« FöregåendeFortsätt »
showed by his own divine example that, we should love ALL mankind, our enemies as well as our friends. Therefore, when you meet with a person of merit, salute him, whether Protestant or Papist, Presbyterian or Episcopalian, Methodist or Burgher, Calvinist or Arminian, if his heart be right with God, give him thine hand.
'Tis possible the reader may inquire,
To what distinction I myself aspire. As this Dedication has insensibly swollen upon me beyond the bounds allotted it, even upwards of twenty pages, (which 'will be found in addition to those marked at the end of the book,) I must postpone for the present many things I have to say: : Hoping the few hints and advices contained in it will be a means in the hand of God, with your own reflection and judgment, when a little more matured with the experience of years, of keeping you free from many of the vanities and vices of unguarded youth ; which, if strictly attended to, will confer the highest honour upon one who has the happiness to wish you a portion of the Grace of God, and to be, with pleasure,
MY DEAR Son,
Your Most Affectionate Father,
PETER BUCHAN. PETERHEAD, January 1st, 1824.) P.S. Years roll on apace.-Since writing the preceding, another year
has fled,and has waftedon its wings the spirits of thousands to regions unknown. Time is in subjection to none-it conquors all, and lays the mighty low. Husband well then, that portion of time which God has given you, so as you may glory in giving an account of it at last. I should be happy to see many flourishing years crown your youthful head, and in which you can say you have found much pleasure. With the prospects of the joys of many comming year, be my prayers for your wellfare here, and your unclouded happiness hereafter.
Owing to the very great hurry in which this work has been printed, and much of it never having been in MS, a few typographical errors have been overlooked; which, it is hoped, he who reads for instruction will excuse. The most material that anyways interrupt the sense are, a Y for an 0, in the word Your, page XXVI, 12th line from the bottom ; and where the character of Bacchus suffers a metamorphose from the masculine to the feminine gender; which the reader will transpose back when he reads page XIII, line seventh.
SCRIPTURAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL
AR @ U M ENTS,
I said in mine heart concerning the estate of
the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
Eccl. III. 18.
MAN by Man has been accounted the lord of the creation, while the brutes have been thought an encumbrance on the earth. Were we justly and impartially to consider the link that unites the one to the other in the necessary
scale of nature, from the least inanimate entity, to the highest animated being, our pride and hatred would cease. made a little lower than the angels, and the brutes a little lower than man. Man, in the structure of his body, commands reverence and respect; but above all, that rational and thinking part which we call Soul, with which he is endowed, and of which he ignorantly
boasts of having the sole privilege. Of the nature, of the properties, and of the composition of the body, we can form some adequate idea; but of the perfections and extent of the powers of the soul, no man knoweth, nor can he have the most indefinite conception. Divines, Philosophers, and Naturalists, have differed strangely in opinion when speaking of this most important part of our existence. The Stoicks count it a spark of heavenly light which effulges from the presence of God. But the Cartesians make thinking the essence of the soul; and Xenocrates, as we are told by Clem. Alex. held that brutes had sense of God.
Of God unconscious even brutes obey ;
In scripture, the soul, in general, is understood to be that spiritual, reasonable, and immortal substance which is the origin of the thoughts, of the desires, and of the reasonings, and which bears some resemblance to its divine Maker.
Origen observes that, the soul is, in its proper nature, incorporeal and invisible, and always needs a body suitable to its place. This opinion that, the soul always needs a body, was so rooted in the fathers that, on e