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course, they were subject to temptation in the same way that we are; and if they yielded, the result would be the same as if we yield; viz., sin. The difference between them and us is, they were naturally able to stand against any possible temptation ; we are wholly unable by nature, and cannot become able except by grace. If we will examine the history of the fall we shall see that it was a case of temptation on the ordinary principle explained above. Gen. iii, 6: “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise,” (here is excitement,)“ she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat,"—here is consent and indulgence, which were forbidden, and the result was, of course, sin. The case of Adam was the same : “and gave also unto her husband, and he did eat.” 3. This theory contains also the answer to the question, How could our Saviour be tempted? The answer is this : The Scriptures everywhere declare that our Lord took upon him our nature : not a part of our nature, but humanity as a whole. This doctrine is clearly expressed in the second article of the Church of England, which is received by all churches embracing that of the trinity, which says, speaking of the incarnation, he “took man's nature in the womb of the blessed virgin ; so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and manhood, were joined together in one person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God, and very man.” The expressions, “man's nature—manhood—very man,” surely comprehend the whole of humanity, and include our natural appetites and passions. Of course our Saviour possessed these naturally, as we do, and they were as naturally capable of excitement in him by their appropriate coresponding external objects, as in us. Hence it is said, "he was tempted in all points as we are :" it is added, "yet without sin.” He did not in any instance, nor in the slightest degree, consent to the temptation, but always said, “ Get thee behind me, Satan.”
There are two other sources of temptation which depend upon this principal original source. 1. Reflection upon ideas and images, which have been previously introduced into the mind, by which the imagination is excited ; and by this means the appetites and passions are aroused. In this case the excitement is of the same nature as that produced by the presence of the external object, and tends to seek gratification. This is as really a state of temptation as any we have discussed. If we consent to this excitement, or consent to prolong it, we commit sin. So also if we go in search of objects for its gratification. This completes the sin in the heart, and all that is wanting to consummate the act is, the opportunity of indulgence.
2. Satanic suggestion. There can be no doubt but Satan has the power to recall to our minds some, if not all of those ideas and images which we have received from external temptation, and thus to awaken our passions and to excite our appetites, which state of excitement, as has already been noted, constitutes temptation. And it ought to be distinctly remembered that he has no other means of tempting us. It is probable he has a dreadful power of prolonging the agitation of the mind, by constraining it to continue its reflections and imaginings. But however horrible, or offensive, or impure they may be, however violent the excitement, yet there is no sin unless we consent. We may suffer much, and be “in heaviness through manifold temptations ;" (St. Peter ;) yet unless we consent either to prolong the excitement, or to indulge it, we are “ without sin.”
Let not the reader be alarmed at this simple and natural solution of the question, touching our Saviour, which he has trembled to examine. In the experience of mortals, temptation and sin are so closely allied, that we seem to ourselves to have charged our Saviour with sin, when we admit he was tempted. But we cannot reject the fact; for the Scriptures affirm it, and give this most consolatory and encouraging of all reasons for it, that he might be touched with the feeling of our infirmity, and thus be prepared to be a “merciful and faithful high priest,” and be “able to succor them that are tempted.” No: instead of casting a shade over the transcendent majesty and glory of the Redeemer's character, this explanation throws a flood of light and hope into this miserable world of temptation and trial, and directs its agitated and dismayed inhabitants to look to “another and a better country," where the functions and power of our constitution, and the external world around to excite them, shall all tend inevitably to virtue and happiness; for we, says Peter, “look for a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness."
We have thus endeavored to give the reader a tolerably clear impression of one of the best books in the English language; presenting him with a few specimens of the arguments and illustrations, by which he may learn what he has to expect from a thorough study of the work. The theory of temptation with which we have concluded our review of the book, is not found in form, or the elements of it expanded ; but the foundation principle is there, and so, on almost every page, there is a principle laid down, a proposition or a reflection given, which might be expanded with much profit into an essay, or even a volume. Our book agents, in our judgment, could not do a greater service to our ministers, than to publish a good edition of Butler's Analogy, with an introduction containing an analysis of each chapter.
Dickinson College, April, 1841.
Art. V.—The Life of Sir Humphry Davy, Bart., LL.D., late
President of the Royal Society, Foreign Associate of the Royal Institute of France, fc., fc. By John Ayrton Paris, M.D., &c., Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. In two vols., 8vo., pp. 416 and 463. London. 1831.
It has been affirmed, in substance, that Sir H. Davy was to chimistry what Newton was to the sister science of astronomy; but withholding, at present, our assent to so high a eulogium, we certainly shall most freely concede to him a very high place on the list of distinguished, scientific men. One writer would indeed seem to place his name even above that of Newton. Says he,
“ When Newton established the law of gravitation, and applied it to the planetary motions, he but completed the labors of a previous age. Had not misfortune and the apathy of princes chilled the ardor of Kepler, he might have anticipated him in the discovery; and Hooke, and Halley, and Wren, were within a neck of the goal at which Newton carried off the prize. Trained at the foot of Barrow, and in the geometry of Cambridge, and in the full enjoyment of academical leisure, Newton was well equipped for the contest, while his less prepared antagonists run in the harness of professional occupations. In the achievement, indeed, of his grand discovery, we witness the triumph of fortune as well as of talent ; and it is not detracting from his high merits when we say, that had he lived in another age, Newton would have had many equals.
“Sir H. Davy's successful analysis of the earths is inferior to the discovery of universal gravitation only in its influence over the imagination. To separate, without the aid of the crucible, new metals of rare and surprising properties from the earths and alkalies which we tread under our feet-from lime, magnesia, soda, barytes, &c.—was a discovery greatly in advance of the age in which it was made. No prophetic sagacity had placed it among the probabilities of science. No previous skill had made the slightest approximation to it. Nor had Davy the preparation either of academical knowledge, or of experimental instruction. No adept in chimical analysis had imparted to him the wisdom of his experience; nor had the treasures of a foreign pilgrimage placed him above his rivals in discovery. His methods and his skill were his own, and whatever were their defects, they were supplied by a ready genius and an intellectual energy which triumphed over every
obstacle." One would suppose, from the flippant manner in which this writer speaks of Newton, and his important, indeed, but, if we are to believe him, not such very astounding discoveries, that, had this great man been his contemporary, he should himself almost expect to be his equal ; at least, he might hope that Dame Fortune would, in some way, make up to him whatever he might lack in brains !
But we find a sufficient reply to this writer's remarks in the honest admissions of the author of the work before us..
“ It is impossible," says Dr. Paris, “to reflect upon the chimical processes by which potassium is obtained, without feeling surprised that the discovery should not have long before been accomplished. It is evident, that the substance must have been repeatedly developed during the operations of chimistry; alkalies had been frequently heated to whiteness in contact both with iron and charcoal,t and, in some instances, the appearance of a highly combustible body, which could have been no other than potassium, had even been observed as a result of the process; and yet no suspicion as to its real nature ever crossed the mind of the experimentalist; he satisfied himself with designating such a product whenever it occurred, by the term pyrophorus. I I remember the late Mr. William Gregor informing me that, in the course of his analytical experiments with potash and different metals, he had repeatedly observed a combustion on removing the crucible from the furnace, and exposing the contents, which he could never understand." Vol. i, p. 282.
Edinburgh Review, No. cxxvii, p. 53. (American reprint.) † Potassium is now prepared by heating potassa in contact with powdered charcoal and iron turnings.
| Homberg's pyrophorus, which receives its name from its discoverer, was described as early as 1711. It is prepared by making a mixture of charcoal, or some substance that contains it, as flour, sugar, gum, &c., and alum; and, after drying it thoroughly, exposing it in a close vessel for some time to a red heat ; and owes its peculiar property of igniting spontaneously, when exposed to the atmosphere, to the potassium that is liberated by the process of preparing it.
If, therefore, Davy, as well as Newton, is justly entitled to the honor of having made the discovery of countries, before quite unknown, it is certainly true that others before him had sailed along the same coast, and were prevented from making the discovery only by the fog and mists which intercepted their view. There is a great analogy, in one respect, between the discoveries made by navigators and travelers of new countries, and discoveries in science. The “world” of the ancient Romans has been gradually enlarged by successive adventurers, each one pushing his discoveries a little, and, as a general thing, but a little, beyond those of his predecessors, until we have reason to believe the oceans, continents, seas, islands, mountains, &c., of our planet are tolerably well known; and history records the name of but one Columbus, who possessed the daring genius and mighty energy required at once to project and execute a voyage across a wide, and, so far as was then known, boundless ocean. So it has been in science. One after another has added more or less to our knowledge of material nature ; and if, in a few instances, individuals have made apparently large advances in discovery beyond their contemporaries, it has generally been afterward found, that others before them had unconsciously to themselves been on the point of making the same advance. So it was with Newton, so it was with Dalton in his discovery of the laws of chimical combination, and so it was with Davy, as we have just seen. Nor does this essentially detract from their merits as original discoverers. True, fortune may seem to have favored these individuals ; but why did the apparently trifling circumstances, which seem to have made the important suggestion to them, make the revelation to them only? Thousands had seen chandeliers swinging in churches and other places before the time of Galileo, but to his observing mind alone did it suggest the use of the pendulum as a measurer of time; and apples had been seen to fall to the ground by the force of gravity thousands of years before Newton's day, but it required his own careful observation and mighty intellect to perceive, in so trifling an incident, the hitherto unknown cause of motion in the stupendous machinery of the universe. To Newton, in our opinion, above all others, belongs the honor of being considered the Columbus in scientific discovery. And, in assigning him this place, we do not have reference merely to his discovery of the law of universal gravitation, but to other achievements of his,