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it is the nature of birds to fly; of lions, to be carniverous; of fishes, 'to swim." He asks afterward, in page 53, "may it not be with our moral nature in this respect, as it is with the peculiar properties of an eagle, a serpent, or a lion, which have always been considered as existing radically in the original, constitution of the animal, tho they begin to show themselves a considerable time after ?” This example our anonymous writer turns to good account.
“Human beings have a natural, before they have a moral character. A moral character is a character formed by designed and voluntary obedience or disobedience to a law,-to a law of which the good or evil, that constitute its reward or punishment, are subsequent to the act of obedience or transgression. Now, obedience or disobedience to such a law, will depend essentially upon the natural disposition of the subject before the law was made known. Dr. Woods declares that it is as natural for man to sin, as for serpents to bite, for birds to fy, for fishes to swim, or for lions to be carniverous.
“Let us then suppose that serpents, birds, fishes, and lions, become moral agents, by receiving the gift of reason, their natures in other respects remaining precisely the same. Having thus become moral agents, suppose them to receive a law to the following effect
“Birds shall not dy, fishes shall not swim, and lions sball not eat flesh, upon pain of eternal misery. Fishes shall, moreover, live in the air, and birds in the water; and if either of them indulge an inclination to return to their natural element, they shall be subjected to the eternal wrath and curse of him who gave them this law.' We shall say nothing of the utter eruelty of such commands. That consideration belongs to another part of our argument. When those animals have received the gift of reason, and along with reason, the laws above mentioned, they are totally depraved by nature, They have natural and invincible propensities, that must never in any case be indulged; which is not the case with any natural propensities of man; yet, this original, absolute, constant, and universal repugnance, between inclination and law, can alone constitute the natural depravity of any being whatever.
“Now, those animals, in their two different states, will represent children and men. They will represent children, before they have received the use of reason, and men, after they have the use of that faculty, toge with the supposed commands. Their first is a natural, their second is a moral character. And these two characters, according to Dr. Woods, have no relation
to each other! An animal is required to abstain from eating fesh. It is of no consequence whether it had previously the inclination of a lion or of a'lamb! Another animal is commanded to live in the water. It is of no consequence whether it had previously the inclination of a bird, or of a fish!
“But the previous natural character is the chief element of which the subsequent moral character is composed. What else can make natural depravity, but the previous existence of a strong, constant and exclusive inclination, in direct opposition to a subsequent law? What could make the natural depravity of man, but an exclusive inclination to malice, cruelty, false, hood, and fraud, before the indulgence of such propensities was ahecked or forbidden by God ?"
We have extended this article beyond its originally designed limits, but hope that it has not outlasted the patience of our readers. We have not even touched on several points, connected with this subject, and involved in the late controversy. Our remarks have been confined to the statement of a few principles and considerations, which we should have supposed were universally admitted, if we had not known that the doctrines of Calvinism expressly contradicted them. The time has not yet come when 'men shali think it no recommendation of religion, that it is abstruse, cloudy, and mystical, and no objection to it, that it coincides with the lessons of experience, and the dictates of common sense.
THE DISCONTENTED PENDULUM. From the Youth's Magazine, an English publication. An old clock that had stood for fifty years in a farmer's kitchen, without giving its owner any cause of complaint, early one summer's morning, before the family was stirring, suddenly stopped.
Upon this, the dial-plate (if we may eredit the fable changed countenance with alarm; the hands made a vain effort to continue their course; the wheels remained motionless with surprise ; the weights hung speechless ; each member felt disposed to lay the blame on the others, At length the dial instituted a formal inquiry as to the cause of the stagnation, wher hands, wheels, weights, with one voice, protested their innocence. But now a faint tick was heard below from the pendulum, who thus spoke;
“I confess myself to be the sole cause of the present stoppage ; and I am willing, for the general satisfaction, to assign my reasons. The truth is, that I am tired of ticking. Upon hearing this, the old clock became so enraged that it was on the very point of striking:
"Lazy wire !” exclaimed the dial-plate, holding up its hands. “Very good !" replied the pendulum, “it is vastly easy for you, Mistress Dial, who have always, as every body knows, set yourself up above me,-it is vastly easy for you, I say, to accuse other people of laziness! You, who have had nothing to do all the days of your life but to stare people in the face, and to amuse yourself with watching all that goes on in the kitchen! Think, I beseech you, how you would like to be shut up for life in this dark closet, and to wag backwards and forwards year after year, as I do." "As to that,” said the dial, “is there not a window in your house, on purpose for you to look through ?"
“For all that,” resumed the pendulum, “it is very dark here; and, altho there is a window, I dare not stop, even for an instant, to look out at it. Besides, I am really tired of my way of life ; and, if you wish, I'll tell you how I took this disgust at my employment. I happened this morning to be calculating how many times I should have to tick in the course of only the next twenty-four hours; perhaps some of you above there can give me the exact sum."
The minute-hand, being quick at figures, presently replied, “Eighty-six thousand four hundred times.”
"Exactly so," replied the pendulum ; "well, I appeal to you all, if the very thought of this was not enough to fatigue one; and when I began to multiply the strokes of one day by those of months and years, really it is no wonder if į felt discouraged at the
prospect; so, after a great deal of reasoning and hesitation, thinks I to myself, I'll stop."
The dial could scarcely, keep its countenance during this harangue; but resuming its gravity, thus replied;
“Dear Mr. Pendulum, I am really astonished that such a useful, industrious person as yourself, should have been overcome by this sudden action. It is true you have done a great deal of work in your time; so have we all, and are likely to do ; which, altho it may fatigue us to think of, the question is, whether it will fatigue us to do. Would you now do me the favor to give about a half a dozen strokes, to illustrate my argument ??
The pendulum complied, and ticked six times at its usual pace. "Now," resumed the dial, "may I be allowed to inquire, if that exertion was at all fatiguing or disagreeable to you ???
"Not in the least," replies the pendulum, "it is not of six strokes that I complain, nor of sixty, but of millions."
"Very good,?? replied the dial ; "but recollect that tho you may think of a million stroķes in an instant, you are required to execute but one; and that, however often you may hereafter have to swing, a mo. ment will always be given you to swing in."
“That consideration staggers me, I confess," said the pendulun. "Then I hope," resumed the dialplate, we shall all immediately return to our duty; for the maids will lie in bed till noon, if we stand idling thus.
Upon this, the weights, who had never been accused of light conduet, uaed all their influence in urging him to proceed ; when, as with one consent, the wheels began to turn, the bands began to move, the pendulum began to swing, and, to its credit, ticked as loud as ever ; while a red beam of the rising sun that streamed through a hole in the kitchen, shining full upon the dial-plate, it brightened up as if nothing had been the matter,' sai
When the farmer came down to breakfast that morning, upon looking at the clock, he declared that his watch had gained half an hour in the night.
A celebrated modern writer says, “Take care of the minutes, and the hours will take care of themselves.” This is an admirable remark, and might be very seasonably recollected when we begin to be "weary in well doing," from the thought of having much to do. The present moment is all we have to do with, in any sense; the past is irrecoverable; the future is uncertain ; nor is it fair to burden one moment with the weight of the next. Sufficient unto the moment is the trouble thereof. If we had to walk a hundred miles, we should still have to set but one step at a time, and this process continued would infallibly bring us to our journey's end. Fatigue generally begins, and is always increased, by calculating in a minute the exertion of hours.
Thus, in looking forward to future life, let us recollect that we have not to sustain all its toil, to 'endure all its sufferings, or encounter all its crosses, at once. One moment comes laden with its own little -burdens, then flies, and is succeeded by another no heavier than the last; if one could be borne, so can another and another.
Even looking forward to a single day, the spirit may sometimes faiat from an anticipation of the duties, the labors, the trials to temper and patience, ithat may be expected. Now this is unjustly laying the burden of many thousand moments upon one. Let any one resolve always to do right now, leaving then to do as it can; and if he were to live to the age of Methuselah, he would never do wrong. But the common error is to resolve to act right after breakfast, or after dinner, or to-morrow morning, or next time ; but now, just now, this once, we must go on
the same as ever... Hii Bait is easy, for instance; for the inost ill-tempered person to resolve that the next time he is provoked, he