« PreviousContinue »
and we may be assured, to use the words of
a late eloquent female writer, that the days are long past when ignorance might have innocence for her companion.'
Flitton Vicarage, Bedfordshire,
THE COMMON SENSE OF RELIGION CONSIDERED.
Scepticism on the Continent-Indifference of many classes to Religion at home-Erroneous opinions with regard to Religion-Want of sufficient knowledge and general information.
AMIDST the various changes which occur in the physical as in the moral world, we must not, even when they are favorable to us, look for blessings wholly unalloyed. A certain portion of evil is necessarily evolved in the course of their operation; it is our destined lot; and seems as if expressly so provided by nature, in order to check the extravagance and wantonness which might otherwise arise from the indulgence of our too sanguine expectations. Even
in the case of knowledge, that first and most valued gift to man, some ills are found always intermixed with the blessings that accompany
its progress; and the more rich the soil in which it is cultivated, the more numerous are the false and nothous plants which spring up to intercept its nourishment, and to check the promise of its fairest blossoms.
We may collect from history, that the overthrow of the errors and superstitions even of the Romish Church, was followed by many extravagancies of opinion and enthusiastic irregularities, amongst those who were the objects of the reform: and harmless as such an idea might seem in itself, and worthy to be promulgated, yet even the British discovery of the theory of the circulation of the blood, "introduced for a time," says Bell, "general doctrines, more mischievous in their consequences than that (erroneous theory) which had just vanished."*
There is, indeed, for the most part, a natural pruriency of the human mind, under the stimulus of instruction; there is a boldness of thought arising from the pride of newly-acquired See Preface to Bell's Anatomy.