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trackless deep a highway through the world. In such a state of things, knowledge is truly power; and it is highly important to luman beings to become acquainted with the constitution and relations of every object around them, that they may discover its capabilities of ministering to their own advantage.
5. Further, where these physical energies are too great to bo controlled, man has received intelligence by which he may observe their course, and accommodate his conduct to their influence. This capacity of adaptation is a valuable substitute for the power of regulating them by his will. He can not arrest the sun in its course, so as to avert the wintry storms, and cause perpetual spring to bloom around him; but, by the proper exercise of his intelligence and corporeal energies, he is able to foresee the approach of bleak skies and rude winds, and to place himself in safety from their injurious effects.
6. These powers of controlling nature, and of accommodating his conduct to its course, are the direct results of his rational faculties; and in proportion to their cultivation is his sway extended. Man, while ignorant, is in a helpless condition. But let him put forth his proper human capacities, and he then finds himself invested with the power to rear, to build, to fabricate, and to store up provisions ; and by availing himself of these resources, and accommodating his conduct to the course of nature's laws, he is able to smile in safety beside the cheerful hearth, when the elements maintain their fiercest war abroad.
7. Again : We are surrounded by countless beings, inferior and equal to ourselves, whose qualities yield us the greatest happiness, or bring upon us the bitterest evil, according as we affect them agrecably or disagreeably by our conduct. To draw forth all their excellences, and cause them to diffuse joy around us—to avoid touching the harsher springs of their constitution and bringing painful discord to our ears—it is indispensably necessary that we know the nature of our fellows, and act with an habitual regard to the relations established by the Creator between ourselves and them.
5. When the physical energies of nature are too great to be controlled what must he do? What enables him to make this adaptation ?
6. What faculties must be cultivated before man can control and adapt him. self to nature? What will result from the proper exertion of man's rational faculties?
7. By what are we surrounded? What must we know, and how should we act, to make these beinga minister to our happiness ?
8. Man, ignorant and uncivilized, is a ferocious, sensual, and superstitious savage. The world affords some enjoyments to his animal feelings, but it confounds his moral and intellectual faculties. External nature exhibits to his mind a mighty chaos of events, and a dread display of power. The chain of causation appears too intricate to be unraveled, and the power too stupendous to be controlled.
9. Order and beauty, indeed, occasionally gleam forth to his eye from detached portions of creation, and seem to promise happiness and joy; but more frequently clouds and darkness brood over the scene, and disappoint his fondest expectations. Evil seems so mixed up with the good, that he regards it as ether its direct product, or its inseparable accompaniment. Nature is never contemplated with a clear conception of its adaptation to the purpose of promoting the true enjoyment of the human race, or with a well-founded confidence in the wiscom and benevolence of its Author.
10. Man, when civilized and illuminated by knowledge, on the other hand, discovers in the objects and occurrences around him a scheme beautifully arranged for the gratification of his whole powers, animal, moral, and intellectual; he recognizes in himself the intelligent and accountable subject of an allbountiful Creator, and in joy and gladness desires to study tho Creator's works, to ascertain His laws, and to yield to them a steady and a willing obedience. Without undervaluing the pleasures of his animal nature, ho tastes the higher, more refined, and more enduring delights of his moral and intellectual capacities, and he then calls aloud for education as indispensable to the full enjoyment of his rational powers.
8. How do the enjoyments of the ignorant and educated differ? 9. How does the ignorant man regard nature ?
10. When the educated inan looks upon nature, what does he sce? advantages dues tuucation give linn ?
11. If this representation of the condition of the human being on earth be correct, we perceive clearly the unspeakable advantage of applying our minds to gain knowledge of our own constitution and that of external nature, and of regulating our conduct according to rules drawn from the information acquired. Our constitution and our position equally imply that the grand object of our existence is, not that we should remain contented with the pleasures of mere animal life, but that we should take the dignified and far more delightful station of moral and rational occupants of this lower world.
11. What are some of the advantages of applying our minds to gain knowl. edge? What do our nature and position on this earth teach us ?
CONSTITUTION OF MAN.
1. In natural science, three subjects of inquiry may be distinguished: First, What exists ? Secondly, What is the purpose or design of what exists? and, Thirdly, Why was what exists designed for such uses as it evidently subserves ?
2. It is matter of fact, for instance, that arctic regions and the torrid zone exists,—that a certain kind of moss is abundant in Lapland in winter,—that the reindeer feeds on it, and enjoys health and vigor in situations where most other animals would die; that camels exist in Africa, that they have broad hoofs, and stomachs fitted to retain water for a considerable time, and that they flourish amid arid tracts of sand, where the reindeer would hardly live for a day. All this falls under the inquiry,– What exists?
3. In contemplating these facts, the understanding is naturally led to infer that one object of the Lapland moss is to feed the reindeer, and that one purpose of the deer is to assist man; and that broad feet have been given to the camel to allow it to walk on sand, and a retentive stomach to fit it for arid places in which water is found only at wide intervals. These conclusions result from inquiries into the uses or purposes of what exists; and such inquiries constitute a legitimate exercise of the human intellect.
1. How many subjects of inquiry are in natural science ? What are they?
2. What are mentioned as matters of fact? Under what head does the know. ledge of facts fall ?
3. What inferences does the mind naturally make from these facts ? Under what head of inquiry do these conclusions fall? Was the mind made for such ir:quiries and inferences ?
4. But, Thirdly, we may ask, Why were the physical elements of nature created such as they are ? Why were summer, autumn, spring, and winter introduced? Why were animals formed of organized matter? Why were trackless wastes of snow and burning sand called into existence ?
These are inquiries why what exists was made such as it is, or into the will of the Deity in creation.
5. Now, man's perceptive faculties are adequate to the first inquiry, and his reflective faculties to the second ; but it may well be doubted whether he has powers suited to the third. My investigations are confined to the first and second, and I do not discuss the third.
6. It can not be too much insisted on, that the Creator has bestowed definite constitutions on physical nature and on man and animals, and that they are regulated by fixed laws. A LAW, in the common acceptation, denotes a rule of action; it implies a subject which acts, and that the actions or phenomena which that subject exhibits takes place in an established and regular manner; and this is the sense in which I shall use it, when treating of physical substances and beings. Water, for instance, when at the level of the sea and combined with that portion of heat indicated by 32° of Fahrenheit's thermometer freezes, or becomes solid; when combined with the portion denoted by 212° of that instrument, it rises into vapor, or steam.
7. Here, water and heat are the substances, and the freezing and rising in vapor are the appearances, or phenomena, presented by them; and when we say that these take place according to a law of nature, we mean only that these modes of action appear, to our intellects, to be established in the very constitution of the water and heat, and in their natural relation
4. Why are things made as they are ?
5. Can man answer the last question? Which of the three subjects are treated of in this book ?
6. Have all things in nature fixed laws ? What is a law ? Give some illustrations of the laws of nature.
7. Are things so made as to always obey these laws ? (Has the Creator given laws for the mind, as well as for matter 1]