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and misery on the world. But experience satisfactow rily confutes the presumptuous charge. The happihess of ignorance and stupidity is only negative; iť is the appropriate happiness of the brute, not of man; not of beings endowed with intellectual foresight and capable of anticipation. That knowledge is power, has long ago been admitted as an axiom; and we may add, with a confidence little short of intuitive certainty, that the result of knowledge, well directed and suitably applied, is happiness. Although this, like every other blessing bestowed on man, is liable to abuse and subject to perversion; although unrestrained speculation may bewilder and confound, and knowledge misapplied, lead to practical error; although the cultivation of one faculty of the mind, to the neglect of another, may distort and derange' the w.hote intellectual system; although a man may thus be rendered less happy and less useful by his ' very attainments; yet a well-cultivated and a well-balanced mind, other circumstances being equal, will enjoy and communicate happiness in proportion' to its enlargement and acquisitions. Whatever, therefore, tends to promote intellectual improvement and advance the cause of science, must elevate the character and increase the felicity of man; must give to the individuals, who are brought under its influence, increased susceptibility of enjoyment, and additional power of rendering others happy. Now such, we contend, is the natural tendency of Christianity. Its very spirit is liberty; not only liberty of action, but liberty of thought, liberty of inquiry. It challenges investigation. It awakens curiosity. It dignifies truth. The Gospel directly increases the stock of human knowledge, by teaching what unassisted reason could
never discover, and giving certainty to truths, which philosophy could only conjecture. It furnishes, too, the strongest motives to investigation and intellectual improvement. Bringing “life and immortality to light,” it gives dignity to man and importance to the acquisition of knowledge. Without regard to this doctrine, we could feel but little interest in the future, and have but little inducement to draw instruction from the past. In the view of men, about to perish with the beasts--born yesterday, to die tomorrow without hope beyond the grave, intelligence would appear of little value-knowledge not worth the labor of acquisition. But in the view of beings, living for eternity, every thing pertaining not only to moral character, but intellectual culture, assumes an importance and exhibits a grandeur, which infinity alone can impart.
For farther proof and illustration of our position, let an appeal be made to facts. Where has science prevailed? By whom has literature been refined? In what ages and countries has philosophy, sound, salutary philosophy, been most successfully cultivated? A reference to history, and a view of the civilized world, will furnish an answer to these inquiries, at once proving and illustrating our doctrine.--It is true, the discussion of this topic must necessarily be attended with some difficulty; and our conclusions may not be sufficiently definite, to afford universal satisfaction. For we cannot trace every improvement to its true cause. We are, indeed, obliged to admit that on some important subjects, unassisted reason has made high attainments; that (unless we contend with some, that reason in every age
and in all countries has received more or less assistance from tradi
tional revelation) her speculations have often led to valuable results. Philosophy has certainly' accomplished much for the benefit of the human race, where the direct influence of revelation had never been felt. Greece and Romés could boast of their great men; men of fine intellects and high attainments. So, too, in modern times and Christian countries, men, who have at least: pretended to reject the light of revelation, have cultivated their intellectual powers to a high degree, pursued their philosophical inquiries with great success, and produced works of real taste and genius. In addition to all this it cannot be denied, that:superstition and bigotry, under the mask and bearing the name of Christianity, have sometimes shackled. the human mind, and greatly retarded the progress of knowledge in the world. But while we admit these facts, which certainly create some difficulty in the investigation, and throw. some obscurity on the subject, we still think, that our position may be maintained, with no small degree of certainty and precision.
Christianity, by exhibiting man in his true character, and pointing him to his ultimate destiny, happily directs the human mind to those inquiries, which are most intimately connected with his true interest. It naturally restrains from those speculations, which end in conjecture, and afford no practical or consoling results; while it furnishes new motives, and urges to increased diligence, in the investigation of truth, especially of that truth which is connected with duty and happiness.": With this statement the history of philosophy perfectly agrees. The fine spirits of antiquity spent their strength in forming hypotheses, in investigating subjects of no practical utility, or in
searching after truths, which are altogether beyond the reach of finite minds. Hence their researches frequently involved them in new errors, and often left them overwhelmed in the turbid waters of skepticism. Their best metaphysical systems served rather to bewilder, than to guide the inquirer after truth; they conducted him into a labyrinth, without a clue to direct his wandering steps. It was left for Christian philosophy—for minds enlightened, purified, and directed by revelation, to fix the bounds, and prescribe the laws, of philosophical investigation. Till Bacon, no more gifted by nature then Aristotle, yet guided by this heavenly light, and feeling a responsibility for his doctrines, which the father of ancient philosophy never felt; till this Christian philosopher had drawn the line between hypothesis and fact, established the authority of inductive reasoning, and thus limited and defined the field of philosophical research, more than half the speculations of the strongest minds were fraught with absurdity and productive of practical
And wherever modern philosophy has rejected the light of revelation, burst the restraints of sober investigation, and discarded that spirit of meekness and sobriety, which Christ displayed, and which Christianity inculcates, she has served rather to obscure and bewilder, than to enlighten and guide the human mind. Look at the operations of the philosophical infidelity of the last century. As far as her power extended, she swept away the mounds of civil society, threw down the barriers which had been erected against vice and error, and destroyed whatever was calculated to guard the best interests and highest happiness of mankind.
But the influence of Christianity on intellectual man is not confined to the regions appropriated to technical philosophy. It elevates the minds, not of a few only, but of many—of men of all classes and in every condition. Destroying the proud distinctions of rank and cast, Christianity operates on the great mass of mind, diffusing knowledge through the whole. lı gives importance and elevation to the weakest intellect. Ancient philosophy was confined to the schools. It was shrouded in mystery. A few only were permitted to look within the veil; and from the inspection of the female sex, it was entirely secluded. But modern philosophy, adorned with Christian humility, walks abroad in the clear light of heaven, that all may contemplate her beauties, and catch a portion of her effulgent spirit. The doors even of her inner temple have been thrown open, that persons of all ranks and both sexes may enter, without restraint, and learn her laws, and receive her counsels.
After all, the influence of Christianity on intellect is principally discoverable through the medium of its moral influence. By this influence it regulates the process of intellectual cultivation, and produces among the intellectual powers a just balance, a happy equilibrium. Infidel genius runs wild; destroying itself, and often bringing sudden destruction on those, who attempt to pursue its track. But genius, guided by Christianity, is sober, yet persevering in her course; conducting all, who follow her steps, by a safe path, into regions of light and felicity. Vice contaminates mind, and obscures intellectual vision; the understanding is darkened through the depravity of the heart. But virtue, Christian virtue, governing the