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will or mind can produce muscular motion, is to us an impenetrable secret:
But let us attend to the changes which material substances produce on each other; as many of these come under the cognizance of the senses, and the phenomena are known with as much certainty, as the substances themselves.
Let two balls A and B of equal size and quantities of matter, be placed at a small distance from each other on a horizontal plain. We know from observation, that if one side of the plain is raised or the plain becomes inclined, both of the balls will move towards the lower side of the plain, without the application of any external force. This motion we ascribe to gravity-a cause we pretend not to explain, but we call it a law of nature, or of matter.
We know further that the two balls, while the plain remains horizontal, will forever rest unmoved, unless impelled by some external force. Now let the ball A be propelled by muscular strength, and impinge against the ball B. We know by our senses that in this case, the ball B will be moved, and that its motion will bear a certain proportion to the motion of the ball A. Suppose in the first instance, that the velocity of the motion of A should be sufficient to move the ball B three feet. Here we know that B is moved by A ; for we know that without the antecedent motion and impulse of A, the ball B would have remained at rest. This previous motion of A, sine qua non, or without which B would not have moved, we are accustomed to call a cause, and we suppose that A imparts a quantity of its force or momentum to B.
Now let us suppose that the application of a greater muscular force to A shall give to it double the velocity of motion before supposed, and the ball B, to be moved double the distance or six feet. In the two cases supposed, there is the same antecedence, the same relation in time, between the previous and subsequent events. The motion and impulse of A in one case are as perfectly antecedent to the motion of B,
as in the other. Antecedence or relation in time is incapable of increase or diminution-quantity cannot be predicated of it. But in the two cases, the sequences are different, the motions of B being entirely different in quantity—the one. being double the amount of the other. Here then we have the same antecedents followed by different consequents—which is absurd. Hence I infer, upon the soundest principles, that power is something different from mere antecedence or relation in time.
The word cause in English and all words of synonymous import in other languages, are derived from verbs which signify to move, press, drive, impel, urge; the same is true of power, force, and words of like signification. Motion is power or the source of power, in all bodies which fall under the ob. servation of man--and of the motion of matter we have as clear an idea as we have of matter itself. Motion, admits of quantity in every variety; motion generates force or momentum, and accounts for all the changes which take place in visible and perceptible substances.
Having obtained a clear idea of power in matter, men have proceeded by analogy to apply a similar term to that which produces effects in mental operations. That which operates on the mind or will in producing its determinations, we call a motive, that which moves the mind; and what word could be better chosen ? We know that something takes place in the mind, analogous to motion in visible bodies, and we know that what we call arguments, reasons, considerations, prospects of good or evil, do actually move or influence the mind : they produce a change in it; they produce will or volition; and this is followed by actions. These we call moral causes.
In assigning terms to phenomena, men have then been directed by observation and common sense ; proceeding from things that come under the cognizance of the senses, obserying that certain phenomena or changes are always produced by the motion of visible substances, and that they do not and
cannot take place without such previous motions, and inferring that there is power in one thing to produce another; they are led by analogy to apply similar terms to that which operates on the mind, and to other changes in which no matter or previous motion can be observed. We know that an acid and an alkali will combine, with effervescence; and we ascribe these phenomena to their affinity, as a cause.
We know that without a certain degree of heat plants will not grow. We know that under a different degree of heat they do always grow, and we therefore conclude very rationally, that the growth is the effect of heat.
We maintain, upon the soundest principles, that heat impels the parts of a plant into some kind of action, without which there could be no change or growth.
Now the term antecedence is synonymous with cause, or it is not : If it is, its substitution for cause is useless, and inconvenient. But if it is not synonymous, then it cannot be substituted for it, without introducing confusion, absurdity, and false philosophy. I think I have proved demonstrably, that the two words are not synonymous, and that cause is something different from antecedence.
In assigning names to phenomena, men have been guided by observation and experience; always safe guides ; and whatever theories may be formed, we must continue to reason, to plan, and to act in the same manner we do now, under the belief of cause and effect. If a man shoots another, or beats out his brains, he is said to have caused his death, and if the act is done with malice prepense, he must be punished as a murderer; which he could not be, with justice, unless he has been the cause of the other's death.
Job undoubtedly felt great satisfaction, when by his charities, he caused the widow's heart to sing for joy ; as did the apostles, when, by declaring the conversion of the Gentiles, they caused great joy to all the brethren. And may
And may similar causes of joy exist, wherever good can be produced, or benevolence exerted.
My Dear Friend,
I WILL now request your attention to a subject of the utmost importance to your present and future welfare-that of a well grounded faith in the doctrines of the Christian Religion. I say a well grounded faith ; for of what avail is a faith founded on ignorance, mistake or tradition?
I would commend to you, at this early period of life, to become well acquainted with the Scriptures, and with the facts and arguments which support their authenticity, and their divine original. Nothing is more common than for young men to fall into scepticism, merely for want of a thorough knowledge of the scriptures,or of the means of removing the objections which unbelievers have alledged against revelation. Some of these objections may arise from mistakes in the translation. Of this we have an instance in the second chapter of Genesis, verse thirteenth ; where, in describing the rivers of paradise, it is said, "the Gihon encompasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.” In this instance as in others in the Old Testament, the Hebrew, rendered Ethiopia, is Cush. As the word Ethiopia is and has been for ages, the name of a country, at the head of the Nile in Africa, and not applied to any other country, it appears inconcievable how a river of paradise, in the heart of Asia, could encompass that country, Josephus, the Jew
Josephus, the Jewish Historian and the Seventy, in their Greek version of the Old Testament, concur in rendering Cush by Ethiopia. The former tells his readers, that the river Geon or Gihon runs through Egypt, and denotes what arises from the East, which the Greeks call Nile. But this account of the origin of the Nile cannot be correct.
There is some reason to believe that, Cush primarily signifies black or dusky, and the Greek Aidiot, which signifies blackfaced or sun burnt, may be a translation of the word.
The passage in Jeremiah, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin," seems to countenance this opinion; or the word may signify a tent, a covering, “ The tents of Cushim.” How
may be, the fact is certain that the word Cush, or in the Chaldaic dialect Cuth, was formerly the name of two or three different countries, or nations. The word in the Old Testament generally refers to a part of Arabia adjoining the Arabic Gulf. Moses when he fled from Egypt, retired to Midian, a city near the head of that gulf, and married, not an Ethiopian, but a Cushite. In the reign of Asa, Judea was invaded by an army from the same region. They are called in Scripture Ethiopians and Lubims ; but it is certain these • Ethiopians were Cushites of Arabia ; for after their defeat, Asa pursued the defeated army to Gerar, and smote all the cities round Gerar, and took the spoil. This city, Gerar, was upon the borders of Canaan, and of course the cities around it must have been in the neighboring country, or Arabia Petræa. 2 Chron. 14.
So also in Job 28, 19, the topaz of Ethiopia, was from an isle in the Arabic Gulf. See also Ezek. 29, 20.--2 Kings 19, 9.-2 Chron. 21, 16.
But we find another nation or tribe of men called Cuthites, the ancestors of the Samaritans, who after the captivity of the ten tribes, by Salmanezer, were sent from their own country, to repeople Samaria. In 2 Kings 17, 24, their country is called Cuthah, and the people, verse 30, are called men of Cuth. It is said the people of Samaria, to this day are called by the same name. This country, Cuthah, was situated beyond the Euphrates, or the Tigris, and was probably the Cush mentioned in Gen. 2, 13. We find on the maps of ancient geography, the people are, called by the Greeks and Romans, Chusii, Cossei, and their country Khozistan.
This explanation removes all the difficulty of understanding the passage in Genesis, 2, 13.