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« 4. It will be the means of much direct enjoyment. “5. It will promote the advancement and welfare of general society. “6. It will promote enlarged conceptions of the character of the Deity. “7. It will extend clearer views of moral principle and conduct. 8. It will extend kr.owledge in relation to a future world. “9. And in relation to the study of the Bible.

“ 10. It will promote juster views of human character and conduct, and of this world as a state of probation, and better feelings between man and man."

All these points are enforced and illustrated with great clearness, and with an unusual copiousness of anecdote and fact, which makes the volume highly interesting and entertaining to the common reader. Brief narrations and statements, illustrating the past history of science,-explanations of natural phenomena, -and striking views of human character and conduct, continually appear on the pages of the work; all, however, having a bearing upon the argument. The book thus imparts, in some degree, the knowledge which it urges the reader to acquire.

The following extract will serve as a specimen. The writer is endeavoring, under the head of the effect of knowledge in promoting enlarged conceptions of the character and operations of the Deity, to show “that an enlightened and comprehensive survey of the universe, presents to us a view of the vast multiplicity of conceptions, and the infinitely diversified ideas which have been formed in the Divine Mind.After speaking of the great number of parts which compose the human frame, he says:

“ We have also to take into consideration the number of ideas included in the arrangement and connexion of all these parts, and in the manner in which they are compacted into one system, of small dimensions, so as to afford free scope for all the intended functions. There are, in the human body, 445 bones, each of them having forty distinct scopes or intentions; and 246 muscles, each having ten several intentions, so that the system of bones and museles alone includes above 14,200 different intentions and adaptations. If then we suppose, in addition to these, that there are 10,000 veins, great and small, 10,000 arteries, 10,000 nerves,* 1000 ligaments, 4000 lacteals and lymphatics, 100,000 glands, 1,600,000,000 scales, 200,000,000,000 pores, the amount would be 202,600,149,200 parts and adaptations in the human body.”

We can indeed form no conception of such a number as this. The justice of the calculation on which it is based, any medical friend of the reader may verify, and we can be assisted to form some idea of the result, by saying, to borrow an idea from

* The amazing extent of the ramifications of the nerves and veins, may be judged of from this circumstance, that neitber the point of the smallest needle, nor the infi. nitely finer lance of a gnat, can pierce any part without drawing blood, and causing an uneasy sensation, consequently, without wounding, by so small a puncture, both a nerve and a vein; and iberefore, the number of these vessels here assumed may be considered as far below the truth.

the author in another part of the work, that if a man had undertaken the examination and the counting of these parts and adaptations thus contained in a single human frame, and had commenced at the creation of the world, and proceeded at the rate of a million a week, he would have accomplished but one third of his work at the present day. It would take him forty thousand years to count the contrivances which his Creator bas devised for his own personal comfort and happiness. David seems to have had precisely this train of thought, in Psalm cxix. 16 17, and 18 verses.

Again, “Many other tribes of animated nature have an organization no less complicated and diversified than that of man, as will appear from the following statements of M. Lyonet. This celebrated naturalist wrote a treatise on one single insect, the cossus caterpillar, which lives on the leaves of the willow, -in which he has shown, from the anatomy of that minute animal, that its structure is almost as complicated as that of the human body, and many of the parts which enter into its organization, even more numerous. He has found it necessary to employ twenty figures to explain the organization of the head, which contains 223 different muscles. There are 1647 inuscles in the body, and 2066 in the intestinal tube, making in all, 3941 muscles, or nearly nine times the number of muscles in the human body. There are 94 principal nerves, branching into innumerable ramifications. There are two large tracheal arteries, one at the right and the other at the left side of the insect, each of them communicating to the air by means of nine spiracula. Round each spiraculum, the trachæa pushes forth a great number of branches, which are again divided into smaller ones, and these further subdivided and spread through the whole body of the caterpillar. All this complication of delicate machinery, with numerous other parts and organs, are compressed into a body only about two inches in length.

Throughout the whole work, the author evinces a strong interest in the moral and religious aspects of the subject which he treats. He maintains that religious men should interest themselves in the diffusion of even scientific knowledge; not merely on account of the benefits to society which will result from such diffusion, but in order that this knowledge may be communicated to mankind in the right way. The phenomena of the visible universe should be studied not as the works of nature, but as the works of God; his hand should be seen through all; his wisdom, power and benevolence should be the ideas strongly associated, in the minds of the community, with the wonders and beauties which every where meet our eye. This has not always been the case. Mere philosopliers seldom recognize God in their language, or in their thoughts ; and many who have firmly denied his existence, have yet professed to study thoroughly, and to admire the mechanism of the creation.

The author anticipates direct advantages to the church her. self, from the general diffusion of liberal science among her members, by its elevating and enlarging their conceptions, exalting their ideas of God's character, and of the extent of his government, and thus drawing their minds away from self and selfish interests and feelings. He supposes also that mental cultivation is to be the chief means of healing the dissensions which now prevail in the Christian church. We quote some of his remarks on this subject. They were written for England; whether they are entirely out of place or not in America, the reader must judge.

“A general diffusion of knowledge would be a means of promoting union in the Christian Church.

“It is a lamentable fact, that, throughout the whole world, there is no system of religion, the votaries of which are subdivided into so many sectaries, as those who profess an adherence to the Christian faith. Within the limits of Great Britain, there are, perhaps, not fewer than a hundred different denominations of Christians belonging to the Protestant church. (Here follows an enumeration.]

“ Most of these denominations recognize the leading truths of Divine rev. elation,—the natural and inoral attributes of the Deity,—the fall of man,the necessity of a Saviour,-the incarnation of Christ,—the indispensable duty of faith in him for the remission of sins,—the necessity of regeneration and of holiness in principle and practice,--the obligation of the moral law,the doctrine of a resurrection from the dead, and a future state of rewards and punishments; in short, every thing by which Christianity is distinguished from Mahometanism, Pagan idolatry, and all the other systems of religion which prevail in the world. Yet while agreeing in the leading doctrines of the Christian faith, they continue in a state of separation from each other, as if they had no common bond of union, and, as rival sects, are too frequently in a state of alienation, and even of open hostility. The points in which they differ are frequently so minute as to be incapable of being accu. rately defined, or rendered palpable to an impartial inquirer. Where the difference is most apparent, it consists in a diversity of opinions respecting such questions as the following: Whether the election of man to eternal life be absolute or conditional; whether Christ died for the sins of the whole world, or only for a limited number; whether there be a gradation or an equality among the ministers of the Christian Church ; whether every particular society of Christians has power to regulate its own affairs, or ought to be in subjection to higher courts of judicature ; whether the ordinance of the Lord's Supper should be received in the posture of sitting or of kneeling; whether baptism should be administered to infants or adults, or to be performed by dipping or sprinkling, &c. Such are some of the points in dispute, which have iorn thc Christian Church into a number of shreds, and produced amongst the different sectaries mutual jealousies, recriminations and contentions. When we consider the number and the importance of the leading facts and doctrines in which they all agree, it appears somewhat strange, and even absurd, that they should stand aloof from each other, and even assume a hostile attitude, on account of such comparatively trivial differences of opinion.”

Nobody will dissent from these views, though reading such expressions of them seldom does any good. For, each individual reader, in his general condemnation of internal dissen

sions among Christians, always makes an exception in favor of the particular controversy in which he chances to be engaged. All who embrace and obey the fundamental truths of religion, are to be regarded with Christian fellowship, excepting his neighbor, whose views, though in reality only slightly differing from his own, have so often been before him, and stood in his way, and worried and vexed him, that they have insensibly swelled, in his view, into alarming heresy. The Baptist, or Methodist, or Congregational, or Episcopal controversy, which ever it may be in which he may be engaged, must be fought out. Immense consequences, he sees, depending upon it. All others are indeed idle dissensions among Christian brethren.

Our writer does not seem to hope that such exhortations as those we have quoted, will remedy the evil. Contending Christians are proof against all such. In fact, contests of all kinds produce such an effect upon the hearts of those engaged in them, that all remonstrance and argument are utterly thrown away upon them.

Their shield against all such attacks is the fancied importance of the subject of dispute, the momentous principles, they imagine to be involved in it, and this conviction is usually strong in proportion to the utter folly and uselessness of the whole discussion. Baseless, however, as is this idea which every contending Christian holds, that his controversy is of fundamental consequence, it is usually impregnable. A direct attack of the evil will not succeed. The remedy is of another kind. , Oblivion. Oblivion,—that only remedy and only termination of human contentions and disputes. The province of the peace-maker in all quarrels is, simply to draw the combatants froin the field. *

Our author looks, as we have already said, for the remedy for these evils, to the spread of general knowledge and intelligence among Christians, which, by expanding the powers, and enlarging the field of view, will draw off the attention from the really trifling subjects of dispute.

"If we attend to facts, we shall find, that in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, the man who is a violent partizan, is one whose ideas run in one narrow track, and who has taken a very limited and partial survey of the great objects of religion. He is generally, unacquainted with the range of history, the facts of soience, the philosophy of nature, and the physical and

* Let no reader understand these remarks to be intended to apply to the energetie defence of Christianily, as such, against her foes; but only to ihose internal dissensions which destroy the peace of the Church and wbich relale to what is confessedly not essential to human salvation.

moral state of distant nations. His mind never ranges over the globe, nor contemplates the remote wonders of the Creator's empire. His reading is chiefly confined to the volumes and pamphlets published by the partizans of his own sect.

“ He can run over the Scriptures and arguments which support his opin ions, like a racer in his course; but if you break in upon his train of thought, and require him to prove his positions, as he goes along, he is at a stand, and knows not how to proceed. While he inagnifies with a microscopic eye the importance of his own peculiar views, he almost overlooks the grand and distinguishing truths of the Bible, in which all true Christians are agreed. On the other hand, there is scarcely one instance out of a hundred, of men whose minds are thoroughly imbued with the truths of science and revelation, being the violent abettors of sectarian opinions, or indulging in party animosities; for knowledge and liberality of sentiments, almost uniformly go hand in hand.”

There are evidently two ways by which controversies about unessentials in the Christian church may come to an end. First, the progress of discussion and the spread of information, may bring all to an agreement on the points discussed; and, secondly, the parties may see that their questions are unimportant, and may lose all interest in the discussion, while each in fact, retains its opinions. The former was the only result anticipated a few years ago, ---each Christian of course, taking it for granted, that it would be his own views which were ultimately to prevail. Many more persons, however, now place their hopes upon the latter. The opinion is very rapidly gaining ground among intelligent and serious Christians, that the varying tastes and intellectual habits of mankind, necessarily give rise to extensive but unimportant diversities in modes of church government, in the celebration of religious rites, and in the comparative degree of interest with which the different aspects of religious truths are regarded ; and that uniformity in these respects is not to be expected or desired. They suppose, that it was in order to allow the Christian religion to adapt itself, in its externals, to the infinitely varied circumstances and tastes of mankind, that these points are left by the Scriptures so undefined; and consequently, that Christians ought not to spend their strength in idle dissensions on these subjects, in the vain hope of producing uniformity, but should go forward, as harmonious and co-operating divisions of one great army, in common efforts against sin, the common foe. In which, however, of these two ways, the church will ultimately find peace, it remains for time to determine.

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