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most of them, indeed, esteeming it a virtue! Of these and every other school of philosophy which either has not enjoyed the benefit of revelation, or has spurned it, one sentence may be pronounced, -they are all ignorant of the great secret of impartial judgment - Humility.

Having adverted to the unphilosophic spirit in which the sceptic views things, it may not be improper to cite the account which one of the greatest sceptics gives of the manner in which he maintained his own mind in a state of doubt. Mr. Hume, at the end of his treatise on the "Natural History of Religion," after adverting to the marks of an intelligent Creator and Governor which exist in the universe, and stating some difficulties, has the following concluding sentence: "The whole is a riddle, an enigma, an inexplicable mystery. Doubt, uncertainty, suspense of judgment, appear the only result of our most accurate scrutiny concerning this subject. But such is the frailty of human reason, and such the irresistible contagion of opinion, that even this deliberate doubt could scarcely be upheld, did we not enlarge our view, and, opposing one species of superstition to another," (it will be observed that by superstition he means to designate the Christian religion equally with Paganism,) "set them a-quarrelling, while we ourselves, during their fury and contention, happily make our escape into the calm though obscure regions of

philosophy." And this, then, is the candour which Mr. Hume has used on the subject! By his own confession, his mind could hardly have maintained itself in a state of scepticism, but for the miserable expedient of playing off one religion against another, without impartially examining the claims of any. When his mind seemed to lean for a moment, perhaps, towards Christianity, he called immediately into his view all other religions with all their absurdities, and singling out all the seeming incongruities of Christianity, and all the apparent anomalies in the moral government of God, which may contribute to perplex, in any way, the evidence for the moral character and very existence of God, he set the whole a-quarrelling, as he calls it, and so made his escape into the calm though obscure regions of philosophy." But deprive philosophy of the idea of an All-wise, Almighty, and All-holy Being, who first created and now governs the universe, and what does she become? Her features may be calm, they may still retain some lingering beauty; but it is the calmness of death,


"So coldly sweet, so deadly fair,
We start, for soul is wanting there;
Hers is the loveliness in death

That parts not quite with parting breath.
But beauty, with that fearful bloom,
That hue which haunts it to the tomb,
Expression's last receding ray,

A gilded halo hovering round decay."

For the sake of illustrating the subject I have digressed somewhat from the train of thought which I have principally followed. But it is hoped that what has been said may contribute to elucidate that just and beautiful principle of Bacon, that the kingdom of philosophy must be entered, like the kingdom of heaven, in the spirit of a little child:-free from the pride of maintaining preconceived opinions, free from the pride of maintaining doubt, unbelief, or scepticism,-free from an overweening love of what is new and original, free from every thing but a simple single-hearted desire after truth.

A modest estimate of the powers of our own minds is favourable to the progress of philosophy, if it be accompanied by a steady determination to use them to the uttermost. There is a false spirit of modesty which leads some to plead the littleness of their own faculties as an excuse for doing nothing. This is not modesty; it is a mere excuse for the indulgence of supine indolence. Nor can true modesty lead any one to underrate the value of those faculties with which he has been endowed; for a man should remember that in despising, or affecting to despise, his powers of mind, he despises what is not his own, but God's. And he who finds ground for forming a high estimate of his powers ought to know that the merit is not his own, but God's -that greater talents bring along with them a


heavier responsibility, and that his own su

periority gives him no right to despise the faculties of others. In their most perfect state the powers of the human mind are very limited, but, whatever they be, it is our duty to use them to the best advantage, and it is equally our duty to cherish a spirit of humility, for, as I said before, humility keeps the mind open to conviction, but pride tends to shut the door against the admission of truth.



THE inquirer into the philosophy of mind and morals may derive some useful hints from the sister science of Physics, with regard both to the mode in which his investigations should be carried on, and the spirit in which apparent anomalies should be considered. It has been too much the practice with philosophers of a certain class to proceed on what they have denominated the principles of common sense; that is, to assume as the basis of their reasonings those ideas and views of things, which, from our common situation and circumstances, naturally arise in the minds of all, or most men, and are found sufficiently accurate for all the ordinary purposes of life. For, although for all common uses they may be quite good, and may lead to no absurdity either of practice or opinion, yet, when used as a basis for remote philosophical conclusions, they may lead to in

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