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years, to procure an asylum for friendless orphans, by the establishment of the Foundling Hospital? Is there, or ever was there, a more decided and unequivocal proof given that man is naturally beneficent, than the expenditure in this country of several millions annually for the relief of its poor; and by the establishment of its numerous and charitable institutions, and especially of that for “ bettering the condition of the poor?" And though this latter and the


laws are peculiar to this nation, and exalt human philanthropy to a height never before at: tained or attempted since the creation; yet in all other countries there are such charitable institutions as sufficiently prove that man is by nature a beneficent and compassionate being Now God having been pleased to create man in his own image, and with so strong a propensity to beneficence and goodness, his having done so is an absolute and unequivocal proof that he himself is a God of goodness, and, as all his attributes are infinite, of infinite goodness; for under a contrary supposition he would have designed the life of man here and hereafter to be a state and condition not of happiness, but of misery, and this bias and prepon

derancy in favour of virtue, piety, and humanity, would certainly not have been given him. The ingenious author of an Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions and Affections *,” observes,

66 Would we al« low room to our invention to conceive “what sort of mechanism, what constitu" tions of senses and affections, a malicious

powerful being might have formed, we “ should soon see how few evidences there " are for such apprehension concerning the “ Author of this world. Our mechanism, as “ far as we have ever yet discovered, is

wholly contrived for good; we can per“ceive no cruel device, no art or contriv“ance to produce evil; no such mark or

scope seems ever to be aimed at. How easy would it have been to have contrived

some engines of misery without any use, “ some member, for example, of no other 66 service but to be matter of torment;

senses incapable of bearing the surround"ing objects without pain; eyes pained with “ the light; a palate offended with the fruits 6 of the earth; a skin as tender as the coats “ of the eye; and yet some more furious

* This Essay was published in the year 1742, in a third edition, printed for J. Rivington, C. Hitch, and others.

pain forcing us to bear these torments? “ Human society might have been made as

uneasy as the company of enemies, and

yet a perpetual more violent fear might “ have forced us to bear it; malice, rancour, “ distrust, might have been our natural

temper; our honour and self-approbation “ might have been made to arise from our

doing injury to others, and the torment of “ others have constituted our delight, which

yet we might have been prevented from

enjoying, through perpetual fear. Many “ such contrivances we may easily conceive,

whereby an evil mind could have gratified “ his malice by our misery. - But how unlike

are they all to the intention or design of “ the mechanism of this world, in which we “ cannot open our eyes, without discerning “ grandeur and beauty, and the goodness of “ God, displayed every where! Our pas

sions, no doubt, are often matter of uneasiness to ourselves, and sometimes occasion

misery to others, when any one is indulged “ into a degree of strength beyond its pro

portion: but which of them could we “ have wanted, without greater misery upon “ the whole? They are by nature balanced

against each other, like the antagonist

“ muscles of the body; either of which sepa“ rately would have occasioned distortion, “ and irregular motion, yet form a machine “ most accurately subservient to the neces“sities, convenience, and happiness of a ra“ tional system. The pains of the external “ senses are pretty frequent; but how short, “ in comparison of the long tracts of health,

ease, and pleasure! How rare is the in“ stance of a life with one tenth part spent " in violent pain! how few want absolute “ necessaries, nay, have not something to “ spend on gaiety and ornament! Instead “ of considering the preponderating good“ness and virtue which, after all, greatly pre“ vails in the world, men of a narrow mind “ and saturnine temper are apt to let their

imaginations run out upon all the rob

beries, piracies, murders, perjuries, frauds, “ massacres, assassinations, they have ever 6 either heard of or read in history, thence

concluding all mankind to be very wicked; " as if à court of justice were the proper

place of making an estimate of the morals “ of mankind, or an hospital of the health“fulness of a climate; whereas Cicero justly “ observes, Specimen naturæ cujuslibet “ a natura optima sumendum est.'. Ought

“ they not rather to consider, that the num“ ber of honest citizens far surpasses that of “ all sorts of criminals in any state, and that “ the innocent or kind actions of criminals “ themselves surpass their crimes in num“ ber; that it is the rarity of crimes, in com

parison of innocent or good actions, which

engages our attention to them, and makes " them be recorded in history, whilst incom“ parably more honest; generous, domestic “ actions are overlooked, only because they

are so common; as one great danger, or one “ month's sickness, shall become a frequently

repeated story during a long life of health “ and safety? What parent would be much “ concerned at the pain his child might “ suffer from breeding its teeth, were he sure “ it would be short, and end well? or at the

pain of a medicine, or an incision, which was necessary for the cure, and would

certainly accomplish it? Is there then no “ Parent in nature, no Physician, who sees “ what is necessary for the whole, and for “ the good of each individual, in the whole “ of its existence, as far as is consistent with " the general good? Can we expect, in this

our childhood of existence, to understand 66 all the art and contrivance of this. Parent

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