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tions to a close, offer to your notice the bright and the beautiful side of it. I would bid you think of all that fond and pleasant imagery, which is associated even with the lower animals, when they become the objects of a benevolent care, which at length ripens into a strong and cherished affection for them-as when the worn-out hunter is permitted to graze, and be still the favourite of all the domestics through the remainder of his life; or the old and shaggy housedog, that has now ceased to be serviceable, is nevertheless sure of its regular meals, and a decent funeral; or when an adopted inmate of the household is claimed as pro
ments were forthwith put an end to. It is at the bidding of your collective will to save those countless myriads who are brought to the regular and the daily slaughter, all the difference between a gradual and an instant death. And there is a practice realized in every-day life, which you can put down -a practice which strongly reminds us of a ruder age that has long gone by;-when even beauteous and high-born ladies could partake in the dance, and the song, and the festive chivalry of barbaric castles, unmindful of all the piteous and the pining agony of dungeoned prisoners below. We charge a like unmindfulness on the present generation. We know not whether those wretch-perty, or as the object of decided partiality, ed animals whose still sentient frameworks by some one or other of the children; or, are under process of ingenious manufacture finally, when in the warmth and comfort of for the epicurism or the splendour of your the evening fire, one or more of these home coming entertainment, we know not whe-animals take their part in the living groupe ther they are now dying by inches in your that is around it, and their very presence own subterranean keeps, or through the serves to complete the picture of a blissful subdivided industry of our commercial age, and smiling family. Such relationships are now suffering all the horrors of their with the inferior creatures, supply many of protracted agony, in the prison-house of our finest associations of tenderness, and some distant street where this dreadful give, even to the heart of man, some of its trade is carried on. But truly it matters simplest yet sweetest enjoyments. He even nought to our argument, ye heedless sons can find in these some compensation for the and daughters of gaiety! We speak not of dread and the disquietude wherewith his the daily thousands who have to die that bosom is agitated amid the fiery conflicts man may live; but of those thousands who of infuriated men. When he retires from have to die more painfully, just that man the stormy element of debate, and exchanges, may live more luxuriously. We speak to for the vindictive glare, and the hideous disyou of the art and the mystery of the kill-cords of that outcry which he encounters ing trade-from which it would appear, among his fellows,-when these are exthat not alone the delicacy of the food, but changed for the honest welcome and the even its appearance, is, among the connois-guileless regards of those creatures who seurs of a refined epicurism, the matter of gambol at his feet, he feels that even in the skilful and scientific computation. There society of the brutes, in whose hearts there is a sequence, it would appear-there is a is neither care nor controversy, he can sursequence between an exquisite death, and round himself with a better atmosphere far, an exquisite or a beautiful preparation of than in that which he breathes among the cookery; and just in the ordinary way that companionships of his own species. Here art avails herself of the other sequences of he can rest himself from the fatigues of that philosophy,--the first term is made sure, moral tempest which has beat upon him so that the second term might, according to violently; and, in the play of kindliness the metaphysic order of causation, follow with these poor irrationals, his spirit can in its train. And hence, we are given to forget for awhile all the injustice and feunderstand, hence the cold-blooded ingenui- rocity of their boasted lords. ties of that previous and preparatory torture which oft is undergone, both that man might be feasted with a finer relish, and that the eyes of man might be feasted and regaled with a finer spectacle. The atrocities of a Majendie have been blazoned before the eye of a British public; but this is worse in the fearful extent and magnitude of the evil-truly worse than a thousand Majendies. His is a cruel luxury, but it is the luxury of intellect. Yours is both a cruel and a sensual luxury and you have positively nought to plead for it but the most worthless and ignoble appetites of our nature. But, secondly, and if possible to secure your kindness for our cause, let me, in the act of drawing these lengthened observa
But this is only saying, that our subject is connected with the pleasures of sentiment. And therefore, in the third and last place, we have to offer it as our concluding observation, that it is also connected with the principles of deepest sacredness. It may be thought by some that we have wasted the whole of this Sabbath morn, on what may be ranked among but the lesser moralities of human conduct. But there is one aspect, in which it may be regarded as more profoundly and more peculiarly religious than any one virtue which reciprocates, or is of mutual operation among the fellows of the same species. It is a virtue which oversteps, as it were, the limits of a species, and which, in this instance, prompts a de
scending movement, on our part, of righ- and scornfully away from the rights of teousness and mercy towards those who those creatures whom God hath placed in have an inferior place to ourselves in the dependence under him? We know that the scale of creation. The lesson of this day is cause of poor and unfriended animals has not the circulation of benevolence within many an obstacle to contend with in the difthe limits of one species. It is the trans- ficulties or the delicacies of legislation. But mission of it from one species to another. we shall ever deny that it is a theme beThe first is but the charity of a world. The neath the dignity of legislation; or that second is the charity of a universe. Had the nobles and the senators of our land stoop to a cause which is degrading, when, in the imitation of heaven's high clemency, they look benignly downward on these humble and helpless sufferers. Ere we can admit this, we must forget the whole economy of our blessed gospel. We must forget the legislations and the cares of the upper sanctuary in behalf of our fallen species. We must forget that the redemption of our world is suspended on an act of jurisprudence which angels desired to look into, and for effectuating which, the earth we tread upon was honoured by the footsteps, not of angel or of archangel, but of God manifest in the flesh. The distance
there been no such charity, no descending current of love and of liberality from species to species, what, I ask, should have become of ourselves? Whence have we learned this attitude of lofty unconcern about the creatures who are beneath us? Not from those ministering spirits who wait upon the heirs of salvation. Not from those angels who circle the throne of heaven, and make all its arches ring with joyful harmony, when but one sinner of this prostrate world turns his footsteps towards them. Not from that mighty and mysterious visitant, who unrobed Him of all his glories, and bowed down his head unto the sacrifice, and still, from the seat of his now ex-upward between us and that mysterious alted mediatorship, pours forth his interces- Being, who let himself down from heaven's sions and his calls in behalf of the race he high concave upon our lowly platform, surdied for. Finally, not from the eternal passes by infinity, the distance downward Father of all, in the pavilion of whose resi- between us and every thing that breathes. dence there is the golden treasury of all And He bowed himself thus far for the purthose bounties and beatitudes that roll over pose of an example, as well as for the purthe face of nature, and from the footstool of pose of an expiation; that every Christian whose empyreal throne there reaches a might extend his compassionate regards golden chain of providence to the very over the whole of sentient and suffering nahumblest of his family. He who hath ture. The high court of Parliament is not given his angels charge concerning us, degraded by its attentions and its cares in means that the tide of beneficence should behalf of inferior creatures, else the Sancpass from order to order, through all the tuary of Heaven has been degraded by its ranks of his magnificent creation; and we counsels in behalf of the world we occupy, ask, is it with man that this goodly provi- and in the execution of which the Lord of sion is to terminate or shall he, with all heaven himself relinquished the highest his sensations of present blessedness, and seat of glory in the universe, and went all his visions of future glory let down upon forth to sojourn for a time on this outcast him from above, shall he turn him selfishly and accursed territory.
PREACHED IN ST. JOHN'S CHURCH,
THE following Sermons are of too miscellaneous a character to be arranged according to the succession of their topics, and they are, therefore, presented to the reader as so many compositions that are almost wholly independent of each other.
Two of the Sermons treat of Predestination, and the Sin against the Holy Ghost. There are topics of a highly speculative character, in the system of Christian Doctrine, which it is exceedingly difficult to manage, without interesting the curiosity rather than the conscience of the reader. And yet, it is from their fitness of application to the conscience, that they derive their chief right to appear in a volume of Sermons; and I should not have ventured any publication upon either of these doctrines, did I not think them capable of being so treated as to subserve the great interests of practical godliness.
The Sermons all relate to topics that I hold to be strictly congregational, with the exception of the thirteenth and fourteenth in the volume, which belong rather to Christian Economies, than to Christian Theology-to the "outer things of the house of God," rather than to the things of the sanctuary, or the intimacies of the spiritual life. I, perhaps, ought therefore to apologize for the appearance of these two in a volume of Congregational Sermons, and yet I have been led by experience to feel the religious importance of their subject, and I think that much injury has been sustained by the souls of our people, from the neglect of obvious principles both in the business of education, and in the business of public charity. I have, however, more comfort in discussing this argument from the press, than from the pulpit, which ought to be kept apart for loftier themes, and which seems to suffer a sort of desecration when employed as the vehicle for any thing else than the overtures of pardon to the sinner, and the hopes and duties of the believer.
The Constancy of God in His Works an Argument for the Faithfulness of God in His Word.
"For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. They continue this day according to thy ordinances: for all are thy servants."-Psalm cxix. 89, 90, 91.
In these verses there is affirmed to be an | afterwards. And then, as if to perfect the analogy between the word of God and the assimilation between them, it is said of both works of God. It is said of his word, that it in the 91st verse, "They continue this day is settled in heaven, and that it sustains its according to thine ordinances, for all are faithfulness from one generation to another. thy servants;" thereby identifying the sureIt is said of his works, and more especially ness of that word which proceeded from his of those that are immediately around us, lips, with the unfailing constancy of that even of the earth which we inhabit, that as Nature which was formed and is upholden it was established at the first so it abideth by his hands.
The constancy of Nature is taught by and her ordinances, and that she continueth universal experience, and even strikes the therein. And the proofs of this are ever popular eye as the most characteristic of multiplying along the journey of human those features which have been impressed observation: insomuch, that when we come upon her. It may need the aid of philosophy to manhood, we read of Nature's constancy to learn how unvarying Nature is in all her throughout every department of the visible processes-how even her seeming anomalies world. It meets us wherever we turn our can be traced to a law that is inflexible-eyes. Both the day and the night bear withow what might appear at first to be the ness to it. The silent revolutions of the caprices of her waywardness, are, in fact, firmament give it their pure testimony. the evolutions of a mechanism that never Even those appearances in the heavens, at changes and that the more thoroughly she which superstition stood aghast, and imais sifted and put to the test by the interroga- gined that Nature was on the eve of giving tions of the curious, the more certainly will way, are the proudest trophies of that stathey find that she walks by a rule which bility which reigns throughout her proknows no abatement, and perseveres with cesses-of that unswerving consistency obedient footstep in that even course, from wherewith she prosecutes all her movewhich the eye of strictest scrutiny, has never ments. And the lesson that is thus held yet detected one hair-breadth of deviation. forth to us from the heavens above, is reIt is no longer doubted by men of science, sponded to by the earth below; just as the that every remaining semblance of irregu-tides of ocean wait the footsteps of the larity in the universe is due, not to the moon, and, by an attendance kept up withfickleness of Nature, but to the ignorance out change or intermission for thousands of of man--that her most hidden movements years, would seem to connect the regularity are conducted with a uniformity as rigorous of earth with the regularity of heaven. But, as fate--that even the fitful agitations of the apart from these greater and simpler ener weather have their law and their principle-gies, we see a course and a uniformity every that the intensity of every breeze, and the where. We recognise it in the mysteries of number of drops in every shower, and the vegetation. We follow it through the suc formation of every cloud, and all the occur- cessive stages of growth, and maturity, and ring alternations of storm and sunshine, and decay, both in plants and animals. We dis the endless shiftings of temperature, and cern it still more palpably in that beautiful those tremulous varieties of the air which circulation of the element of water, as it our instruments have enabled us to discover, rolls its way by many thousand channels to but have not enabled us to explain-that the ocean--and, from the surface of this still, they follow each other by a method of expanded reservoir, is again uplifted to the succession, which, though greatly more in- higher regions of the atmosphere-and is tricate, is yet as absolute in itself as the there dispersed in light and fleecy magaorder of the seasons, or the mathematical zines over the four quarters of the globecourses of astronomy. This is the impres- and at length accomplishes its orbit, by fallsion of every philosophical mind with re-ing in showers on a world that waits to be gard to Nature, and it is strengthened by refreshed by it. And all goes to impress us each new accession that is made to science. with the regularity of Nature, which in fact The more we are acquainted with her, the teems, throughout all its varieties, with more are we led to recognise her constancy; power, and principle, and uniform laws of and to view her as a mighty though com- operation--and is viewed by us as a vast plicated machine, all whose results are sure, laboratory, all the progressions of which and all whose workings are invariable. have a rigid and unfailing necessity stamped upon them.
But there is enough of patent and palpable regularity in Nature, to give also to the popular mind, the same impression of her constancy. There is a gross and general experience that teaches the same lesson, and that has lodged in every bosom a kind of secure and steadfast confidence in the uniformity of her processes. The very child knows and proceeds upon it. He is aware of an abiding character and property in the elements around him-and has already learned as much of the fire, and the water, and the food that he eats, and the firm ground that he treads upon, and even of the gravitation by which he must regulate his postures and his movements, as to prove, that infant though he be, he is fully initiated in the doctrine, that Nature has her laws
Now, this contemplation has at times served to foster the atheism of philosophers. It has led them to deify Nature, and to make her immutability stand in the place of God. They seem impressed with the imagination, that had the Supreme Cause been a being who thinks, and wills, and acts as man does, on the impulse of a felt and a present motive, there would be more the appearance of spontaneous activity, and less of mute and unconscious mechanism in the administrations of the universe. It is the very unchangeableness of Nature and the steadfastness of those great and mighty processes wherewith no living power that is superior to Nature, and is able to shift or to control her, is seen to interfere-it is this which
together, the invariableness wherewith these two terms of the succession have followed each other. Or, in other words, God, by putting this faith into every human creature, and making it a necessary part of his mental constitution, has taught him at all times to expect the like result in the like circumstances. He has thus virtually told him what is to happen, and what he has to look for in every given condition-and by its so happening accordingly, he just makes good the veracity of his own declaration. The man who leads me to expect that which he fails to accomplish, I would hold to be a deceiver. God has so framed the machinery of my perceptions, as that I am
But this atheistical impression that is de rived from the constancy of Nature, is not peculiar to the disciples of philosophy. It is the familiar and the practical impression
of every-day life. The world is apprehended led irresistibly to expect, that every where events will follow each other in the very train in which I have ever been accustomed to observe them--and when God so sustains the uniformity of Nature, that in every instance it is rigidly so, he is just manifesting the faithfulness of his character. Were it otherwise, he would be practising a mockery on the expectation which he himself had inspired. God may be said to have pro
to move on steady and unvarying principles of his own; and these secondary causes have usurped, in man's estimation, the throne of the Divinity. Nature in fact is personified into God: and as we look to the performance of a machine without thinking of its maker, so the very exactness and certainty, wherewith the machinery of creation performs its evolutions, has thrown a disguise over the agency of the Creator. mised to every human being, that Nature Should God interpose by miracle, or inter-will be constant-if not by the whisper of fere by some striking and special manifesta- an inward voice to every heart, at least by tion of providence, then man is awakened the force of an uncontrollable bias which to the recognition of him. But he loses he has impressed on every constitution. So sight of the Being who sits behind these that, when we behold Nature keeping by its visible elements, while he regards those constancy, we behold the God of Nature attributes of constancy and power which keeping by his faithfulness-and the system appear in the elements themselves. They of visible things, with its general laws, and see no demonstration of a God, and they its successions which are invariable, instead feel no need of him, while such unchanging, of an opaque materialism to intercept from and such unfailing energy continues to ope- the view of mortals the face of the Divinity, rate in the visible world around them; and becomes the mirror which reflects upon we need not go to the schools of ratiocina- them the truth that is unchangeable, the tion in quest of this infidelity, but may de- ordination that never fails. tect it in the bosoms of simple and unlettered men, who, unknown to themselves, make a god of Nature, and just because of Nature's constancy; having no faith in the unseen Spirit who originated all and upholds all, and that, because all things continue as they were from the beginning of
Conceive that it had been otherwisefirst, that man had no faith in the constancy of Nature-then how could all his experience have profited him? How could he have applied the recollections of his past, to the guidance of his future history? And, what would have been left to signalize the wisdom of mankind above that of veriest infancy? Or, suppose that he had the implicit faith in Nature's constancy, but that Nature was wanting in the fulfilment of itthat at every moment his intuitive reliance on this constancy, was met by some caprice or waywardness of Nature, which thwarted
Such has been the perverse effect of Nature's constancy on the alienated mind of man: but let us now attend to the true interpretation of it. God has, in the first instance, put into our minds a disposition to count on the uniformity of Nature, insomuch universally look for a recurrence of him in all his undertakings-that, instead the same event in the same circumstances. of holding true to her announcements, she This is not merely the belief of experience, held the children of men in most distressful but the belief of instinct. It is antecedent uncertainty, by the freaks and the falsities to all the findings of observation, and may in which she ever indulged herself-and be exemplified in the earliest stages of child- that every design of human foresight was hood. The infant who makes a noise on the thus liable to be broken up, by ever and table with his hand, for the first time, anti-anon the putting forth of some new fluctuacipates a repetition of the noise from a re- tion. Tell me, in this wild misrule of elepetition of the stroke, with as much confi- ments changing their properties, and events dence as he who has witnessed, for years ever flitting from one method of succession
seems to have impressed the notion of some blind and eternal fatality on certain men of loftiest but deluded genius. And, accordingly, in France, where the physical sciences have, of late, been the most cultivated, have there also been the most daring avowals of atheism. The universe has been affirmed to be an everlasting and indestructible effect; and from the abiding constancy that is seen in Nature, through all her departments, have they inferred, that thus it has always been, and that thus it will ever be.