Puslapio vaizdai
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excite moft lively affections in us: is it credible that our hea venly Parent, poffeffing every divine perfection, fhould be adverse to that part of his works which bears his image? That while he has implanted in us keen attention to a life, frail and expofed, limited in powers and capacities, he fhould himself be the destroyer of that which is capable of endless duration, of intelligence wherever are objects to be understood, and of delight in its highest degrees? The thought is unworthy rational acceptation. I am perfuaded it never rises to a fentiment, is never entirely and totally believed; but is a refuge of distracting guilt, a would-be fuppofition of polluted terror. Let me cheer you, my friends, by reminding you,. that all the pains of life are not fo much as momentary, compared to our entire exiftence; that infinite pleasures await us, to defcribe which every metaphor derivable from what is pleafant, has been adopted, yet all have fallen infinitely short of juft defcription: all we know is, that the very utmoft powers of the rational, the immortal mind, fhall be repleted, let them diverge as they may; that the prefence of all good, the abfence of all evil, fhall unite to perpetuate its felicity is not this the felicity of DEITY itself?

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LECTURE VII.

LADIES and GENTLEMEN,

W

'HATEVER may be the occurrences around us, or by whatever principles our animal frame may be actuated, the modes under which we receive information concerning them, are reduced to a few fimple and regular operations, which we term SENSES; by thefe we feel, or fee, or hear, or smell, or taste; what knowledge we acquire, is by one or other of these mediums, and thefe are unquestionably fufficient for the purposes of human life.

I have heard it fuggefted, that poffibly animals have other fenfes, whofe office may be to direct them in choice of food, and other felections neceffary to their comfortable subfistence, to guide that principle we call instinct, and to determine, by fummary procefs, between advantageous and detrimental. This idea feems to me erroneous, as fuperior degrees of these very fenfes are capable of accomplishing every requifite purpose; yet that there may be fuperior orders of beings, whose more numerous, and more extenfive faculties, may by comparifon render ours but trivial, is beyond denial; but thefe

Feeling

London, Publish'd Nov/1;1788 by CTaylor N10 near Castle Street, Holborn.

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these we have little need to investigate, till we have cultivated our own to that perfection of which they are capable.

That fenfe which is moft generally diffufed, and which is also most exact, which is most spread in the individual, and moft freely bestowed to every rank of creatures, is FEELING. There are some which (feemingly) poffefs this only; but there are none poffeffing others, yet deftitute of this.

How far fubjects of the vegetable kingdom may poffefs fenfes, we know not; we difcern no provifion made for their exercife; but if fuch provifion may be, it relates to the fenfe of feeling. The advances toward the exercise of feeling which are exhibited by vegetables, appear in their flowers, fome of which, if touched within their petals by a fine needle, at the time when their farina is ripe, will transmit the impreffion to the stamina (on which the farina refides), and cause them to fhed it. By what mechanism this is performed, we know not; it feems to be the height of vegetable fenfation, and contributes to ftrengthen the idea, that whatever is related to life is the object of nature's especial care, and highest contriv

ance.

Poets have, with their accustomed license, used the phrases "all eye, all ear:" the expreffion "all feeling" is, I believe, I doubt if all our fenfes are not coming nearer to fact. strongly related to feeling, and whether they are not more delicate degrees of this quality, varied and diversified, but not fufpended; much less entirely difcarded.

The ideas we have fuggefted on this feufe include, (1.) Its liberal donation throughout all ranks of creatures. (2.) Its general E e 2 diftribution

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