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preached in the same place, during a course of eight years,” was altogether accidental. Bishop Butler, at his death, ordered all his manuscripts to be destroyed. These sermons are of such inestimable value in settling the true grounds of ethical science, that great regret has been expressed, that the others, thus accidentally omitted, were not also preserved. Butler assuredly knew the value of his own writings: it has therefore been conjectured* that the remaining sermons were wrought into the Analogy; and that this was his reason for directing them to be “burnt, without being read by any one.”

“In these sermons," says Sir James Mackintosh," he has taught truths more capable

of being exactly distinguished from the doctrines of his predecessors, more satisfactorily established by him, more comprehensively applied to particulars, more rationally connected with each other, and therefore more worthy of the name of discovery, than any with which we are acquainted."

His contributions to a correct theory of morals, consist: 1. In his distinction between self-love and the primary appetites; and, 2. In his clear exposition of the existence and supremacy of conscience. The objects of our appetites and passions are outward things, which are sought simply as ends; thus food is the object of hunger, and drink the object of thirst. Some of the primary desires lead directly to our private good, and others to the good of the community. Hunger and thirst, above cited, are instances of the former; the affection for one's child is an instance of the latter. They may be considered as so many simple impulses, which are to be guided and controlled by our higher powers. Pleasure is the concomitant of their gratification; but, in their original state, is no separate part of the aim of the agent. All these primary impulses are contemplated by self-love, as the material out of which happiness is to be constructed. Self-love is a regard for our happiness as a whole: such a regard is not a vice, but a commendable quality. Self-love is not selfishness. Selfishness is destructive of human happiness, and, as such, self-love condemns it. The so-called benevolent affections are consequently disinterested; as likewise are (in their incomplex manifestations) our physical appetites and malevolent feelings. But besides these principles of our nature, there is one, which is supreme over all others: this is conscience. Shaftsbury had before pointed out the emotional character of conscience, under the term moral sense; but its distinguishing attribute of supremacy he had failed to notice. Butler, acknowledging the correctness of his lordship's partial view, combined with it the element neces

This conjecture is Prof. Fitzgerald's.

sary to make an entire truth, *——the character of conscience, as the highest tribunal of man's nature, “which surveys, approves, or disapproves the several affections of our minds, and passions of our lives.” The practical weakness of conscience does not destroy its authority; and though its mandates are often disregarded, yet the obligations to render it obedience remain unimpaired. In this view of the several principles within us, and their relations to each other, virtue may be said, in the language of the ancients, to consist in following nature; that is, nature correctly interpreted and understood.

It is remarkable, that in the second edition of the Sermons, published in 1729, Butler defends his style from the charge of obscurity. As this complaint is one frequently made still, it is well to hear what he says for himself. “It must be acknowledged," he tells us, “that some of the following discourses are very abstruse and difficult, or, if you please, obscure; but I must take leave to add, that those alone are judges, whether or no, and how far, this is a fault, who are judges, whether or no, and how far, it might have been avoided-those only who will be at the trouble to understand what is here said, and to see how far the things here insisted upon, and not other things, might have been put in a plainer manner; which yet I am very far from asserting that they could not. Thus much, however, will be allowed, that general criticisms concerning obscurity, considered as a distinct thing from confusion and perplexity of thought, as in some cases there may be ground for them, so in others, they may be nothing more at bottom than complaints, that everything is not to be understood with the same ease that some things are. Confusion and perplexity of writing is, indeed, without excuse; because any one may, if he pleases, know whether he understands and sees through what he is about: and it is unpardonable for a man to lay his thoughts before others, when he is conscious that he himself does not know whereabouts he is, and how the matter before him stands. It is coming abroad in disorder, which he ought to be dissatisfied to find himself in at home." We must infer from this passage, that Butler was not conscious (at least at this period of his life) of those defects, which have been universally attributed to his style. All that he has written is so compressed, that he cannot be well understood, without corresponding concentration of mind on the part of his reader. His very caution makes his

" The not taking into consideration this authority, which is implied in the idea of reflex approbation or disapprobation, seems a material deficiency or omission in Lord Shaftsbury's Inquiry concerning Virtue.'"-Butler's preface to the Sermons,

progress toward any given point appear slow and laborious. But he is nowhere guilty of what, in this extract, he considers almost a crime-confusion of thought. On the contrary, the more attentively he is studied, the more do new light and truth break forth from his well-compacted sentences. Passages are not wanting which are happily expressed; and the whole of chap. V., of part II. of the Analogy, reads smoothly enough to satisfy the most fastidious critic.

‘After leaving London in 1726, he lived in retirement at Stanhope for a period of seven years. Here he planned and wrote the Analogy. Of the details of his private life during this period we know little or nothing. We learn that he was exceedingly faithful in the discharge of his clerical duties; that he was much beloved by his parishioners; and that he was exceedingly kind to the poor. But Secker, fearing that Butler's spirits were suffering from so much close study and seclusion, prevailed upon Lord Chancellor Talbot (the brother of the deceased Edward Talbot) to nominate him his chaplain, in 1733, and a prebendary of Rochester in 1736. Through the indefatigable exertions of the same friend, his name was brought to the notice of Queen Caroline. This was soon followed by his appointment to be clerk of the closet to the queen. Indeed, Butler found, ever after, in her a firm and fast friend. She was exceedingly fond of philosophers and philosophic conversation; and her chaplain's attendance was therefore commanded every evening from seven till nine.

In 1736 the Analogy was published, with a dedication to Lord Chancellor Talbot. It attracted so much attention upon its first appearance, that a second edition was published the same year. It has been pronounced, by the universal consent of thinking men, to be a work, which, in the originality of its plan, and the skill of its execution, is exceeded by no other upon the evidences of religion ever written. It was a book for the times, but the author so constructed it as to give it a value for all time. “It is come,” he says in his advertisement, “ to be taken for granted by many persons, that Christianity is not so much as a subject of inquiry, but that it is now at length discovered to be fictitious.” A scoffing way of treating religion prevailed among the educated and polite of the age. It was considered a mark of spirit to make an open profession of free-thinking. Plausible objections were urged against particular doctrines; difficulties were exaggerated; and Christianity was made a matter of ridicule, “ as it were by way of reprisals, for its having so long interrupted the pleasures of the world." This habit of confining the attention to what could be said against the various doc

trines of religion destroyed the effect of its evidences. These objections had therefore to be met directly. The doctrines had to be extricated from the entanglement of sophistry, in which they were involved. Besides this, by a summary process the evidence of Christianity was rejected: for it was argued that there could be no doubtfulness in the evidence of a genuine revelation, and as it was claimed that Christianity was deficient in this particular, the testimonies for its truth were dismissed without a hearing. Into such a controversy as this, Butler could not fail to enter with all his soul, and yet, as has been well remarked, his book has nothing of a controversial tone. He vindicates the truths both of natural religion and of Christianity, by showing that they are paralleled by the facts of our experience; and that nature, considered as a revelation of God, teaches (though to a more limited extent, and in a more imperfect way) the same lessons as the Scriptures. He proves that the evidence is the same as that upon which we act in our temporal concerns; and that perhaps it is left as it is, that our behaviour with regard to it may be part of our probation for a future life.

Nor does the aim of the Analogy stop here. The opinion has very extensively prevailed, that the utility of the work consists solely in answering such objections as those above described. Dr. Reid, the Scotch philosopher, has so expressed himself. Of a like purport is the happily conceived language of Dr. Campbell: “Analogical evidence is generally more successful in silencing objections, than in evincing truth. Though it rarely refutes, it frequently repels refutation; like those weapons, which, though they cannot kill the enemy, will ward his blows." The outward form of the Analogy, to be sure, gives some countenance to this view; for the objector is followed through all the mazes of his error. But, besides the effect of particular analogies, there is the effect of the Analogy as a whole; of the likeness so beautifully developed between the system of nature, and the system of grace. Every one who has received the total impression of the argument, is conscious that he has derived therefrom new convictions of the truth of religion, and that these convictions rest on a basis peculiarly their own. On this point, Butler's own language is quite definite: “This treatise will be, to such as are convinced of religion, upon the proof arising out of the two last-mentioned principles, [liberty and moral fitness,] an additional proof, and a confirmation of it; to such as do not admit those principles, an original proof of it, and a confirmation of that proof. Those who believe, will here find the scheme of Christianity cleared of objections, and the evidence of it in a peculiar manner strengthened, those who do not believe, will at least be shown the absurdity of all attempts to prove Christianity false, the plain, undoubted credibility of it, and, I hope, a good deal more.”-Part II., chap. viii.

It is not contended that all the analogies are alike striking : some are of a negative kind, designed to silence objections; others again are adduced with a view to raising a positive presumption for the points on which they bear. But we humbly submit, that the whole result is positive, and not merely the bringing of the evidence from minus up to zero.

Neither does it make against the Analogy, that the resemblance between the course of nature and Christianity is not shown in more numerous particulars; for Butler well says, we have no reason to believe that the whole course of things naturally unknown to us, and everything in it, is like to any thing in that which is known.”—Part II., chap. ï. This would be to seek an identity of fact, where we should only look for an identity of principle.

This work was the favourite study of Queen Caroline. Her partiality for it was the occasion of the following sneer of Lord Bolingbroke's: “She studies," says he, "with much application, the 'Analogy of Revealed Religion to the Constitution and Course of Nature.' She understands the whole argument perfectly, and concludes, with the right reverend author, that it is not so clear a case, that there is nothing in revealed religion.' Such royal, such lucrative encouragement must needs keep both metaphysics and the sublimest theology in credit." But the very year after the publication of the Analogy the Queen died. Before her death, however, she earnestly commended Butler to the patronage of her husband, George II.; so that, in 1738, upon the translation of Dr. Gooch from the See of Bristol to that of Norwich, the Bishopric of Bristol was given to Butler. Bristol was the poorest of the English sees, the revenues being but £400 per annum, and Gooch's claims are said to have been far inferior to those of the author of the Analogy. Butler, though a modest man, was by no means destitute of spirit; and in the letter to Walpole, in which he acknowledged and accepted his appointment, he resented, in strong terms, the slight which it implied. The effect of his remonstrance was soon perceived; for in 1740, the king nominated him to the Deanery of St. Paul's, London. Immediately upon obtaining this promotion, he resigned his living at Stanhope, which he had till then retained, and his prebendary stall at Rochester.

The large revenues of the Deanery of St. Paul's enabled him to gratify his taste for building and ornament. He is said to have ex- , pended, in improving the episcopal palace at Bristol, between four and five thousand pounds, a greater sum than he received from the

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