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pains and emotions to which human nature can be subjected.

But even supposing that this idea relative to the operations of our Creator were not open to us, is it any reason that we should imagine them to be carried on upon a wrong principle, because they may be beyond our power of comprehension or explanation? Supposing that this idea of the salutary mixture of good and evil did not appear in our view to be thus wisely chosen for us, is it any reason that we should assert it to be unwisely? Or that we should arraign God's justice, because man was made subject to these certain laws? Or is it fitting that we should ask why he was created? or, in other words, why the Supreme Power chose to destine his creatures to one purpose rather than another, or why he chose to exert his creative powers at all?

Good and evil are in fact but relative terms, relative to ourselves and that which is around us; but these very things which we call good and evil may have a relation to other things than these; they may be connected with objects infinitely beyond our cognizance, and of which

we have not an idea. To carry on our illustrations from the physical world: the pain we feel may be a good and positive good in relation to some other object: so may every other evil be in reference to things beyond our sphere of vision. That physical pain, indeed, is useful to our body as a warning against evil, even D'Alembert admits. That physical pain often does good even to our minds, we are obliged also to allow; and that there may be a similar disguise as to its end, in all that we feel and suffer from it, can easily be imagined.

A man, some centuries ago, might have complained of a thousand inconveniencies arising from the tendency of heavy bodies to fall; but when it was discovered that it is by this very principle that we have the motion of the heavenly bodies round the sun, day and night, seasons, &c. man could not but consider this tendency a good, relatively considered, not an evil; a blessing, not a misfortune; and he would, from his eyes having been opened to a truth which he never had expected, feel the folly as well as the injustice of his former com

plaint against the arrangements of an all-wise


We have shown, that what we call evil in the physical world, is really good. So reasons too the metaphysician, the historian, and the moralist, with regard to pain and sufferance in the moral world; and so they may presume as to every other evil.

It is difficult, it is indeed impossible for us to shadow out in any way the relative proportions between the knowledge of God and that of man; between that which is limited and that which has no limits at all. Still we may sketch out to ourselves an idea of difference in knowledge to a certain extent, which may give a sort of facility to our imagination; and, however ludicrous the subject of comparison may appear, we should remember that the absurdity, whatever it may be, is derived from the obvious folly of attempting any analogy in such a case of extreme disproportion, rather than from any other cause.

Let us ask whether the sheep that is folded and tended with so much care, can possibly divine the real cause of all that is done by man

with regard to his welfare. If we were to suppose the animal gifted with a certain degree of sagacity, we might imagine it might possibly arrive at certain conclusions; it might conjecture from seeing the fate of its fellow creatures, that itself was preserved only to be killed hereafter, and that it was served with additional food only to make its carcase larger when killed. But it never could discover that its flesh was designed only for the food of man, or that the candle in the shepherd's lanthorn was made from sheep's fat, or his coat from its wool. Suppose, however, another event, let a man come and remove this sheep from the pastures where it grazed, to other pastures, a circumstance that, as far as it had any observation of such matters, might have happened often before, without any material consequence having been the result. Yet it might happen that the man was a thief, and the act of removal an act of felony, and the man be put to death in consequence. Now if the sheep could reason with ever so much sagacity, yet from the data which alone would have been afforded to it, it could never arrive at any just conclusion in such a case; for though the act

concerned itself, yet it referred to principles of which it was not only ignorant, but with which it was wholly unconnected; and, what is most important in D'Alembert's argument, it was an act of justice.

We, in our present state of being, draw our knowledge from the suggestion of those things in the midst of which we are placed, all beyond, if not given from above, must be wholly unknown. But we must allow that it would not be half so preposterous to expect that a sheep should be acquainted with the mysteries of our laws, as far at least as related to itself and its occupations, as to suppose that man should be able to comprehend all the aims of the mighty laws of God. Yet such expectations, when they are entertained, are really simi lar in circumstance to the one here supposed, and similar too with regard to the range of intellect belonging to the creature sheep or the creature man respectively. There may be, and indeed must be, many divine laws relating to subjects of which we have not the remotest conception; of which the aim may be as unknown as the mode of their operation, and the

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