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Thus, in infancy or childhood, we nearly coincide with the false judgment of the world at large respecting true happiness; or, in other words, the judgment of mankind in general on this subject, is childish and irrational in the extreme. In youth, some few, comparatively, begin to differ more widely from it; they begin to be more rational, and to discern a little of their error. In manhood they discover still more of the mistake of the world at large, and therefore they differ more from the false standard of popular opinion respecting truth and happiness, until they begin to be counted mad or foolish. At last they run from one extreme to the opposite, and as they were at first too childish, too credulous, too much influenced by appearances, too much guided by sense and feeling; so, at last, they become as it were too rational or philosophical, too incredulous, too much despising all appearances, too rigid and frozen in the prejudices of selfish reason or polar magnetism.
Here it may be observed, that the measure of a degree of longitude near the equator, compared with that of a degree near the poles, may show us, according to the distance, how few in comparison are able to cast off the errors of popular general opinion, and to discern truth from error.
That is to say, considering the measure of the globe at the equator, to be the sum total of truth and error at the period of childood; and the polar point to which it is reduced in course of time and space, to be the point of Death (Pope's great teacher,) and of the final estimate of truth and happiness: it shows, that all is error at that period, except the sole and single point of faith in God through Christ, to the Christian; and of despair, or dark uncertainty to the UNCONVERTED infidel, and heathen.
In this case, the whole measure from equator to poles on each side, is as two smaller magnets broken out of one larger.* The whole grand united human magnet reaches from the south to the north pole of humanity, in matrimony; but for distinctness sake we only examine one hemisphere at a time; therefore the great magnet being divided at the centre, or equator, the northern equator becomes a south pole, and the southern equator becomes a north pole to the southern hemisphere, at the point of infraction; so that the two hemispheres are decidedly male and female or inversely similar in all things. Hence the new centres of truth and equilibrium are in the centres of the temperate zones. This confirms all that has been said on the subject of male and female hemispheres, and it opens a large field of speculation
* This is an actual experiment. See Cavallo, ch. iv. Expt. vi. p. 218.
in respect to plus and minus, according to the, side taken as +, both being equally capable of being assumed as such. *
Thus it is evident upon the whole, that if the tendency of the general poles, of the judgment of the world at large, were towards true happiness, or moral, intellectual, and spiritual happiness, then the extremely small variation at, and near to the equator, would be symbolical of very near approximation to right reason and truth; and the variation so much greater which takes place as we approach to the rational and intellectual latitudes, would be emblems of error. But as the exact reverse of this is the truth, as the common poles of human reason and general judgment, are fallen from original rectitude, and are also flattened into an ellipse betokening the like depravity, in another form of expression, therefore the equatorial climes in agreeing so nearly with them, are shown to be most erroneous; and the higher, and especially the northern latitudes, which are so much more regular; in deviating so widely from them, are thereby proved to be really more true and rational; at least until they exceed the temperate zone.
* That is to say, negative qualities, generally speaking, must not be ascribed to a female subject, as such in itself, neither positive qualities to a MALE subject, as such in itself, but only relatively, with respect to each other. Therefore if the south hemisphere be assumed as positive, the north becomes ipso facto, negative in comparison with it. For reason without the imagination and affections, is quite imperfect, having nothing to work upon; and the latter only bring the materials to be worked, but cannot manufacture them.
It is a curious fact mentioned by Mr. Cavallo, that the earliest observations of the variations of the compass, were to the East; but they have gradually changed, and returning to the poles of the earth, have passed over them, and have gradually and regularly departed to a high or considerable degree of western variation or declination, which hitherto continually increases, viz.
" When the variation of the magnetic needle was first discovered, it was to the EAST of the meridian of London, and of several other places on the continent. It has been since that time continually advancing to the West; so that in the year 1657 the magnetic needle pointed due north, and south; and at present its variation is: about 22° WEST.”
Now, as the whole natural world is the type
of unregenerate human nature, “ which lieth in St. John, the wicked one” and in error, does not the above Epistle. parable denote, that in former times the world
erred towards the carnal EAST of SUPERSTITiON, viz. Papal Superstition? and that in modern times they have changed the mode of their error from superstition to infidelity, or liberality the opposite extreme? or from the carnal east
to the carnal west? History proves that the moral fact is true; and as the analogies of the natural variation coincide so perfectly therewith, I cannot but believe that they give the true interpretation of the parable.*
* I here beg to introduce an extract from the St. James's Chronicle of the 1st of February 1817, viz.
“ It is a singular circumstance, that none of the Almanacks notice the now returning direction of the magnetic needle towards the north. In the year 1657 it pointed to the north, but has been 160 years increasing in declination westward. Last year it attained a declination of 250 west, and then became stationary; and it is now receding back again to the north.”
This curious phenomenon (Oh how admirable !) would indicate, by analogy, the return of the human magnetic needle, towards the north of pure carnal reason, and perhaps to the fulse East of papal suPERSTITion in preparation for its eternal destruction ! viz. “ And Great Babylon came in remembrance before GOD, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of HIS wrath." Rev. ch. xyi. But let all Protestants pray, that the rectification of the spiritual poles and axis of the human earth by divine grace, may induce the expected and promised reign of Christ Jesus our LORD upon earth, whether spirituully or visibly. If we consider that the above phenomenon typifies, first, the arresting of the progress, the fatal course of the scientific and philosophic infidel; and secondly, the return of the mind of the same character from the extremes of philosophical incredulity, to a more rational, and perhaps ultimately to a more superstitious and idolatrous judgment respecting religion; and thirdly, that it may'also eventually indicate the restoration and renovation, or regeneration of the same infidel or superstitious minds in divine truth according to the gospel; then it is