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that regulates the dead universe, "acts by general, not by partial laws."

When the loose mountain trembles from on high,

Shall gravitation cease, if you go by ? No: the chain of antecedents and consequents proceeds in this respect for ever the same. The laws of what we call the material world continue unvaried. And, when the vast system of things was first set in motion, every thing, so far as depends on inert matter, was determined to the minutest particle, even to the end of time.

The material world, or that train of antecedents and consequents which we understand by that term, goes on for ever in a train agreeably to the impulse previously given. It is deaf and inexorable. It is unmoved by the consideration of any

accidents and miseries that may result, and unalterable. But man is a source of events of a very different nature. He looks to results, and is governed by views growing out of the contemplation of them. He acts in a way diametrically opposite to the action of inert matter, and “turns, and turns, and turns again," at the impulse of the thought that strikes him, the appetite that prompts, the passions that move, and the effects that he anticipates. It is therefore in a high degree unreasonable, to make that train of inferences which may satisfy us on the subject of material phenomena, a standard of what we ought to think respecting the phenomena of mind.

It is further worthy of our notice to recollect, that the same reasonings which apply to our brethren of mankind, apply also to the brute creation. They, like ourselves, act from motives ; that is, the elections they form are adopted by them for the sake of certain consequences they expect to see result from them. Whatever becomes therefore of the phenomena of what we call dead matter, we are here presented with tribes of being, susceptible of pleasure and pain, of hope and fear, of regard and resentment. How beautifully does this conviction vary the scene of things! What a source to us is the animal creation, of amusement, of curious observations upon the impulses of inferior intellect, of the exhaustless varieties of what we call instinct, of the care we can exercise for their accommodation and welfare, and of the attachment and affection we win from them in return! If I travel alone through pathless deserts, if I journey from the rising to the setting sun, with no object around me but nature's desolation, or the sublime, the magnificent and the exuberant scenery she occasionally presents, still I have that noble animal, the horse, and faithful dog, the companions of my toil, and with whom, when my solitude would otherwise become insufferable, I can hold communion, and engage in dumb dialogues of sentiment and affection.

I have heard of a man, who, talking to his friend on the subject of these speculations, said, “What then, are you so poor and pusillanimous a creature, that you could not preserve your serenity, be per

my

fectly composed and content, and hold on your way unvaried, though you were convinced that you were the only real being in existence, and all the rest were mere phantasies and shadows ?”

If I had been the person to whom this speech was addressed, I should have frankly acknowledged, “I am the poor and pusillanimous creature you are disposed to regard with so much scorn.”

To adopt the sententious language of the Bible, “ It is not good for man to be alone." All our faculties and attributes bear relation to, and talk to us of, other beings like ourselves. We might indeed eat, drink and sleep, that is, submit to those necessities which we so denominate, without thinking of any thing beyond ourselves ; for these are the demands of our nature, and we know that we cannot subsist without them. We might make use of the alternate conditions of exercise and repose.

But the life of our lives would be gone. As far as we bore in mind the creed we had adopted, of our single existence, we could neither love nor hate. Sympathy would be a solemn mockery. We could not communicate; for the being to whom our communication was addressed we were satisfied was a non-entity. We could not anticipate the pleasure or pain, the joy or sorrow, of another; for that other had no existence. We should be in a worse condition than Robinson Crusoe in the desolate island; for he believed in the existence of other men, and hoped and trusted that he should one day again

enter into human society. We should be in a worse condition than Robinson Crusoe ; for he at least was unannoyed in his solitude ; while we are perpetually and per force intruded on, like a delirious man, by visions which we know to be unreal, but which we are denied the power to deliver ourselves from. We have no motive to any of the great and cardinal functions of human life; for there is no one in being, that we can benefit, or that we can affect. Study is nothing to us ; for we have no use for it. Even science is unsatisfactory ; unless we can communicate it by word or writing, can converse upon it, and compare notes with our neighbour. History is nothing; for there were no Greeks and no Romans; no freemen and no slaves ; no kings and no subjects ; no despots, nor victims of their tyranny ; no republics, nor states immerged in brutal and ignominious servitude. Life must be inevitably a burthen to us, a dreary, unvaried, motiveless existence; and death must be welcomed, as the most desirable blessing that can visit us. It is impossible indeed that we should always recollect this our, by supposition, real situation; but, as often as we did, it would come over us like a blight, withering all the prospects of our industry, or like a scirocco, unbracing the nerves of our frame, and consigning us to the most pitiable depression.

Thus far I have allowed myself to follow the refinements of those who profess to deny the existence of the material universe. But it is satisfactory to come back to that persuasion, which, from whatever cause it is derived, is incorporated with our very existence, and can never be shaken off by us. Our senses are too powerful in their operation, for it to be possible for us to discard them, and to take as their substitute, in active life, and in the earnestness of pursuit, the deductions of our logical faculty, however well knit and irresistible we may apprehend them to be. Speculation and common sense are at war on this point; and however we may “think with the learned,” and follow the abstrusenesses of the philosopher, in the sequestered hour of our meditation, we must always act, and even feel,"with the vulgar," when we come abroad into the world.

It is however no small gratification to the man of sober mind, that, from what has here been alleged, it seems to follow, that untutored mind, and the severest deductions of philosophy, agree in that most interesting of our concerns, our intercourse with our fellow-creatures. The inexorable reasoner, refining on the reports of sense, may dispose, as he pleases, of the chair, the table, and the so called material substances around him. He

may

include the whole solid matter of the universe in a nutshell, or less than a nutshell. But he cannot deprive me of that greatest of all consolations, the sustaining pillar of my existence, “the cordial drop Heaven in our cup has thrown,"—the intercourse of my fellow-creatures. When we read history, the subjects

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