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'BRIEF REMARKS ON THE HUMAN MIND.
mass of facts and observations, drawn from
the operations and appearances of material On the nature of the Human Mind, the nature; but the deepest and most successful manner in which it acts upon its material researches only bring to light new combicompanion, the laws of their union, and nations of cause and effect, without at all their mutual dependence on each other, elucidating the great question as to what much useless dissertation might be spared, if constitutes the hidden essence whence mankind were not more anxious to build thought and intelligence emanate. systems, than to discover truth.
It is objected to the doctrine of a spiritual Every person is conscious that he is principle being connected with the human capable of experiencing pleasure and pain, body, that all the faculties, affections, and of reflecting upon surrounding objects, and powers, constituting rationality and conof exercising the various faculties of percep- sciousness, are so unvaryingly connected tion, judgment, and memory; in fact, all the with certain modifications of matter, that affections and powers constituting a rational we cannot conceive the existence of the and intelligent being. This simple conscious- former independently of the latter. ness of sentient existence, is all we need In answer to this, I would remark, that concern ourselves about; and whether the this intimate union of the thinking with the principles or laws producing this individual material principle, is what must result from, consciousness, be termed material or spiri- and is in perfect accordance with, the statetual, whether they be earthly or ethereal, can- ment furnished by scripture, of the creation not alter the preceding fundamental truth; it of man-made of material elements, and is merely using a number of words to express, animated by the breath of the Deity. We or more frequently to confuse, the simple also find that there are ascertained agents in reality of consciousness and existence. nature, equally mysterious with the pheno
No man could possibly be so foolish as mena of the human mind. seriously to dispute whether or no he himself The principle of gravitation, by which had any kind of existence. The most complete bodies are attracted towards the centre of sceptic must admit some kind of being; the earth, is both mysterious and invisible; and whatever words may be used, the idea but its existence, though known only by the cannot be lost, or extinguished, that we live, effects it produces, is too palpable to leave and feel, and think : taking, then, this simple any room for doubt. The extraordinary fact as the basis of our reasoning, we may property possessed by the loadstone, of safely proceed to consider the question pointing towards the north, is as much whether we shall live, feel, and think in a unconnected with the primary properties future state of existence ?
of metal, and as unaccountable on any All that human reason, unassisted by re- principles of philosophy, as are the powers velation, can attain to on this most interest- of the human mind. And it seems a no ing subject is, a faint and shadowy hope, less wonderful phenomenon in pature, that a that there may be some mode in which the piece of iron should possess the power of intelligent principle in man shall survive always pointing to the north, than that the the grosser elements of his nature. But life human body should contain an agent inand immortality are only fully brought to vested with invisible principles, of a differlight by the gospel.
ent kind from those constituting the grosser There are, however, objections brought elements of its nature, and capable of a against the doctrines of the Christian reli- separate existence. The analogy will apgion, which, being founded on principles of pear still greater, if we reflect that the maghuman reason, sometimes render an appeal netic principle is not inherent in the iron, to the investigations of philosophy neces- but communicated to it. sary to the full elucidation of gospel truth. It is, however, a sufficient answer to the
It has long been the aim of a certain ingenious cavils of philosophers to say, that class of philosophers, to discover some He who first called this wonderful being, “ vital principle” in man, which shall ac. man, into existence, and endowed him with count for the phenomena of mind and the faculties and powers he possesses, can rationality, without reference to an imma- bestow upon the elements of bis nature terial principle; but; as yet, we have no whatever portion of duration he pleases; better account of this vital principle than the existence, therefore, of an immortal prinwhat revelation affords, namely, that God ciple in man is neither an unnatural, nor an created man of the dust of the earth, and unreasonable supposition; how much soever breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, the discovery of its essence may baffle the and man became a living soul.” All that imperfect powers of human reason, unasphysiologists can do is, to accumulate a sisted by the light of revelation. S. W. 20. SERIES, NO, 18.- VOL. II.
remarkable occurring, if we may except a INDECISION.
circumstance that was once the subject of
village gossip. “ Dubius is such a scrupulous good man; Yes-you may catch him tripping if you can. Late one summer evening, as he was He would not, with a peremptory tone,
wandering in the neighbourhood according Assert the nose upon his face his own; With hesitation admirably slow,
to custom, Mr. Waverly observed at a He humbly hopes--presumes-- it may be so."
distance an attempt at burglary on a lone
house, the family being from home. After AMONGST Sir Andrew Wilmot's acquaint revolving in his mind whether he should go ances, for he could hardly be called a in propria personá, or send for the confriend, was a gentleman named Waverly ; stable to take the depredator into custody, a person whose character was as opposite he prudently resolved upon the latter. to the baronet's as could be well imagined. The thief was apprehended near the village But it is pretty generally known, that ac with stolen property in his possession. As quaintances, in small villages at a distance he was committed to the county gaol, Mr. from the metropolis, are necessarily Waverly was called upon as a witness. restricted in number and quality. On But, to the astonishment of every one, le no other principle could the intercourse then began to express some doubts whether, between Sir Andrew and Mr. Waverly after all, the prisoner was the man he had have been accounted for, since the former seen enter the house, or was merely an was overbearing and even rude, while the accessary after the fact, and threw upon latter was timid and cautious to a ridiculous the whole such an air of quibbling and condegree.
tradiction, that the life of the prisoner was Mr. Waverly was the youngest son, but saved. the only survivor, of an attorney who had Mr. Waverly was now between fifty and realized considerable property by "the glo sixty, and had been knowu for years as rious uncertainty of the law :” a gentle part of the furniture of the village. His man, it must be confessed, of some acute hesitating manner and shuffling gait had ness,
but who had been so accustomed to been the amusement of its inhabitants for plead on the wrong as well as the right a considerable period. In dry and fine side of the question, that it may be doubted weather he was noticed to carry a large which had the real preponderance in his umbrella, because he knew the variableness estimation. The attorney had taken some of our climate better than the generality of care to instil into the minds of his children
persons, and it was possible that it might the importance of duly weighing arguments rain. With the same strain of argument, in the same manner, so that education had he sometimes left his umbrella at home, infused, as it were, the principle of doubt since no one could tell whether it would ing or scepticism, on almost every point. not clear up. Always vacillating in his At the time of the lawyer's death, which opinions and notions, his mind commonly took place in consequence of riding a con retained the ideas communicated by the siderable distance in the rain, and neglect last persons with whom he chanced to coning to change his clothes, the subject of verse, these only remaining till they were this sketch was the only one who remained effaced by the next succeeding flux. A of this family.
personage like this, it must be confessed, Mr. Waverly, who had been trained up could find no better emblem for himself to the law, upon receiving the property his than the weather-cock, whose motions are father had acquired, prudently gave up all capricious as the wind. thoughts of business, and determined to But to give a more complete sketch of retire from the bustle of life. Being raised his character, we will introduce him on a above want, he resolved to purchase a small visit to Sir Andrew Wilmot. The baronet estate, and to live secluded from the world, was in his favourite room, which he had With this intention, he had married, and fitted up as a museum of curiosities, readsettled in the neighbourhood of Sir Andrew ing aloud Milton's Paradise Lost to his Wilmot, where, at the time of our sketch, sister. Mr. Waverly was announced ; in a he had resided nearly thirty years. Soon few moments the gentle creaking of his after his first arrival in the country, some footsteps forewarned his approach. Sir proposals had been made respecting cre- Andrew took off his spectacles, and, placing ating him a magistrate; but after six them in the book he had been reading, rose months' deliberation upon such a weighty to welcome his visitor. In walked Mr. question, he prudently refused the honour. Waverly, buttoned up to his chin, though From that time onward he had passed it was a warm day in June, his legs orna"the even tenor of his way,” nothing very mented with a pair of black gaiters, that
by no means concealed his white stockings. “ Can't be positive ; at least, I think not. “Good morning, Mr. Waverly.” “Good My eldest son Captain Waverly, of the morning,” replied he, hesitating “ that is dragoons, has already imprudently engaged to say, good morning ;” and so saying, he my vote for the Tory candidate of ihis seated himself in a chair opposite a window county; and I am vexed, Sir Andrew; I through which the sun shone with consider- know not what to do." " Give it him at able warmth. “I hope your ladyship's
" What! when my house is quite well.” " It seems an age,
said threatened to be burnt to the ground, and Lady Wilmot, "since I have had the I myself put in bodily fear-yes, in bodily pleasure of seeing you. How is my dear fear,” said he with earnestness, striking friend Mrs. Waverly ?”.
“ But poorly;
his stick violently on the ground. that is to say, not very well. I am afraid “ Well then, give it to the Whig can. she is getting old. None of us are so
didate.” Impossible, Sir Andrew; it young as we were once," perceiving Sir
will be the death-blow of my son's prosAndrew smiling, “at least I think not." pects in life, so at least he tells me.”
“ Time's a hard master Mr. Waverly, “ Fairly stuck, upon my word. Do you and though we may endeavour to cheat in remember, Mr. Waverly, the fable of the reckoning up his accounts, he little heeds ass that was starved between two panniers
But what is Mrs. Waverly's com- of hay?" asked Sir Andrew, laughing. plaint !”
“Can't say, sir; nobody knows. “For shame,” said Lady Wilmot. “ ExShe doesn't know herself; the doctors cuse my brother's rudeness. don't know; and I am sure I don't, that is find that seat uncomfortable ?" inquired to say, I think not." “No! why that's she, as she observed the crimson glow upon strange. What do you suppose it is ? his features. “ Thank your ladyship, it is “Suppose !" said Mr. Waverly, and he rather warm. The sun, or at least his rays looked sneeringly at Lady Wilmot. “Sup- strike very powerfully. And so, Sir Anpositions, sir,”—"are the mere echoes of drew, you think my doubts will starve me the human mind, where thoughts create
“ Odd enough; but what is your probabilities for themselves." . And then, real opinion upon reform ?". Sir Andrew, to build on such a shadowy “ Reform!” sighed Mr. Waverly, “ay, fabric would be something like castle build- it is a difficult question. Really I can't ing." “Why, man, I don't want, indeed say ; I am never in one mind about it.” I never expect you to he positive, but you “ Then you don't know what you think." may bring us somewhere near the truth." “ Can't be positive, Sir Andrew. If I take "Can't pretend to say; you know we are up the paper, and read the speeches of often mistaken.” And as the poet says,
the anti-reformers, I really begin to suspect " Who shall decide when doctors disagree?" that it will subvert our ancient constitution, “I had understood,” said Lady Wilmot, and ruin the nation. But let me just turn " that Mrs. Waverly has never recovered to the next column, and there I see the from the attacks of rheumatism she expe- noble pillar of liberty raised, round which rienced six months since.” “ Rheumatism ! we are called to rally. The rottenness of aye, if it was rheumatism. I wouldn't certain boroughs, the defects of our present stake my existence on that point.” “I system, and the abuses that have crept in, think I have seen her riding out lately.” which defraud and impoverish the poor, “Perhaps so.” “ And is not her health are so powerfully depicted, that I then feel benefited by it?” “Can't be positive,” inclined to turn reformer.”
“ Noble resosaid Mr. Waverly, twisting the top button lution !" replied Sir Andrew.
as I begin to fall into a train of thought After a short pause, he resumed the con- upon the superiority of this side of the versation : “I called, Sir Andrew,” said question, in comes our Tory candidate, he,“ to inform you of a painful predica- and it's all over again. To tell you the ment I am in-painful, I think it is. I am truth, Sir Andrew, he brings me round just torn by conflicting opinions.” “Can that where I was before, and I fancy reform is be painful to you Mr. Waverly? I thought nothing else but fanaticism and ignorance." you loved nothing better.”
“ Alas !”
“ So then you are an anti-reformer, after sighed he, in return, “a man of modera- all.” “Not so; at least, I think not. tion like myself, who always wishes to When I had begun to resolve, after due avoid hastiness of decision, is constantly deliberation, to side with the Tories, in harassed with the fear of falling at last a comes a letter by the morning post from victim to an erroneous judgment.” “ Bet- that fellow, Swing; threatening to burn ter fall a victim at once, than to be tortured my house, to destroy my farms, and me all our life. Have you never thought so?" with them, if I would not vote for reform.”
6 Yet just
of bis gaiter.
“A pretty predicament, truly!” “Yes, he took up his spectacles again, there indeed, a predicament I think I may call goes a man miserable in his very doubts, it. Now, my dear baronet, tell me as a and yet as fond of them as of bis own exfriend, what you think I had better do.” istence; a man who will pass through the “ Decide at once.” Impossible. On world without doing any good, because one side I must lose the esteem of my under the continual apprehension of doing friends, and injure the prospects of my harm; one who, in the words of the poet, son; on the other, I must submit to have
Knows what he knows, as if he knew it not; my property destroyed, and myself mur- What he remembers, seems to have forgot ;
His sole opinion, whatsoe'er befall, dered in cold blood.” What steps will Centering at last in having done at all.?;" you take then ?" inquired Lady Wilmot. Beaconsfield.
J. A. B. « Can't be positive-can't pretend to say; that is, I think I'll have nothing to do either with one or the other,” “No!" eja
ON CHURCH ESTABLISMENTS, culated Sir Andrew, “ I think not.” “But do you recollect the law that Solon made
S. TUCKER's rejoinder to Argus. , on such points ?" Can't be positive."
(Concluded from p. 229.) “ To promote a spirit of patriotism, he My unfortunate logic again comes under ordained, that whosoever espoused no the lash of its unrelenting castigator, because party, and remained neuter in public dis- it has had the audacity to assert the efficussions, should have his estates confis. ciency of the union of church and state in cated, and should be sent into perpetual promoting the reformation of the sixteenth exile." “ A hard law, at least I think so." century ; because, quoth he, “ We are to “ Hard, indeed, for those who spend their remember, that such an event would have lives in doubt and indecision."
been wholly unnecessary, had not the pure “To doubt, sir,” said Waverly, “be- and spiritual system of the gospel been comes the philosopher.” “You're a Car- adulterated by the very means to which tesian, then?" “Can't be positive; that is your correspondent now most logically asto say, I don't know." "The very first cribes its partial restoration.” So then, this step in Des Cartes' system of philosophy most destructive union avowedly possesses is to doubt the existence of every thing, the power of rectifying its own abuses ; and, one axiom alone being first set down, therefore, it ought, by all means, itself to be namely, Cogito, I think.” “ Des Cartes destroyed! This is another admirable spe. is the most rational being, then, I ever cimen of my opponent's paramount “ logiheard of." “ You fancy so, Mr. Waverly. cal” powers, again exhibited in a petitio Well, for my part, I love common sense principii ; viz. that the doctrinal errors and too well to care a straw about the scep- moral corruptions of popery sprang excluticism of philosophy.”. “Whether attached sively from the union of the civil and ecto common sense or philosophy, you know, clesiastical powers in the church of Rome. Sir Andrew, we may all be mistaken." But where is the proof of this position to “ Not all, I hope. I never think of a phi. be found ? Nowhere! How then stands losopher's reasoning in scepticism, but I the fact? Why, sir, the fact is, that it is call to mind the genius described in Ras- the duplicity and corruption of human naselas, who with some ability contrived ture, and not of political constitutions, as wings, with which he attempted to fly.” such, that has in all ages, and in every “ You don't say so !” “ Yes; but it an- country, perverted the simplicity, and corswered no other purpose than to render rupted the purity, of religion. And how him ridiculous to those who, with nothing stands another important fact? Why, that more than common sense for their guide, the church of Rome, with all its corruptions, confined themselves to that condition in has, by the special providence of God, surwhich nature had placed them, and to vived the wreck of Gothic, Vandal, and those powers with which they were in- Turkish desolation ; under which every vested. What do you think, Mr. Waverly?" church, not excepting the seven great “Really I can't pretend to say.”.
churches of Asia, and that of Alexandria, After pausing some time, “Well, Sir when unprotected by the secular power, have Andrew, I must go; so excuse me for the ages ago been swept away from the face of present, for I expect my son home this the earth! And that church, the only one morning. I'll call in again, and then we'll thus supported by the former mistress of the finish our conversation.' “As you please; world, has been the casket in which that bring the Captain with you.” 1. Good same providence preserved, (as the three morning,” said Mr. Waverly, and left the Hebrew youths in the furnace of Nebuchadbaronet. • There,” said Sir Andrew, as nezzar,) ihe inestimable jewel of pure and
undefiled religion ; which bursting from its argument, as far as I am concerned in it; shelf in the sixteenth century, has, since because it is certain I never maintained the that period, under the protecting power of affirmative of either of those positions. I both church and state, asserted its power, ever did, and ever shall, fully recognize the and gloriously maintained its resplendent proper distinction between even a national character over the British dominions, to the church, and the stale which sanctions, propresent day.
tects, and provides for it; and I deprecate, Your correspondent, sir, in the exuber- and abhor as much as any man can do, the ance of his zeal against national church unwarranted, impious, and corrupt interferestablishments, has either grossly mistaken ence of the secular power in the governor wilfully misrepresented both my princi- ment of the church, as it at present exists, ples and my object, in writing my former in both England and Ireland. essay cn this very important subject. But, while I explicitly avow this distincHence, he charges me with advocating the tion, I do and will strenuously contend for cause of “coercive sanctions,” for the sup not only the right but the obligation which port of Christianity, and of pleading for the rests upon every secular government in the oppressive system of tithes, as the source of world, not only to embrace and profess the provision for its ministry; and, finally, he christian religion, but also to use both its insinuates, that I am either influenced by, or influence and its power for the preservation in league with, the devil, indicated by “ the and extension of that religion; and this cloven foot” of the cause I advocate! It is avowal brings me into immediate contact not necessary, sir, for me again to repeat with the final decision of your very dogmy abhorrence of every thing like unjust matical correspondent upon this most imcoercion and oppression, for the support of portant subject. The lofty and dictatorial a religious establishment, having been fully style assumed by this gentleman throughout acquitted of all such principles by Argus his whole essay, and particularly in the folhimself, when he confesses," that I have lowing passage, indicates his firm persuafully conceded the whole question, as to the sion, that whatever may be the fate of either mischief of a church establishment, such church or state, the attribute of infallibility alone as he hus contemplated in this discus rests alone with himself! Nor does he ap. sion."
pear at all inclined to permit even the But my real and fundamental principle, great Head of the church, the Lord Jesus
“ That a nation, and the state dele- Christ himself, to press into its service any gated by that nation, to constitute its tem powers upon earth, but what is sanctioned poral government, have an unquestionable by a special license under the paramount right to assume a religion as national; and, signature of Argus! “Once allow the civil consequently to select * and provide for a magistrate a coercive authority in matters of ministry in support of that religion; and religion, whether for the suppression of that that religion ought to be the Christian, heresy or maintenance of truth, and you - remains untouched, and impregnable.- open the door to abuses of the most flagrant This principle may be assailed, but it can description, and to an influence which has never be overthrown. Against it, your cor far more generally been exercised on the respondent can urge nothing but the dog- side of evil than good. Religion being matical assertions, “ that no body of men purely a matter of individual and moral recan claim union with a gospel church, in sponsibility, cannot be adopted by a nation, virtue of their civil capacity ;” and “it is as a sovereign, a form of government, or clear beyond dispute, that, officially, the a code of laws, may be. National Christianity state can never become a part of the of such a kind is a mere worldly contrivance, church.” These assertions, whether true or and has contributed more than any thing false, have no kind of connexion with the else to the corruption and dishonour of re
ligion.” p. 558. This selection, of course, presupposes the posses
The preceding mandate is a battery sion of the clerical or ministerial office by the ob erected for the demolition of my humble jects thereof; the conferring of which upon suitable candidates, I presume, should rest with the preex
postulate, viz. “ That a nation ought to isting ministers of each church, acting, as they maintain the ministers of every ecclesiastiought ever to do in such cases, under the influence
cal establishment which is sanctioned by and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and with a single eye to the glory of God, and the welfare of his
the toleration of its government; but I do The form of ordination to the sacred office not say that an avowedly christian governshould, in all cases, be as close as possible to the simplicity and purity.of the primitive churches; but
ment is under any obligation, or is even at no form can be essential to the assumption and ex- liberty, in the sight of God, to support, nay, ercise of the office, as none is explicitly specified or
nor perhaps even to tolerate, any antirequired in the New Testament, except the circumstance of laying on of the hands of the presbytery
christian ecclesiastical establishment, within