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actually to have done) that the Deity was a Being of a mixed, or of a capricious nature; an idea which, shocking as it is to every well-constituted mind, would not be so in the least, to such a mind as Dr. Paley attributes to the whole Human Species.

To illustrate this argument a little further, let us suppose a tasteful architect, and a rude savage, to be both contemplating a magnificent building, unfinished, or partially fallen to ruin; the one, not being at all able to comprehend the complete design, nor having any taste for its beauties if perfectly exhibited, would not attribute any such design to the author of it; but would suppose the prostrate columns and rough stones to be as much designed as those that were erect and perfect: the other, would sketch out in his own mind something like the perfect structure of which he beheld only a part; and though he might not be able to explain how it came to be unfinished or decayed, would conclude that some such design was in the mind of the builder: though this same man, if he were contemplating a mere rude heap of stones which bore no marks of design at all, would not in that case draw such a conclusion.

Or again, suppose two persons, one having an ear for music, and the other totally destitute of it, were both listening to a piece of music imperfectly heard at a distance, or half drowned by other noises, so that only some notes of it were distinctly caught, and others were totally lost, or heard imperfectly: the one might suppose that the sounds he heard were all that were actually produced, and think the whole that met his ear to be exactly such

as was designed; but the other would form some notion of a piece of real music, and would conclude that the interruptions and imperfections of it were not parts of the design, but were to be attributed to his imperfect hearing: though if he heard, on another occasion, a mere confusion of sounds, without any melody at all, he would not conclude that any thing like music was designed.

"The application is obvious: the wisdom and goodness discernible in the structure of the Universe, but imperfectly discerned, and blended with evil, leads a man who has an innate approbation of those attributes, to assign them to the Author of the Universe, though he be unable to explain that admixture of evil; but if man were destitute of moral sentiments, the view of the Universe, such as it appears to us, would hardly lead him to that conclusion."

It has been maintained that the doctrine here attributed to Paley is not really what he designed to convey. I should be happy to see this satisfactorily proved, respecting an author whom I value highly, and never differ from without regret: especially as this would deprive, what I consider as a hurtful error, of the sanction of a deservedly popular name. But still the sense conveyed by his language, to ordinary readers at least, being such as it is, the reason remains the same for controverting the doctrine so conveyed. Against Dr. Paley, either personally or as an author, the objections are not directed; but against the notions involved in the most natural and obvious construction of his

expressions.

It has also been said that to judge of the divine bene volence, or other attributes, in any degree, from what we find in ourselves, is inconsistent with Dr. King's statement of the dissimilarity between the attributes of God and of Man.

But this objection is founded on a mistake or a misrepresentation, of Dr. King's meaning; who (as I have endeavoured to shew in the note appended to Essay II. of this volume) represents the divine attributes as being the "same" with ours, in the only sense (though in a less degree) in which any one man's qualities can be the "same" as another's.

ESSAY VI.

ON THE OMISSION OF A SYSTEM OF ARTICLES OF FAITH, LITURGIES, AND ECCLESIASTICAL CANONS.

§ 1. I HAVE dwelt, in the two preceding Essays, on the practically-instructive character of the revelation which the Gospel furnishes. But there is an omission in the New Testament Scriptures, which from that very circumstance is the more striking, inasmuch as it seems to leave unsupplied a most important practical want. No such thing is to be found in our Scriptures as a Catechism or regular Elementary Introduction to the Christian religion; nor do they furnish us with any thing of the nature of a systematic Creed,―set of Articles, Confession of Faith, or by whatever other name one may designate a regular, complete Compendium of Christian doctrines. Nor again do they supply us with a Liturgy for ordinary public worship, or with forms of administering the Sacraments, or of conferring

Holy Orders: nor do they even give any precise directions as to these and other ecclesiastical matters; any thing that at all corresponds to a Rubric or set of Canons.

And this omission is, as I have said, of a widely different character from the one before mentioned; since all these are things of manifest practical utility, and by no means calculated to gratify mere idle curiosity.

We are from childhood so familiar with that collection of books which we call the Bible, (I mean, with the drift and general character of each of them) that few Christians probably have ever thought of considering whether these books are (in respect, that is, not of their matter, but of the general purpose of each) precisely such as we should have antecedently expected; and whether they are all that we should have expected to find transmitted to us, supposing we now heard for the first time of the Christian revelation, and of a collection of writings in which it is recorded. But for this familiarity, every one would, I think, be struck with the circumstance, as something very remarkable, that these writings contain neither Catechism, Creed,

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