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It cannot be said of moral law, that it is long or short, thick or thin, cold or dark, broad or narrow, &c. the reason is, because the moral is superior to the physical world, and it is against both nature and reason, that the inferior should be a rule for the superior:
If moral life be not found in either the brute creation, or in the mineral kingdom, it can scarcely be expected in the vegetable. Vegetables have life, for they die as well as propagate and grow. But theirs is far removed from a life of morality; which is the exclusive privilege of man alone. As, therefore, the attributes of moral and physical existences are quite different, it follows that the nature of their essences are different.
If physics be material, morals must needs be immaterial. If . the former be natural, then the latter must be spiritual.
And if morals be entities or real existences (which cannot well be denied) then must they of course inhere in substantial forms; because an attribute without a subject in which it inheres, and to which it belongs, is not predicable ; it is not any thing; for how . can we say that black or white, hot or cold, good or bad, high or low, rich or poor, virtuous or vicious, light or dark, green or yellow, &c. 'exist, but as adjectively, or adjunct to sôme substance or substances !
Hence it appears, that when we speak of any quality of the human mind, it is implied that that quality inheres in a substantial form.
The attributes, brave, generous, wise, modest, chaste, temperate, benevolent, would mean nothing, except attributed to something substantial in form.
The human mind, is therefore substantial, for it is the man himself.
It has been shown that material substances carry in their bosoms their heat, their cold, their hardness, their softness, and other qualities which may be attributable to them. How much more must this be the case with what is above matter, from which it is derived and to which it belongs.
To allow to the posterior what we deny to the prior to the effect what we deny to the cause, is surely not rational.
From what has been said in this chapter, it will appear that the soul of man (and no other being has a soul, properly so called,) is not limited by, nor confined to matter, consequently, that it is
not materiał. The progressions of the one are rapid, of the other, slow.–A man, by thought, can go to the Indies in a moment; his body could not get there in a month.
Any thing is complete in its kind, when it performs all the purposes it was, or is designed for.
The visible natural world is complete in its kind, because it serves all the purposes of a fit habitation for man, from conception to death, in old age. Did it not undergo the mutations of states which it now does, it would be unfit; for then it would not be subservient and accommodating to the various changes in his mind. The inferior would not be suited to the operations of the superior.
Matter is passive, receiving and retaining the impressions made by man upon it, it is therefore dead and inactive.
On the other hand, the mind is active, and impressive of its powers upon matter, and is alive.
Matter cannot command man. Man can command matter.
Hence we see there is an exactitude of limits, a distinctness of definition, between the soul and the body.
Each has its own mode and state of existence; together with appropriate laws, and consequent actions or effects.
Moral laws relate to vice and virtue, physical laws relate to space and time, and their progressions.
Each, therefore, must needs have its own world ; and as the world which we here inhabit, is not a moral, but a physical world, it follows, when the human body and its indwelling mind, axe parted, at death, that the latter recedes into a moral world, where matter is not.
It was before observed, that moral law may operate upon, but not convert into its own nature, physics or material entities. Hence, then, may be seen, that no elaboration can convert the human body.into mind; the effect can never assimilate into the nature of the cause. · The seat of human thoughts and affections is the soul. * That affections are warm and thoughts clear, or in light, those who think and feel rightly, well know. Hence it follows, that
the mental, immaterial, or spiritual world, possesses and enjoys both heat and light.
Now where such enjoyments come to the human soul, it is a proof in itself, that there must be a centre to communicate them; for man is not self-derived ; and wherever there is a derivative, there must be a primitive; wherever there is a circumference, there also must be a centre.
As there are moral beings or spirits, to enjoy the heat and light, it follows that the centre of their life is moral also; for, in order to participate, there must be a certain degree of similarity.
Essential morality can be found in God only; who is wherever soundly moral men are ; for he is their Head and acknowledged Life.
The more pure and upright a man's heart is, the more moral he is; and in proportion as he loves purity, he loves God; who is the Author thereof; consequently, in the same proportion he becomes happy and blessed.
Such an one advances more and more from the inertness of physics, and physical law, into the vivification and activities of moral law, with the delights of its life. His delights and joys become more and more of the mind, and less of the body. In consequence whereof, they have less alloy in them.
There is no physical gratification of the senses but what brings fatigue, and often pain. Whereas it never was known that a pure moral action was followed by any thing but pleasure and delight.
Man, the mere natural, uninstructed, uninformed man, can see nothing of causes; his vision is limited to effects alone. Neither can the bodily eye of the intelligent man penetrate beyond nature.
To get into the reasons of things, it is needful to mount into the spiritual world, by means of intellectual light, or vigour of understanding
For every inferior thing can be intellectually comprehended by superiors only.
The whole visible physical world is manifestly an effect; for we see it has not power to move itself.
The earth cannot revolve on its own axis of itself; neither can the sun warm it, or elevate it of himself, or by any independent power of his own. Vegetables grow, not from an external visible cause, but from an internal propelling power. The same is true of man, and of brutes.
The uniformity and regularity of action in physical bodies, proves a law and laws of action ; for if there were no rule or law, the actions must needs be irregular.
Now the rules applied to physical bodies are merely natural or physical, for they must needs be similar, in order to be accommodated to the subject. Therefore, even physical laws are, of themselves, inactive.
Moral law is the guide, as it is the superior, of physical law: therefore, he who prossesses most of moral law, in heart and head, understands nature best. The reason of which is plain. Moral law applies, as said above, to living beings alone ; physical law only to inert subjects : and Life is central; Nature is circumferential.*
The intelligent moral man views nature from within, as well as from without. The immoral man views it from without only; or if he views it with some light of intellect, still he sees it not from the true ground; a ground of goodness; consequently he views Creation, not as God formed it, but as his suppositions and fancies suggest to him.
Hence have arisen so many Atheists ; so many Infidels ; of various denominations.
What is living is necessarily central to what is dead; and the centre always commands the circumference.
Life has nothing in common with death; neither matter with spirit. Soul and Body are ESSENTIALLY DISTINCT.
Both in the moral and physical worlds, the subjects of central operation, in order to be denominated orderly, and be estimated accordingly, must possess a due fitness, and a certain passiveness to the operations of their respective centres.
In order to judge of the fitness or unfitness for use of any physical body, we are obliged to apply the rule of knowledge or intellectual light; without which, we cannot form any decision
• Will the reader permit himself to be recommended to the perusal of die first volume of the Fool of Quality, pages 124, 125, and 140 ?
whatever ; for an infant, an ideot, or a person of deranged mind, is incapable of forming a just estimate. A piece of gold, or a bit of brass ; a pebble, or a diamond, would prove alike in value to such.
Hence again we see that matter is judged of by spirit, and not vice versa.
As in the natural world there is the difference of inferior and superior, sweet and féculent; fit and unfit; so it is in the moral world.
The rule still advances in that world ; inferior virtues are judged of by superior ; intellect itself is judged of by the higher power of goodness; for as intellect is only valuable in so far as it leads to goodness ; so goodness itself is only so far good as it agrees with, and approaches to the centre of goodness ;-the LIVING GOD HIMSELF.
Man, therefore, is only then truly man, when he lives in the order of creation. When he recedes from the centre of moral life, his powers lessen, he recedes then towards inert physical existence, and descends to the nature of a beast ;-of a wild, untractable, unteachable beast. Coercion then suits him, as a slave; -the slave of his passions.Whips, chains, and prisons, are then fitly adapted to him.
Before the illustration of the foregoing principles be shown by practice, it may not be amiss to dwell a little longer on the differ, ences between mind and matter.
Whether any material substance be sound or decayed; whether to be preserved or rejected ; it is neither a subject of pleasure or of pain; of reward or punishment.
Herein it mightily differs from the subject of moral life, who is susceptible both of pleasure and pain; of reward and punishment; as the fruits of acting justly, or the chastisement of doing falsely.
Neither can any one think of judging of the merits or deme. rits of brutes, by moral law : consequently Man, only, is the subject of that law.