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Spin ; and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon, im all bis glory, was not arrayed like one of these. Here
The apocryphal song of the three children very properly calls upon the irrational creatures of God, to praise him; all ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord; praise, and exalt bim, above all for ever,
ye sun and moon. O ye stars of Heaven, --O every shower and dew, - ailye winds, --- bless ye the Lord, praise, and exalt him above all för ever.
For although these creatures are themselves void of reason, they excite rational beings to praise that BEING, who is the foundation of reason, and furnilh them with noble sentiments of divine power, and wisdom, and goodness.
It is not therefore any particular moral behaviour only, that is to be learned from the external world, but the foundation itself of all moral reasoning must be drawn from thence: For thither the Scriptures appeal for proofs of the being and attributes of God; without an acknowledgment of which, the bible is of no more authority, than meaner books: The invisible things of God, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things .. that are made; even bis eternal Power and Godhead." For this reason irreligious men are without excuse, if, though not having a particular revelation, they do not believe in God, and live immoral lives; or, if, having a revelation, they either do not sufficia ently credit it, or act contrary to it. In the former cafe they have the volume of the creation to study, where every creature, nay, every lump of matter, is a leffon of divine truths: In the latter they have, besides this, the written word of God.' It is the former of thefe we are at present to confi.' der, the laws of God discernable in the material world, and the application of them to the moral , that is, the analogy between the material, Yensitive, and moral system of things....
In discoursing upon which, the following method Ihall be observed :
First, the foundation of analogical reasoning shall . be inquired into, . Secondly, fome abuses which men have fallen in
to by this kind of realoning. '.;. Thirdly, fome analogical reafoninợ that leads to
useful knowledge. " First, of the foundation of analogical reasoning?
• Analogy, as it is used in numbers, or mathemaa tical quantities, means no more, than a certain relatie on of quantity to quantity, either as to equality, or excess, or content. This is well known to
those who are conversant in these studies, and is of . excellent ufe, insomuch that without it no progress
could be made in that kind of knowledge. From thence the word comes to be applied to moral and metaphysical reasoning. For tho' moral notions, are not (and perhaps cannot) be treated with the same precision, and exactness, as mathematical quan. tities; yet the respect of moral notions; to moral notions, may, in many cases, be called analogy, The writers in morality, when they distinguish Justice into commutative and distributive, usually fay, the first must be according to a arithmetic an nalogy or proportion, the latter according to geos metric. All exchange of property, when it is honestly made, supposes an exact equality, about which the first kind of justice is conversant; but the apa pointment of rewards and punishments supposes a consideration of merit and demerit, in proportion to which distributive justice is exercised : As, the
... * Concerning the application of arithmetic proportion to unjuf dealings, lee Puffendorf Barbeyrac lib. 1. c. 7. $ 12.
man who is cwice as virtuous as another, is to have twice the reward.
This is clear from the parable of the nobleman giving ten pounds to ten servants to trade with, and rewarding each in proportion to his diligence. He that with one pound had gained ten, was made ruler over ten cities; whereas he who with one pound had only gained five pounds, was made ruler only over five cities. Analogy therefore being common to mathematics and a morals, its nature, as applicable to both, may be thus expreffed: It is that, which implieth a likeness between things, so as to be a foundation of parity of reasoning in some cases, together with an unlikeness excluding it in others. When we say 2 is to 4, as 8 is to 16, the likeness is in the relation between 2 to 4 and 8 to 16, and the unlikeness is between the first and the last terms of the Analogies; for 2 is un. like 8, and 4 is unlike 16. So also there is a likeness between the proportion which five pounds bear to ten pounds, and five cities to ten cities; but what likeness is there between a pound and a city?
An intire likeness, in all possible refpects, would be almost an identity: fome diffimilitude therefore is neceffary to constitute things; for otherwise there would be one intire fameness in nature. And some likeness between things is necessary, that all things may not be totally disparate; in which case there will be no harmony, no fubfiftence of nature; an incire diversity occasioning an intire oppofition, or war, or destruction: · Things being thus conftituted, where ever the human mind perceives a likeness, it calls that Analogy, and infers from it something of sameness:
* Grotius de Jure Belli & Pacis, lib. 2. 20. $ 33. ait, Har. monicam proporcionem extruxit Bodinus (Lib. 6. de Rep. cap. alt.) cum tamen revera fimplex fit, & qualis in numeris æqua litas meriti ad pænam, ficut in contractibus mercis ad nummos. Vid. Hornii Étk. 12. 8.
From like effects it presumes the same cause; from likeness of causes it presumes the sameness of effects.
Now if the whole scale of beings, from the first active creating cause, to the last most inert and insensible creature, be brought under view, there will be found certain cimilitudes running through the whole, whereby subordinate species of creatures seem to be linked to one another. .
To begin with man, as the first creature we have occasion to be acquainted with (for as to the subor. dinate classes of angels, though we have reason to believe such, we do not know much of them) we are exprelly cold, that man was made in the simi. litude or image of God:. And from thence it is,' that we principally reason to conceive a proper notion of the supreme Being, yet with great allow. ances for dissimilitude and superiority for we cannot be like him in our bodies, God having nothing material in his nature: And although we resemble him in holiness and reasoning, yet must our holi. ness be very far short of the divine holiness and our reasoning must be very tedious and imperfect, in respect to divine knowledge, which can be no other than immediate intuition. In this manner is hümani nature like, and unlike the divine nature. · Let us go now to lower classes, to the brute and reptile creation: There we find a conduct regular and constant; the individuals of each species conforting with themselves, searching with great skilt for their proper food, and even providing with foresight for winter's neceflity; using wonderful contrivances for their defence against annoyances ; and doing many things that not only emulate human skill, but also human virtues and vices, as gra. titude and revenge. So far there appear's a simili. tude in their natures; yet the diffimilitudes are als so great ; for their bodily shapes are exceedingly different: that appearance of reasoning, upon a nearer view, is allowed to be only instinct, and a
foresigherces for thehings that nios and vices, a
method of acting, Aowing necessarily from appetite, and much inferior to human acts, which are the result of choice and judgment. .
Let us go yet lower, to the vegetable world : Here we find an order of creatures in an increasing state, partaking of a sort of life, and nourished by a sort of food, taken in, partly in the earth, partly in the air ; distinguished into sexes, and propag :ting themselves by feed; so far they possess a common nature with animals : But the diffimilitudes are great: For they want a locomotive power, they are void of sense, and their bodily shapes are ex
are void o differenti per in the upes, which to
Let us go yet lower in the World, to mines, stones, and subterraneous creatures, which so far partake of a vegetable -'ftate, that many of them grow, and must have a stratum of earth peculiar to them; yet they differ in their texture and fituation, one belonging to the bowels of the earth, the other to the surface. -- But not to proceed úpnecessarily in this argument, what has been said may be sufficient to shew, that all the works of the universe, and the whole system of things, not excluding the first and glorious cause, are closely allied by similitude of natures, as well as distinguished by diffimilitudes. This is the foundation of áll reasoning by analogy. But as this kind of rea. Coning must admit of some restrictions, and may
a It may be disputed by naturalists, whether minerals and ftones grow : But although it should be allowed, that many congeries of matter of each kind received their forms and confiftence at the time of the subfidence of matter in the general deluge, according to the laws of gravity ; yet it should also be allowed, that some instances of much later productions of stones and minerals may be admitted. .b En pressant trop les rapports analogiques que l'on croit être entre le monde corporel & intelligible, on peut facilement le perdre dans des idées un peu creuses, se croire peu à peu inspiré, & débiter ses visions pour des revelations célestes. Le Clero Bibl. Anc. & Med. Tom. 4. p. 435.