wish, but want the power to do!
Oh say, what sums that generous hand supply?
What mines to swell that boundless charity ?

P. Of debts and taxes, wife and children clear, This man possess'd-five hundred pounds a year. Blush, Grandeur, blush! proud courts, withdraw your

blaze, Ye little stars, hide your diminish'd rays!

B. And what? no monument, inscription, stone ? His race, his form, his name almost unknown?

P. Who builds a church to God, and not to fame, Will never mark the marble with his name: Go, search it there, where to be born, and die, Of rich and poor makes all the history; Enough, that Virtue fill'd the space between; Proved, by the ends of being, to have been.

Save me alike from foolish pride,

Or impious discontent At aught Thy wisdom has denied

Or aught Thy goodness lent.

Teach me to feel another's woe,

To hide the fault I see; That mercy I to others show,

That merey show to me.

Mean though I am, not wholly so,

Since quicken'd by Thy breath ; Oh lead me, wheresoe'er I go,

Through this day's life or death!

This day, be bread and peace my lot:

All else beneath the sun Thou know'st if best bestow'd or not,

And let Thy will be done.

In the year of the publication of this Essay (1732) Pope published also the first two Epistles of his “ Essay on Man;" in the following year the third Epistle of that series, and his Characters of Men. In 1734 followed the fourth Epistle of the “ Essay on Man," and the series was closed in 1738 with

To Thee, whose temple is all space,

Whose altar, earth, sea, skies, One chorus let all Being raise !

All Nature's incense rise !

THE UNIVERSAL PRAYER. Father of all! in every age,

In every clime adored, By saint, by savage, and by sage,

Jehovah, Jove, or Lord !

Thou great First Cause, least understood,

Who all my sense confined
To know but this, that Thou art good,

And that myself am blind;

Pope's “Essay on Man” appeared in the years 1732-34, to be completed by the addition of “The Universal Prayer" in 1738. Butler's “ Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed, to the Constitution and Course of Nature” was published in 1736, and represents endeavour of a different kind to meet the form of doubt against which the “ Essay on Man” was directed.

Joseph Butler, the son of a Presbyterian tradesman, was born at Wantage in 1692. He was taught for a time by Jeremiah Jones, of Tewkesbury, under whom he had Isaac Watts for a schoolfellow. He was to be trained for the ministry outside the Established Church, but turned to the Church, and entered Oriel College, Oxford. Before he left school, Butler had written remarks on the argument of Dr. Samuel Clarke's first Boyle Lecture. At college he formed a close friendship with Edward Talbot, son of the Bishop of Durham, to whose good offices he was indebted for some of his steps towards advancement in the Church. In 1718 Joseph Butler became

Yet gave me, in this dark estate,

To see the good from ill; And, binding nature fast in fate,

Left free the human will.

What conscience dictates to be done,

Or warns me not to do; This, teach me more than hell to shun;

That, more than heaven pursue.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

preacher at the Rolls, and in 1724 rector of Stan- The Introduction touches on the nature of prohope. In 1726 he gave up his office at the Rolls bability from observations of likeness, and the degrees Chapel, and went to live in his rectory. He next of presumption, opinion, or full conviction which it became chaplain to Lord Chancellor Talbot, and in will necessarily produce in every human mind. "I 1736 Clerk of the Closet to Queen Caroline. This shall not,” Butler sayswas his position when he published his “ Analogy," one of the most valued aids to the cause of religion furnished by the Church of England in the I shall not take upon me to say how far the extent, com. eighteenth century. Two years afterwards, in 1738, \ pass, and force of analogical reasoning can be reduced to Joseph Butler was made Bishop of Bristol. He general heads and rules, and the whole be formed into

system. But though so little in this way has been attempted by those who have treated of our intellectual powers, and the exercise of them, this does not hinder but that we may be, as we unquestionably are, assured that Analogy is of weight, in various degrees, towards determining our judg. ment and our practice. Nor does it in any wise cease to be of weight in those cases, because persons, either given to dispute, or who require things to be stated with greata exactness than our faculties appear to admit of in practical matters, may find other cases in which 'tis not easy to st whether it be or be not of any weight; or instances of seeming analogies, which are really of none. It is enough to the present purpose to observe that this general was a arguing is evidently natural, just, and conclusive. For there is no man can make a question but that the sun z] rise to-morrow; and be seen, where it is seen at all, in the figure of a circle, and not in that of a square.

Hence, namely, from analogical reasoning, Origen has with singular sagacity observed that “ he who believes the Scripture to have proceeded from Him who is the Author of Natura, may well expect to find the same sort of difficulties in it, u are found in the constitution of Nature." And in a like way of reflection it may be added, that he who denies the ScriD

ture to have been from God upon account of these difficultis, JOSEPH BUTLER. (From a Portrait in Dr. Williams's Library.)

may, for the very same reason, deny the world to hare bea formed by Him. On the other hand, if there be an Ant

or likeness between that system of things and dispensation of was made also Dean of St. Paul's, in 1746 Clerk of

Providence, which revelation informs us of, and that syster the Closet to the king, and in 1750 was translated

of things and dispensation of Providence, which experien to the bishopric of Durham. He died two years

together with reason informs us of, i.e., the known cours of afterwards.

nature; this is a presumption that they have both the sesse Joseph Butler's “ Analogy of Religion, Natural

author and cause ; at least, so far as to answer objectifs and Revealed, to the Constitution and Course of

against the former's being from God, drawn from anything Nature" is dedicated to Lord Chancellor Talbot,

which is analogical or similar to what is in the latter, which and consists of an Introduction and two Parts. A

is acknowledged to be from Him: for an Author of Nature preliminary Advertisement to the reader thus refers

here supposed." to the fashion of thought against which Butler directed his reasoning :

It is just, he says, to argue from known facts to

others that are like them; “ from that part of the It is come, I know not how, to be taken for granted, by

Divine Government over intelligent creatures which many persons, that Christianity is not so much as a subject

comes under our view, to that larger and me of inquiry; but that it is now at length discovered to be

general government over them which is beyond i, fictitious. And accordingly they treat it as if, in the present

and from what is present to collect what is likelt. age, this were an agreed point among all people of discern

credible, or not incredible, will be hereafter." SA ment; and nothing remained but to set it up as a principal subject of mirth and ridicule, as it were by way of reprisals,

not attending to what is the fact in the constituti for its having so long interrupted the pleasures of the world.

of nature, idly speculate on what the world mus On the contrary, thus much, at least, will be here found, not

be had it been framed otherwise than it is. But we taken for granted, but proved, that any reasonable man, who

have not faculties for this kind of speculation. We will thoroughly consider the matter, may be as much assured,

are not even judges of "what may be the necessary as he is of his own being, that it is not, however, so clear a

means of raising and conducting one person to the case that there is nothing in it. There is, I think, strong

highest perfection and happiness of his nature Vas, evidence of its truth; but it is certain no one can, upon

even in the little affairs of the present life we find principles of reason, be satisfied of the contrary. And the

men of different educations and ranks are not as practical consequence to be drawn from this is not attended petent judges of the conduct of each other." L = to by every one who is concerned in it.

turn then, says Butler, to experience,


And let us compare the known constitution and course treatise. And I shall begin it with that which is the foundaof things with what is said to be the moral system of tion of all our hopes and of all our fears; all our hopes and nature; the acknowledged dispensations of Providence, or fears, which are of any consideration; I mean a future life. that government which we find ourselves under, with what Religion teaches us to believe and expect; and see whether Having thus explained the purpose and plan of they are not analogous and of a piece. And upon such a | his book, Butler proceeds to the work itself, which comparison, it will I think be found that they are very much

is in two parts, one treating of Natural, the other of so, that both may be traced up to the same general laws, and Revealed Religion. resolved into the same principles of Divine conduct.

The First Part begins by inquiring what the The Analogy here proposed to be considered is of pretty | Analogy of Nature suggests as to the effect which large extent, and consists of several parts; in some more, in

death may or may not have upon us, and whether others less, exact. In some few instances perhaps it may

it be not from thence probable that we may survive amount to a real practical proof; in others not so. Yet in

| this change. Having reasoned out the credibility of these it is a confirmation of what is proved other ways. It

a future life, he says, “That which makes the question will undeniably show, what too many want to have shown

to be of so great importance to us is our capacity for them, that the system of Religion, both natural and revealed,

happiness and misery, and the supposition that our considered only as a system, and prior to the proof of it, is not a subject of ridicule, unless that of Nature be so too.

happiness and misery hereafter depends upon our And it will afford an answer to almost all objections against

actions here.” His next chapter, therefore, argues the system both of Natural and Revealed Religion ; though

from analogy“Of the Government of God by not perhaps an answer in so great a degree, yet in a very con

Rewards and Punishments; and particularly of the siderable degree an answer, to the objections against the

latter.” evidence of it; for objections against a proof, and objections against what is said to be proved, the reader will observe are

Reflections of this kind are not without their terrors to ditferent things.

serious persons, the most free from enthusiasm, and of the Now the divine government of the world, implied in the

greatest strength of mind; but it is fit things be stated and notion of religion in general and of Christianity, contains in

considered as they really are. And there is, in the present it: That mankind is appointed to live in a future state ; that

age, a certain fearlessness with regard to what may be there, every one shall be rewarded or punished; rewarded or

hereafter under the governinent of God, which nothing but punished respectively for all that behaviour here, which we

an universally acknowledged demonstration on the side of comprehend under the words virtuous or vicious, morally

atheism can justify; and which makes it quite necessary that good or evil: that our present life is a probation, a state of

men be reminded, and if possible made to feel, that there is trial, and of discipline, for that future one, notwithstanding

no sort of ground for being thus presumptuous, even upon the objections which men may fancy they have, from notions

the most sceptical principles. For may it not be said of any of necessity, against there being any such moral plan as this

person upon his being born into the world, he may behave so at all; and whatever objections may appear to lie against the

as to be of no service to it but by being made an example of wisdom and goodness of it, as it stands so imperfectly made

the woful effects of vice and folly? That he may, as any known to us at present : that this world being in a state of

one may, if he will, incur an infamous execution from the apostacy and wickedness, and consequently of ruin, and the

hands of civil justice; or in some other course of extravaAnse both of their condition and duty being greatly corrupted

gance shorten his days, or bring upon himself infamy and amongst men, this gave occasion for an additional dispensa

diseases worse than death? So that it had been better for tion of Providence; of the utmost importance; proved by

him, even with regard to the present world, that he had miracles; but containing in it many things appearing to us

never been born. And is there any pretence of reason for strange and not to have been expected; a dispensation of

people to think themselves secure, and talk as if they had Providence, which is a scheme or system of things; carried

certain proof, that, let them act as licentiously as they will, on by the mediation of a divine person, the Messiah, in order

there can be nothing analogous to this, with regard to a to the recovery of the world; yet not revealed to all men,

future and more general interest, under the providence and nor proved with the strongest possible evidence to all those

government of the same God? to whom it is revealed ; but only to such a part of mankind, and with such particular evidence as the wisdom of God

The subject of the next chapter is the moral thought fit. The design, then, of the following treatise will

government of God in rendering to men according h to shew, that the several parts principally objected against

to their deeils ; the next treats of a state of probain this moral and Christian dispensation, including its | tion, as implying trials, difficulties, and danger.

heme, its publication, and the proof which God has afforded as of its truth; that the particular parts principally objected The thing here insisted upon is, that the state of trinl against in this whole dispensation are analogous to what is which Religion teaches us we are in is rendered credible by Expwrienced in the constitution and course of Nature or Pro its being throughout uniform and of a piece with the general vidence; that the chief objections themselves which are conduct of Providence towards us, in all other respects within allrged against the former are no other than what may be the compass of our knowledge. Indeed, if mankind, conalleged with like justness against the latter, where they are sidered in their natural capacity as inhabitants of this world found in fact to be inconclusive; and that this argument only, found themselves from their birth to their death in a from Analogy is in general unanswerable, and undoubtedly of settled state of security and happiness, without any solicitude weight on the side of religion, notwithstanding the objections or thonght of their own: or if they were in no dangos of which may seem to lie against it, and the real ground which being brought into inconvenience and distress, hy carelesk. there may be for difference of opinion, as to the particular ness or the folly of passion, through bad example, the degree of weight which is to be laid upon it. This is a treachery of others, or the deceitful appwarance of things: fineral account of what may be looked for in the following were this our natural condition, then it might seem strange,

be conclusive, it remains so upon the supposition of necessity. The last chapter of the First Book is related to the argument of Pope's “Essay on Man," in showing reason from Analogy to believe that we misjudge through ignorance of the great whole, whereof we see only a part. It is * of the Govern ment of God, considered as a Scheme or Constitution, imperfectly comprehended,” and it opens thus :

and be some presumption against the truth of Religion, that it represents our future and more general interest, as not secure of course, but as depending upon our behaviour, and requiring recollection and self-government to obtain it. For it might be alleged, “What you say is our condition in one respect is not in any wise of a sort with what we find by experience our condition is in another. Our whole present interest is secured to our hands, without any solicitude of ours; and why should not our future interest, if we have any such, be so too ?” But since, on the contrary, thought and consideration, the voluntary denying ourselves many things which we desire, and a course of behaviour far from being always agreeable to us, are absolutely necessary to our acting even a common decent and common prudent part, so as to pass with any satisfaction through the present world, and be received upon any tolerable good terms in it: since this is the case, all presumption against self-denial and attention being necessary to secure our higher interest is removed. Had we not experience, it might, perhaps speciously, be urged, that it is improbable anything of hazard and danger should be put upon us by an Infinite Being, when everything which is hazard and danger in our manner of conception, and will end in error, confusion, and misery, is now already certain in his fore-knowledge. And indeed, why anything of hazard and danger should be put upon such frail creatures as we are, may well be thought a difficulty in speculation, and cannot but be so till we know the whole, or, however, much more of the case. But still the Constitution of Nature is as it is. Our happiness and misery are trusted to our conduct, and made to depend upon it. Somewhat, and, in many circumstances, a great deal too, is put upon us, either to do or to suffer as we choose. And all the various miseries of life, which people bring upon themselves by negligence and folly, and might have avoided by proper care, are instances of this, which miseries are beforehand just as contingent and undetermined as their conduct, and left to be determined by it.

These observations are an answer to the objections against the credibility of a state of trial, as implying temptations, and real danger of miscarrying with regard to our general interest, under the moral government of God; and they shew, that if we are at all to be considered in such a capacity, and as having such an interest, the general Analogy of Providence must lead us to apprehend ourselves in danger of miscarrying, in different degrees, as to this interest, by our neglecting to act the proper part belonging to us in that capacity. For we have a present interest under the government of God which we experience here upon earth. And this interest, as it is not forced upon us, so neither is it offered to our acceptance, but to our acquisition; in such sort as that we are in danger of missing it, by means of temptations to neglect, or act contrary to it, and without attention and selfdenial, must and do miss of it. It is then perfectly credible that this may be our case with respect to that chief and final good which Religion proposes to us.

Though it be, as it cannot but be, acknowledged, that the Analogy of Nature gives a strong credibility to the general doctrine of religion, and to the several particular things cuptained in it, considered as so many matters of fact; and likewise that it shows this credibility not to be destroyed by any notions of necessity: yet still, objections may be insisted upon, against the wisdom, equity, and goodness of the divine government implied in the notion of Religion, and against the method by which this government is conducted; to when objections Analogy can be no direct answer. For the credi bility or the certain truth of a matter of fact does 6 immediately prove anything concerning the wisdom or gud. ness of it; and Analogy can do no more, immediately or directly, than show such and such things to be true or credible, considered only as matters of fact. But still, it, upon supposition of a moral constitution of nature and a moral government over it, Analogy suggests and make it credible, that this government must be a scheme, syst'm, constitution of government, as distinguished from a numb of single unconnected acts of distributive justice and gende ness; and likewise, that it must be a scheme, so imperfet comprehended, and of such a sort in other respects, as to afford a direct general answer to all objections against the justice and goodness of it: then Analogy is remotely of 3 service in answering those objections, both by suggesting the answer, and showing it to be a credible one.

Now this, upon inquiry, will be found to be the case. Fir, first, upon supposition that God exercises a moral gover. ment over the world, the analogy of His natural goreITLILE suggests and makes it credible that His moral govern must be a scheme quite beyond our comprehension: and this affords a general answer to all objections against the jat. and goodness of it. And, secondly, a more distinct ontion of some particular things contained in God's sob De of natural government, the like things being supposd. It analogy, to be contained in His moral government, om farther shew how little weight is to be laid upon these objections.

The Second Part of Butler's “ Analogy" turos from Nature to Revelation, reasoning tirst of its necessity, and of the importance of Christianity, whereof natural religion is the foundation and pucipal part, but not in any sense the whole. The argument in the second chapter is “Of the support Presumption against a Revelation considered as miraculous.” Butler here gives reasons for saying.

The fifth chapter continues the consideration of the state of Probation, by turning to the question how we came to be placed in it, and arguing from the Analogy of Nature that it was intended for moral discipline and improvement. The sixth chapter argues that the opinion of the Fatalist, who sees necessity in Nature, judged by the Analogy between Nature and Religion, does not warrant the opinion that there is no such thing as Religion ; that if upon the supposition of freedom the evidence of Religion

I find no appearance of a presumption, from the Anal of Nature, against the general scheme of Christanitr, tbs God created and invisibly governs the world by Jesus (h and by Him also will hereafter judge it in righteousness to render to every one according to his works : and that a men are under the secret influence of His Spirit. W these things are, or are not, to be called minculans perhaps, only a question about words; or, hower, is moment in the case. If the Analogy of Nature raiss

presumption against this general scheme of Christianity, it | Nonconformist clergyman. Samuel Wesley studied must be either because it is not discoverable by reason or in his youth at an academy for Dissenters kept by experience, or else because it is unlike that course of nature | Mr. Veal, in Stepney; but while there, he turned to which is. But Analogy raises no presumption against the the Established Church, gave up the support he was truth of this scheme upon either of these accounts.

receiving, walked to Oxford, and entered himself as

a “poor scholar” at Exeter College. He supported The next chapter argues that Analogy makes himself by teaching and writing, and was a curate credible that a revelation must appear liable to when he married Susannah Annesley, who, like objections; and the next considers Christianity by Samuel Wesley, had a Nonconformist minister for Analogy with the course of Nature as, like it, a scheme | father, and had turned to the Established Church. or constitution imperfectly comprehended. The fifth Of the nineteen children of this marriage, three sons chapter of this Second Part argues from Analogy the and three daughters grew up. When the Revolution probability“ of the particular system of Chris was effected, Samuel Wesley wrote in its defence, tianity; the appointment of a Mediator, and the and obtained the living of Epworth, in Lincolnredemption of the world by Him." The next subjects shire. His wife did not accept the Revolution, but of like argument are the want of universality in | said nothing. It was only in the year before King Revelation, and the supposed deficiency in the proof William died, that her husband missed her “Amen” of it; the particular evidence for Christianity; and, | to the prayers for the king. He questioned her, and lastly, of the objections which may be made against found that she would not recognise William III. as arguing from the Analogy of Nature to Religion. In the true king; whereupon Samuel Wesley refused the course of his answer to these objections, Butler to live with her till she was loyal, left her, and says

did not return to her until after King William's

death. John Wesley, eleven years younger than his The design of this treatise is not to vindicate the character brother Samuel, was the first child born after this of God, but to show the obligations of men; it is not to period of separation. He was born at Epworth on justify His Providence, but to show what belongs to us to do. the 17th of June, 1703. When John Wesley was These are two subjects, and ought not to be confounded. / six years old, his father's house was bunt in the And though they may at length run up into each other, yet night, and all of the household, including parents observations may immediately tend to make out the latter,

and eight children, were with difficulty saved. Little which do not appear, by any immediate connection, to the

John had been left forgotten in the nursery, scrambled purpose of the former, which is less our concern than many

on a chest to the window, and was saved-for the seem to think. For, first, it is not necessary we should

house was a low one-by a man's climbing to him justify the dispensations of Providence against objections

upon the shoulders of another. The moment after any farther than to shew that the things objected against

he had been rescued the roof fell in. Remembering may, for aught we know, be consistent with justice and good

this, John Wesley afterwards had a house on fire ness. Suppose, then, that there are things in the system of this world, and plan of Providence relating to it, which taken

engraved under one of his portraits, with the motto,

“ Is not this a brand plucked out of the burning ?” alone would be unjust; yet it has been shewn unanswerably, that if we could take in the reference which these things

At the time of the fire, John's younger brother may have to other things present, past, and to come, to the

Charles, who lived to share his spiritual work, was whole scheme, which the things objected against are parts of,

an infant two months old. these very things might, for aught we know, be found to be,

John Wesley's mother was a devout woman, and not only consistent with justice, but instances of it. Indeed,

when her husband left his parish and went to London it has been shewn, by the Analogy of what we see, not only

to attend Convocation she read prayers at home, to possible that this may be the case, but credible that it is. which parishioners were gradually drawn, until her And thus objections drawn from such things are answered, husband objected that her ministration “looked and Providence is vindicated, as far as religion makes its particular.” She replied, “I grant it does ; and so vindication necessary.

does almost everything that is serious, or that may any way advance the glory of God or the salvation

of souls, if it be performed out of a pulpit or in the One cause of the decline of faith, against which common way of conversation ; because in our corrupt these arguments were directed, was a lowering of age the utmost care and diligence has been used to the chief aims of life. Among those whose example banish all discourse of God or spiritual concerns out had influence, French influence in and after the of society, as if religion were never to appear out of time of Charles II, had quickened the development the closet, and we were to be ashamed of nothing so of a vain code of “honour” that made certain forms much as confessing ourselves to be Christians." The of lust and murder gentlemanly, displaced personal narrow escape of her son John from fire made his religion, and debased men instead of raising them. mother resolved to take especial pains with his reli. Religious life counted for little, even among theo- | gious training. logians; it was almost lost in the conflict about John Wesley was educated at Charterhouse School, forms. A deep sense of this evil led in England to and Charles at Westminster, when one of the ushers another form of reaction, which had John and Charles, there was Samuel, the eldest brother, who had been Wesley and George Whitefield for its leaders. to Christ Church, Oxford. At seventeen, John

John Wesley was the second son of the Rev. Wesley went from Charterhouse School to Christ Samuel Wesley, and the father of Samuel Wesley Church. He was lively, acute in argument, and, had been a John, who suffered persecution as a I like his father and his two brothers, could write

« AnteriorContinuar »