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by which cognizance is taken of the good or the evil desert of conduct in general. But conscience by the use of language has obtained a meaning more extended than this. It is implicated with the faculty of consciousness; and so is made to take especial cognizance of one's own character, of one's own conduct.* One man is said to speak to the conscience of another, when he speaks to the independent sense or knowledge which the other has of the state of his own heart and his own history. And certain it is, that never do we feel profounder veneration for any wisdoin, than for that which searches and scrutinizes among the arcana of one's own nature, and comes to a right discernment thereupon. The man who can pronounce aright upon my character, and accurately read on this inner tablet the lineaments which I know to be graven there—the man who offers to me the picture of what I am ; and I behold it to be at all points the faithful reflexion of what I feel myself to be the man whose voice from without is thus responded to by the echo of conscience or of consciousness within—the man who can awaken this inhabitant of my bosom from his slumbers, and make him all alive to the truth of such a representation as he now perceives but never before adverted to—to such a man we render the homage due to an insight and a sagacity so marvellous. And at length, to border on our argument, this sagacity we might conceive enhanced into a dis
* We have no doubt that the term is comprehensive of both these senses in scripture—when mention is made of the manifestation of the truth unto the conscience. VOL. IV
cernment supernatural. It might amount to such a divination of the secrets of the heart, as nought but the interposal of the Divinity can explain. It might announce itself to be a higher wisdom than any upon earth, to be wisdom from above—and so draw the very acknowledgement which the first teachers of Christianity drew, to whom when an unlearned hearer listened, he was judged of all and convinced of all—and thus were the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so, falling down on his face, he worshipped God and reported that God was in them of a truth.
7. After these prefatory and general observations on the experimental evidence, we may now resolve it into three leading particulars—viewing it first as an evidence grounded on the accordancy which obtains between what the Bible says we are, and what we find ourselves to be-secondly, as an evidence grounded on the accordancy between what the Bible overtures for our acceptance, and what we feel ourselves to need—and third, or most strictly experimental, as an evidence grounded on the accordancy between what the Bible tells of the events and the changes and the advancements which take place in the mind of an exercised Christian, and what this Christian realizes in his own personal history, in the process which he actually describes, and the transitions from one state and one character to another which he actually undergoes.
8. I. The first thing then that might draw the regards of the inquirer to such a volume, and ultimately draw from him the acknowledgement of
a felt conviction in its divinity, is, the insight which it manifested into the arcana of his own spirit
the perceived accordancy which obtains between what it said that he was, and what he felt himself to be --the marks, wherewith it abounded, of that shrewd and penetrating sagacity, which can pronounce on the mysteries of the human character; and to which testimony from without, there is the echo of a respondent testimony from the conscience which is within us.
There is no authorship so interesting as that which holds up to the reader the mirror of his own heart; and no wisdom to which we yield the homage of a readier admiration, than to that which can look through the deeds and the disguises
Now it is conceivable, that the volume in question might stand distinguished from all other authorship, by its profounder and more penetrating discernment into all the lurking places of our moral economy—so superior indeed to every thing else of human authorship upon the subject, that, by this superiority alone, it might recommend itself to be superhuman. To the man who can find his way among the penetralia of my bosom, and utter himself aright as to the thoughts and the passions and the purposes that hold the mastery there--to such a man we should readily award the credit of a very high and powerful intelligence. Now one can figure, at least, the proofs of such an intelligence to be so multiplied, as to pass upwards from what we have experienced of the intelligence of a man, to what we conceive of the intelligence of a God. Were a prophet to stand before us, and, laying claim to a heavenly inspiration, were he to divine,
and with unexcepted accuracy, all the thoughts of my heart and all the circumstances of my past history—this miraculous achievement would reconcile us to his pretensions. Now this very power and property of divination, that such a gifted messenger from on high manifests in his oral testimony, he could transfer to the written testimony that he left behind him, for the instruction of distant ages-and thus what we should hold to be a satisfying evidence of his commission, were he alive, and did he address us in person, might be conveyed from his words to his writings, and compose a book which should announce in perpetual characters to all future generations, the high original from which it had descended.
9. A merely human author might recommend himself both to the confidence and the admiration of those who study him, by the reach and the penetration of that sagacity, wherewith he finds his way among the hidden yet the felt and conscious intimacies of the human character. Now this sagacity might be evinced by an authorship that professes to be divine, in a degree so marvellousthere might be so minute and varied and scrupulous an accordancy between its representations of our heart, and the responses given to them by that faculty within, which takes cognizance of its feelings and processes—the voice that is without may be so aceurately reflected or echoed back again, by the still small voice that issueth in whispers from the deeply-seated recesses of consciousness—as first to draw our regards towards a volume that holds up to observation such a picture of ourselves;
and finally to decide our reliance upon it, as begin indeed a communication that hath proceeded from a higher quarter than from any individual, or any party of individuals within the limits of our species. It is a conclusion, drawn from the correct scrutiny wherewith the author of this book enters among the arcana of the human constitution, and so pronounces of this microcosm within the breast, as to evince a superhuman acquaintance with its laws and its processes. This evidence is founded on the accordancy between what is in the book, and what is in the chamber of our own moral and spiritual economy. Our reading of the volume unfolds to us the one. The faculty of consciousness, awake and enlightened, unfolds to us the other; and the agreement between these two might be spread out and sustained in a way so evi. dently superhuman, as to evince that he who constructed the volume had a superhuman acquaintance with all the peculiarities and the wants and the phases of that nature to which it constantly refers and for whose benefit it was framed. To come in contact with this evidence, we do not need to range abroad over the walks of a lofty or recondite scholarship. The whole apparatus that seems requisite for the impression of it, is to be in possession of a Bible and of a conscience and, with the readings of the one, to combine the reflections of the other.
10. There is one most notable example that might be given of this species of accordancy between what the book says that we are—and what we, should our attention be earnestly directed to our