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AN ARGUMENT A PRIORI TO PROVE THE
BY THE REV. OSES LOWMAN.
that is, must be infinite. For all Existence is contingent or necessary, by Proposition second.
And all contingent Existence is impossible without necessary Existence, as depending entirely upon it, by the third Proposition, and its Corollary.
Wherever Existence is possible, it must be either of a necessary or contingent Being.
If of a necessary Being, it is what was to be proved.
If of a contingent Being, it supposes the Existence of a necessary Being, by Corollary of the third Proposition, and second Axiom.
PROPOSITION VI. There can be but One necessarily Existent Being. Let two distinct Beings of necessary Existence be supposed, as A and B.
They must differ from each other, (to be distinct Beings,) either by a different Manner of Existence, or by different Attributes and Perfections.
Two Beings of necessary Existence cannot differ in Manner of Existence ; for necessary Existence being such as must be, and cannot but be, as arising from the nature of the Thing itself, by Definition fourth, must be, and cannot but be, one and the same manner of Existence. Nor can Beings of necessary Existence differ from each other by different Perfections, or Attributes.
For such supposed difference must be, either in Perfections necessary to necessary Existence, or in Perfections contingent to necessary Existence.
They cannot differ in Perfections necessary to necessary Existence; for as both have necessary Existence by Supposition, they must both have all the Perfections necessary to such Existence.
If then A has Perfections which B has not, and B has Perfections which A has not, these Perfections must in both be contingent to necessary Existence. For they may belong, or they may not belong, to necessary Existence; that is, they are contingent to it, by the fifth Definition.
But all things contingent depend on what is necessary, by Corollary of Proposition the third.
And if contingent Perfections did not arise from necessary Perfections, they would be impossible, by the first Axiom.
Therefore all contingent Perfections must be included in the Power of necessary Perfections.
Now A and B, two supposed Beings of necessary Existence, have each of them all the attributes necessary to necessary Existence, by supposition. And have all contingent Perfections, included in the Power of necessary Perfection. Therefore they have all the same Perfections, whether necessary or contingent; or, neither has what the other has not, equally in its self, and in its own power.
Therefore A and B not differing from each other, in their manner of Existence, or in any attributes, whether necessary or contingent, do not differ at all, that is, they are one and the same Being; which was to be proved.
PROPOSITION VII. The Unity of God may be proved by an Argument à priori.
For it is proved from its Nature, and primary attribute of its existence; that is, necessary Existence; which is an argument à priori, according to the first Definition.
(To be continued.)
CONVENTUAL LIFE IN THE TWELFTH CENTURY.
Extract XVII. [Jocelin's Chronicles often furnish instructive, as well as amusing, illustrations of the nature and working of the feudal system, which, in his day, was in full operation. There can
be no doubt but that this system was, in many respects, beneficial to the nation when society was, as it were, in its nonage, and required a strong disciplinary education. According to our present views and feelings, it infringed fearfully both on general freedom and individual rights ; but we are not sure whether one reason of the stability of English liberty, namely, its intimate connexion with good order and respect for law, has not arisen from the habits occasioned by this previous training. While men could not go so well alone, authority was most useful; but authority, without doubt, often became tyranny, and our fathers never liked this, and when it pressed too heavily sought to restrain it, by asserting the legal limits of the rights which their superiors claimed to possess. Law was thus made the patron of liberty, and liberty was sought by means of law: so that Fortescue, who wrote, “ De Laudibus Anglia Legum,” long before the Reformation, said, as a principle of our jurisprudence, that the laws of England were all “ in favorem libertatis,”-in favour of liberty. As society grew up, the feudal system became too narrow for it, and at length universal liberty, under equal laws, became established. One of the feudal incidents was wardship. The lord claimed the guardianship of the heir, while under age ; and as this included the administration of the estates, and, if it were a daughter, the bestowment of her in marriage, this was often a very gainful concern, as well as the occasion of much oppression. The system practically expired, having long been in a dying condition, when wardship was finally abolished under the Stuarts. The following extract relates to this. Another (which we shall insert in the next Number) will both show some curious instances of feudal interference, and illustrate the manners of society as it then existed.—Ed. Y. I.]
Adam DE COKEFIELD dying, about 1198, left for his heir a daughter of three months old ; and the Abbot gave the wardship, as belonging to his fee, to whom he would. Now King Richard, being solicited by some of his courtiers, anxiously sought for the ward and the child for the use of some one of his servants ; at one time by letters, at another time by messengers. But the Abbot answered, that he had given the ward away, and had confirmed his gift by his charter; and sending his own messenger to the King, he did all he could, prece et precio, (by prayer and price,) to mitigate his wrath. And the King made answer that he would avenge himself on that proud Abbot who had thwarted him, was it not for reverence of St. Edmund, whom he feared. Therefore the messenger returning, the Abbot very wisely passed over the King's threats without notice, and said, “Let the King send, if he will, and seize the ward: he has the strength and power of doing his will, indeed of taking away the whole abbey. I shall never be bent to his will in this matter, nor by me shall this ever be done. For the thing that is most to be apprehended is, lest such things by consequence be drawn to the prejudice of my successors. On this business, depend upon it, I will give the King no money. Let the Most High look to it. Whatever may befall, I will patiently bear with it.” Now, therefore, many were saying and believing that the King was exasperated against the Abbot; but, lo! the King wrote quite in a friendly way to the Abbot, and requested that he would give him some of his dogs. The Abbot, not unmindful of that saying of the wise man,
“Munero (crede mihi) capiunt hominesque deosque :
Placatur donis Jupiter ipse datis,"
("Believe ine, gifts gain both men and gods; and Jupiter himself is pleased with the presents that are made to him,"')
sent the dogs as the King requested, and, moreover, sent some horses and other valuable gifts. Which, when the King had graciously accepted, he in public most highly commended the honesty and fidelity of the Abbot, and also sent to the Abbot by his messengers a ring of great price, which our Lord, the Pope Innocent III., of his great grace, had given him, to wit, being the very first gift that had been offered after his consecration. Also by his writ he rendered him many thanks for the presents he had sent.
MISCELLANEOUS CHEMICAL PAPERS.
(Continued from page 259.) Air, water, and earths, are inorganic substances; they neither grow nor are they reproduced ; they have no period that may be called their perfection : but seeds, upon which the hopes of the agriculturist are founded, are organic bodies, produced by the powers of vitality; they have periods of growth, maturity, death, and decay.
Can the chemist extend his analytical researches to seeds and other organic bodies, and ascertain their elements, as he can those of air, water, earths, and inorganic matters? He can: all organic bodies admit of analysis, and with reason it might be imagined, that hundreds of elements would be elicited by such an extensive investigation of the diversified array of animated nature. How different is the fact obtained by experiment; for it teaches the chemist that only four elements enter into the essential constitution of all organic productions !
These four elements are oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and hydrogen, or the ultimate elements of the atmosphere. This statement may appear incredible ; but it is an experimental fact; and, moreover, some vegetable and animal structures do not even contain nitrogen.
This discovery presents a magnificent illustration of the power and goodness of God, who created these elements, and controls their arrangement by definite and unerring laws, into countless forms of beauty and utility, for the adornment and enrichment of the earth.
It must be remembered that such combinations are under the influence of the incomprehensible agency of vitality; and towards it man can make no approaches.
As a chemist, he is permitted to analyze the air, the water, the earths, and to recompose nearly all, in the same weights of their constituents, as those in which they were presented for his examination; he is likewise permitted to analyze all organic bodies, and to obtain their three or four elements, in weights, the sum total of which exactly equals the original weight of the body subjected to experiment; but he is not permitted to exercise synthesis. He may place these elements