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ELEMENTS OF CHRISTIAN SCIENCE.
A TREATISE UPON
MORAL PHILOSOPHY AND PRACTICE.
BY WILLIAM ADAMS, D.D.,
PRESBYTER OF THE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH, IN THE DIOCESE OF WISCONSIN.
THIRD EDITION, REVISED.
“ All things are double one against another, and God hath made nothing imper.
“Man's perfection is not by himself, nor by any thing in or of himse!f, but by that
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1850, by
In the Office of the Clerk of the District Court of the United States, in and for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
NATURALISTS tell us that the oak has a northern circle, beyond which it does not grow. It has also a limit that is set for it towards the south Thus it has a region, marked out by definite limits, upon the surface of the earth, within which it grows, and out of which it cannot live. In the language of natural science, this is called its Habitat. Within that habitat it lives, varied in vigor and appearance according to circumstances. The same tree, in sheltered valleys, shoots up a taller and more slender stem than the oak that braves the storm upon the mountain-side. The timber also of that oak, that has grown slowly in the clefts of the rock, has a roughness and a knotty strength that is never found in that which has. started up rapidly from rich and cultivated soils. All these differences, and a thousand more, may be produced, and exist in oaks that have come from acorns of the same parent-tree.
To explain this, we know that all of these trees had, each of them, a constitution, a germ of vegetable life peculiar to the oak, suited to take up supplies from external things, and to grow thereby, because it is a life.
To use the example again,-wherever the tree grows, in the North or the South, in the valley or upon the mountains, from the clefted rock or in the fertile plains,—there, amidst all variety of circumstance, the constitution is the same,-if the tree is anywhere capable of living, it is as an oak that it lives, and not as any other tree. Position modifies, but never wholly destroys or wholly changes the nature.
The vigor of the tree, individually considered, its state and condition, are determined by these two elements, Nature and Position,-and
infinite varieties are produced in individuals, but the one element never wholly overcomes the other,-Position never entirely changes Nature,Nature never wholly conquers Position. We have been so careful in laying out precisely, and illustrating this example, that our readers may clearly see, that wherever there exists organized life, then, if we would examine the state of the individual existence, these two elements must always be taken into account,-first, Nature, and secondly Position.
So it is with all organized life. The Horse, in the dry deserts of Arabia, in the damp climate and succulent pastures of Holland and Flanders, upon the high Pampas of South America, and again, upon our South-western Prairies,—in all these cases, the animals are very different. And in them, all the variety can be shown to have arisen from Position. The Nature can be proved to be the same in all, and the circumstances even be shown, in each particular case, that have modified it into such very different forms.
And upon this principle, all our researches into the nature of the animals are founded. We examine the Nature first.--that is, the organization in its various faculties and organs, its elements, powers, and constituent principles. Then we examine its Position,-the relation, that is, of all these to the circumstances of the country in which it dwells, -as to climate, and soil, and natural features, such as mountains and rivers, and their productions, animal, mineral and vegetable. And often, when in the Nature we have seen organs and faculties, the uses of which we could not at once discern, the consideration of Position shall at once flash light upon these problems, and again the facts of Nature evince the causes of Position. Nay, stranger still than this,-it has often happened in the case of animals that have been for ages tamed to the use of man, that the circumstances, which in the original habitat surrounded them, have explained facts of their natural action that seemed unaccountable to them who had seen them only as tame. The law of Nature and Position is an universal one, and is the foundation of all true philosophy in reference to organized animal life.
To extend the same principle upward to the Life of Man, to apply it to his Moral Being, is the object of this book. It is, as the reader may see, the principle of the motto, that I have chosen from Ecclesiasticus and placed upon my title-page, that says, "All things are double, one