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LETTER IV.

The Plans of the Creator are adapted to the different Classes of Things of which our World is composed.-The distinction of these into material Substances, moving Powers, and living Beings.-The Plans as to the Human Race different from those of the Rest of Nature.

MY DEAR SON,

In considering the Divine plans as to our world, it is important to observe the different classes of things which it comprises, as each of these must have a design and a system correspondent with their nature, and adapted to maintain and continue it. It will be sufficient to sketch the outline of these in the most general manner, as it is only with one department of them that our present correspondence is particularly concerned.

Our world may be viewed as consisting of three general classes of things, very dissimilar to each other, which we may distinguish by the terms material substances, motive powers, and living principles or beings. Each of these has its peculiar laws, each has been formed upon a distinct plan, and each is used for purposes which only its own class can effec

tuate.

To the latter, of course, the human race belong. But we will glance slightly on the others, as we are always connected with them; and although each has its own appropriated plan, yet they are all parts of the great stupendous whole, which our compartment of the universe comprises, and are therefore subordinated to that grander plan by which every member of our system is constantly regulated.

Matter is motionless in itself until moved by a motive

inen's wisdom makes them good, but also because their goodness makes them wise.

"Although simple goodness does not imply every sort of wisdom, it unerringly implies some essential conditions of wisdom. It implies a negative on folly, and an exercised judgment within such limits as nature shall have presented to the capacity.

"Where virtue and extent of capacity are combined, there is implied the highest wisdom; being that which includes the worldly wisdom with the spiritual."-Taylor's "The Statesman,"

power additional and extrinsic to it. Of the motive powers which affect and regulate the material substances of nature, we know but little. We have attached various names to what we have remarked. We call them respectively attraction, gravitation, impulse, cohesion, affinities, magnetism, electricity, caloric, crystallization, polarization, and by some other denominations, all very useful in discriminating their phenomena, but explaining nothing of their nature.

These three great classes of subsisting things are probably everywhere in the universe; at least they so completely form the character of our world, that we can hardly conceive any other to be without them. Life, motion, and matter seem to us indispensable to all created orbs of beings.

Motion has been thought by some to be inherent in matter; but this is very much like supposing that two very dissimilar things, each independent of the other, are yet one and the same thing. It will be therefore more accurate to keep them apart, and to consider the motive powers as a distinct class in nature, of their own kind, though always combinable and usually combined with the two other orders we have specified-material substances and living beings. All the three are in frequent union together; but always separable, and frequently separating from each other. Each can be, and at times is, in the distinct and independent state, but always capable of resuming its connected condition. We see them about us perpetually in all these modes of subsistence.

The earth and stones we handle are material substances without life or motion; clouds are material particles united with some of the moving agencies. Trees, animals, and mankind are living beings, conjoined with material forms, and also with some of nature's motive energies. Within our system we likewise continually behold the phenomena of moving powers, without the addition of either life or matter, as well as in constant association with them. Light, heat, storm, and the electric fluid, whether as lightning or as magnetism, or in its other modifications, are familiar instances of subsisting realities, which we allow to be distinct from any living agency and from the material particles which they so strongly act upon.

The most splendid instances of moving powers, distinct as well from life as from the matter which they actuate, and operating in their own way, and according to their own laws

and nature, appear to us in the diurnal revolution of our earth, and in its annual, or rather continual, circuit with the other planets around our central sun. We perceive them also in the, at present, inexplicable visits of the cometary travellers. Some marvellous motive powers, two at least, the impelling and the gravitating, actuate each of these. Their movements are cognizable by our senses; and it is the glory of human nature, by its persevering observations and intense thinking, to have descried and described the laws of their motivity. But with the nature of the moving power, notwithstanding all the penetrating energy of our science, we are absolutely unacquainted. For impulse, expansion, attraction, gravitation, projectile force, and such like terms, are but words by which we ticket and catalogue the facts we so discriminate. They disclose no knowledge to us of the essential nature of the powers which they signalize. We use them as appropriated words, fully intelligible to others so far as they mark the phenomena they allude to; but they always denote unknown qualities or agencies, and do not impart any elucidating knowledge of what that reality is, whose effects our mathematicians and philosophers so correctly state, and have reasoned upon with such surprising sagacity. To them, for what they have done and are doing, we cannot be too grateful, or estimate too highly the intellectual ability which they display. I appreciate it so much, that it is quite sufficient to prove to me that the living principle in human nature has an independent thinking property, which ought never to be confounded with either motion or matter, or even with the other living principles that coexist with us on our terrestrial surface.

In our solid globe, if it be a compact series of masses, or in the solid rocks and strata which compose the globular superfices on which we walk and act, whatever be beneath them, our Creator has made and placed the compounded masses, which he designed should be permanent without either life or motion, in such order and shapes, and with such several compositions of substance, as his plan for its construction required.

With equal care and selecting power he has united the living principles which he has assigned to our earth with such diversified but specific and continued organic forms, as also suited his chosen designs, and which give to each that

duration, and those enjoyments and sensations of conscious life, and that reproducing power, which he had determined they should respectively experience and possess. The motive powers which he has commanded to attend our globe, and to be associated with its diversified compartments, were selected by him, and were added to our world by the same judging skill with which everything connected with it has been made. Their force and energy peculiarly need plan and government; we may therefore be sure that their quantity, force, modifications, continuity, positions, and laws, and course of movement, have been all, with careful skill, previously adjusted and apportioned to the rest of nature, and to the effects they were to produce; and that they all act in execution of the great plan, and are strictly regulated and guided to do so, and are restrained from any other results.*

When the material substances and the moving powers were produced, and their arrangements and laws established, and the course of nature under their operation was settled and put in action, the design of the Creator in their formation was so far completed. The system and habits of the living organizations of nature being also intended not to vary in their several kinds, but to be always uniform in their various reproductions, the scheme as to them may be presumed to have been accomplished by their formation, and by the laws of their existence being so made as to limit them to be always and only what they are. Hence the different species of vegetables and animals are in all ages and countries substantially alike. The lion in our Zoological Gardens resembles the lion that appeared in the amphitheatres of Rome 1800 years ago; corn is still what it was in the days of the Pharaohs; and the trees of our present forests are not dissimilar to those which sheltered our Anglo-Saxon ancestors.

• The periodical returns of the comets seem to me to show to us with what commanding and adjusted regularity the tremendous moving forces of nature are governed by a directing intelligence. Such limited recurrences indicate a settled plan of an amazing extent, considering the space it must embrace. I do not know whether you are aware that Sir Isaac Newton, who died in 1727, is stated by Whiston to have predicted the appearance of the comet of 1736. "As far as we know, he is the very first man, and this is the very first instance where the return of a comet has been predicted beforehand, and has actually come ascording to that prediction."-Whiston's Astr. Year.

But the human race is that order of living beings which has been created upon a different plan; and it is this appointed difference which separates us from all other animals. Our bodies indeed are, like theirs, made upon an abiding system as to their external form and interior functions. Ever since the deluge, the human figure, in its material structure and with its organizations, has never essentially varied. Colour and other accidents of the corporeal frame may vary, because many natural causes affect our skin and exterior appearance; but the internal likeness is uniform and universal. It is in our moral and intellectual natures, and in their changes, enlargements, sensibilities, powers, improvabilities, and destinations, that our dissimilitude to every other kind of living creatures particularly displays itself; and from these the sacred history of our species, and those branches of it which these letters will treat of, take their rise, and with these are perpetually connected. To the sacred history of man all the other classes of subsisting things on our earth are subordinate. In this the plan of the Creator as to our world seems to centre; and for the completion of his designs, with respect to the ulterior state of his human race, the present course of nature in our system may be supposed to be carried on.

LETTER V.

The Invisible Agencies as certain as the Material ones, both in Life and Nature.-The Divine Agencies are of this Character.-Change of the Divine Plan as to Human Population after the Deluge, and in the ab breviation of Life.

MY DEAR SON,

In the preceding remarks on the Divine creations I have directed your attention to human operations and fabrications, because they will give to your ideas on this mighty subject the most sensible and experimental realities to refer to and to rest upon. Nothing on earth so approaches the modus operandi, the forming agency by which the Deity has constructed and regulates all things, as human workmanship and govern

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