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a vessel sinking in any one of these countries more than another. There is no example of men in any country, enjoying the mild and generous internal joys, and the outward esteem and love, that attend obedience to the moral law, while they give themselves up to the dominion of brutal propensities.
7. There is no example, in any latitude or longitude, or in any age, of men who entered life with a constitution in harmony with the organic laws, and who continued to obey these laws throughout, being, in consequence of this obedience, visited with pain and disease; and there are no instances of men who were born with constitutions marred by the organic laws, and who lived in habitual disobedience to them, enjoying that sound health and vigor of body that are the rewards of obedience.
8. The natural laws are in harmony with the whole constitution of man, the moral and intellectual holding the supremacy. If ships in general had sunk when they were staunch, strong, and skillfully managed, this would have outraged the perceptions of reason; but as they float, the physical law is, in this instance, in harmony with the moral and intellectual law. If men who rioted in drunkenness and debauchery had thereby established health and increased their happiness, this, again, would have been at variance with our intellectual and moral perceptions; but the opposite and actual result is in harmony with them.
9. When sickness and pain follow a debauch, the object of the suffering is to urge a more scrupulous obedience to the organic laws, that the individual may escape premature death, which is the inevitable consequence of too great and continued disobedience to these laws, and enjoy health, which is the reward of the opposite conduct. When discontent, irritation, hatred, and other mental annoyances, arise out of infringement of the moral law, this punishment is calculated to induce the
7. What is said of obedience and disobedience to the organic laws ?
8. What are the relations between man and the natural laws! Do these relations always exist? Does man improve his health by dissipation ?
9. Why do pain and sickness follow a debauch? What is the pain arising from the disobedience of moral laws calculated to induce ?
offender to return to obedience, that he may enjoy the rewards attached to it.
10. I do not intend to predicate any thing concerning the absolute perfectibility of man by obedience to the laws of nature. Neither do I intend to teach that the natural laws, discernible by unassisted reason, are sufficient for the salvation of man without revelation. Human interests regard this world and the next. To enjoy this world, I humbly maintain that man must discover and obey the natural laws.
11. Revelation does not always communicate complete information concerning the best mode of pursuing eren our legitimate temporal interests ; and numerous practical duties resulting from our constitution are discoverable, which are not treated of in detail in the inspired volume ; the mode of preserving health, for example; of pursuing with success a temporal calling; of discovering the qualities of men with whom we mean to associate our interests, and so on.
12. This is the case, probably, because faculties have been given to man to discover arts, sciences, and the natural laws, and to adapt his conduct to them; and because the physical, moral, and intellectual nature of man is itself left open to investigation by these faculties. My object, I repeat, is to investigate the natural constitution of the human body and mind, their relations to external objects and beings in this world, and the courses of action that, in consequence, appear to be beneficial or hurtful in this life.
13. It may be asked, whether mere knowledge of the natural laws is sufficient to insure observance of them ? Certainly not. Mere knowledge of music does not enable one to play on an instrument, nor of anatomy to perform skillfully a surgical operation. Practical training, and the aid of every motive that can interest the feelings, are necessary to lead individuals to obey the natural laws. Religion, in particular, may furnish motives highly conducive to this obedience.
10. Will obedience to the natural laws make a man perfect, or save him from che consequences of sin ?
11. Are there many things to be learned which revelation does not teach? What are some of these things ?
12. Why does not revelation teach every thing minutely? What is the au. thor's object?
13. Will mere knowledge of a law make one obey it? Give some examples of the inefficiency of mere knowledge. What is necessary to lead us to obey the natural laws? What may religion do ?
14. But it must never be forgotten, that although mere knowledge is not all sufficient, it is a primary and indispensable requisite to regular observance; and that it is as impossible effectually and systematically to obey the natural laws without knowing them, as it is to perform any other complicated and important duty in ignorance of its principles and practical details. Some persons are of opinion that Christianity alone suffices, not only for man's salvation—which I do not disputebut for his guidance in all practical virtues, without knowledge of, or obedience to, the laws of nature; but from this last notion I respectfully dissent.
15. It appears to me, that one reason why vice and misery do not diminish in proportion to preaching, is, that the natural laws are too much overlooked, and very rarely considered as having any relation to human conduct. The theological disputes of the corruption and disorder of human nature, joined to the want of knowledge of real science, have probably been tho causes why the professed servants of God have made so little use of His laws, as revealed in creation, in instructing the people to live according to His will.
14. Can man obey the natural laws without knowing them? Can an ignorant man fulfill the object for which his Creator intended him?
Is mere knowledge of Christianity sufficient to the practice of all our duties in this world?
15. Why do not vice and misery diminish? Why do not teachers make known more fully the natural laws ?
CHAPTER III. MAN CONSIDERED AS A PHYSICAL BEING. 1. The human body consists of bones, muscles, nerves, and blood-vessels, besides organs of nutrition, of respiration, of feeling, and of thought. These parts are all composed of physical elements, and, to a certain extent, are subjected to the physical laws of creation. By the law of gravitation, the body falls to the ground when unsupported, and is liable to be injured like any frangible substance : by a chemical law, excessive cold freezes, and excessive heat dissipates, its fluids; and life, in either case, is extinguished.
2. To discover the real effect of the physical laws of nature on human happiness, we should require to understand, First, The physical laws themselves, as revealed by mathematics, natural philosophy, natural history, chemistry, and their subordinate branches; Secondly, The anatomical and physiological constitution of the human body; and, Thirdly, The adaptation of the former to the latter. These expositions are necessary to ascertain the extent to which it is possible for man to place himself in accordance with the physical laws, so as to reap advantage from them; and also to determine how far the sufferings which he endures fail to be ascribed to the inevitable operation of these laws, and how far to his ignorance and infringement of them.
3. By the law of gravitation, heavy bodies always tend toward the center of the earth. Some of the advantages of this law are, that objects when properly supported, remain at rest; that walls, when built sufficiently thick and perpendicular, stand firm and erect; that water descends from high places, and precipitates itself down the channels of rivers, turns mill-wheels in its course, and sets in motion the most stupendous and useful machinery; and that ships move steadily through the water with part of their hulls immersed and part rising moderately above it, and their masts and sails towering in the air to catch the inconstant breeze.
1. Of what does the human body consist ? Of what are these parts composed ? To what laws are they subjected ? By what law does the body fall to the ground when unsupported? What is said of cold and heat ?
2. What is it necessary to know that we may discover the effect of the physical laws on human happiness? Why are these expositions necessary?
3. By what law do heavy bodies always tend toward the center of the earth ? What are some of the advantages of this law ?
4. To place a man in harmony with this law, the Creator has bestowed on him bones, muscles, and nerves, constructed on the most perfect principles, which enable him to preserve his equilibrium, and to adapt his movements to gravitation ; also intellectual faculties, calculated to perceive the existence of the law, its modes of operation, the relation between it and himself, the beneficial consequences of observing this relation, and the painful results of disregarding it.
5. When a person falls over a precipice, and is maimed or killed, when a ship springs a leak and sinks, or when a reservoir of water breaks down its banks and ravages a valley, the evils, no doubt, proceed from the operation of this law; but we ought to inquire whether they could or could not have been prevented, by a due exercise of the physical and mental powers bestowed by the Creator on man, to enable him to avoid the injurious effects of gravitation.
6. By pursuing this course, we shall arrive at sound conclusions concerning the adaptation of the human mind and body to the physical laws of creation. The subject is too extensive to be here prosecuted in all its details, and I am incompetent, besides, to do it justice; but enough has been said to elucidate the principle contended for. And the more minutely any one inquires, the more firm will be his conviction, that, in these relations, admirable provision has been made by the Creator for human happiness, and that the evils which arise from neglect of them, are attributable, to a great extent, to man's not adequately applying his powers to the promotion of his own enjoyment.
4. What has the Creator bestowed on man to place him in harmony with this law ?
5. What are some of the evils resulting from the operations of this law ? What should be our object of inquiry here !
6. What advantages will result from such inquiries ? What is said with regard to this subject ? Has the Creator made ample provision for the happi. ness of his creatures ? Why is not man always happy ?