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became lurid and electric, the heavens were darkened, and at midnight there was a great rain,' so great, that the palm trees fell crashing down upon the cottages of the toddy drawers, many houses were washed away, and much property injured.
In 2 Kings xi. 17 we read of the proclamation of Jehu, that they hasted, and took every man his garment, and put it under him on the top of the stairs, and blew with trumpets.' This is a habit very usual in the East. A native, unless engaged in the absolute presence of his superior, does not wear his body coat, his ankrika, or garment, but folds it together with his waist-belt, and places it under him as he sits. I recollect this habit with the moonshees and attendants of Meer Jafur Ali; they sat on the stairs of the prince's house, each with his garment folded under him, and when called to the Meer's presence, hastily put them on. In ver. 17 we read of the watchman on the tower in Jezreel.' Along the whole line of villages and towns on the border of the desert of Cutchee, between Upper Sindh and the pass of the Bolan, were towers, each with its watchman, and these men stood to espy the first coming of any company of Belooches who might be on the way to commit plunder or acts of violence. And in the same verse we see that Joram said, 'Take an horseman, and send to meet them.' In India all princes, chiefs, or persons in official situations, have parties of horsemen attached to their guards, who are used only as messengers to carry dispatches or ride forth in quest of information, so that had the watchman from the tower of Moobarukpoor in Sindh espied a coming band, a horseman would immediately have been sent forth, as we see he was by Joram, to bring intelligence.
At 2 Kings xxi. 13, we read, And I will wipe Jerusalem, as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down.' This simile, in the present day, would be formed on a common habit among the people of the East. A Hindoo uses always brazen vessels, a dish or two and a lotah; in the dish he kneads his dough for cakes, and the lotah holds water to soften it. When the cakes are baked on the hearth, and the Hindoo has eaten the meal he has prepared, his immediate care is to cleanse his vessels; rubbing them with a little earth, he pours a stream of water over them, wipes the dishes with his hand, and turning them upside down, rests them by the side of the hearth where they speedily dry.
Some of the points, which I have selected as illustrative of the coincidences between the manners of the Jewish people at the time when their history formed the theme of the inspired penmen, and the customs of Orientals in the present day, touch indeed on subjects trivial in themselves, but which become on that account,
in illustration of my subject, only the more interesting and curious. The prominent events of sacred history were those essentially belonging to their own time, a time when the Maker of the visible creation deigned to reveal himself to man, to bring him morally under His government with willing subjection, having chosen the people of this nation and time to be the recipients of such revelations of his laws; these events could occur but once. Still there were, in connection with these, secondary facts, recorded naturally by the inspired penman, as expressive of the means by which weightier matters were effected; and it is, I think, interesting to trace, and eminently useful to prove, that the people for whose instruction the greater facts were enacted and revealed, were in manners, habits, and usages, even that ancient people! such as every day life still presents to our view in eastern Asia; and the more this resemblance is traced, and proved in its details, the stronger becomes the interest, and the higher the value of this species of external evidence.
The Gentile sceptic, whose mind may be incapable of extending itself to the consideration of a different condition of social life, to that which forms the characteristics of his native land, and who remains ignorant of the influences of climate in forming the habits and manners of a people, may question the accuracy of details opposed to his own limited experiences, and the puny efforts of his reasoning powers being unable to grasp a truth, he takes the easier path of doubt; but were a Brahmin of India, on the contrary, to study, even without accepting as truths, the facts contained in the historical books of the sacred volume, he would be satisfied that Judaism was a religious system, which had been composed in the land of which it speaks, by and among a people whose habits were similar to those with which he was conversant, and this conviction would probably influence his opinions much in favour of the authenticity of its records, when he recollected that they had been re-presented to the East by the teachers of a people singularly ignorant of and uninterested in oriental manners, as his daily experience proves to him the professor of Christianity to be.
It appears to me, therefore, that as such an effect would be produced on the reasoning mind of the Brahmin familiar with the usages of his people, and acquainted, by means of the Bible, with such facts as are there represented in connection with the great events of the early ages of the world, so an acquaintance on our part with the familiar usages and general characteristics of orientals, with their social prejudices, and their every day habits, would so prove corroborative of the minor details of sacred writ, that added interest more solemn, more general, more touching, might be given to those mightier events which, to the hearts and
ears of some, seem yet to be deficient in that stirring, animating, exciting power, which truth, the real, the actual, alone can give on such a subject as sacred revelation. To some the portraiture of the past might thus become more vivid, the events might seem of nearer, of more actual, of more stimulating power-stimulating to enquiry, stimulating to faith, stimulating to obedience :-and from the impression, that the effect thus supposed, would indeed result from research into the customs of the people of the East, springs my hope, that, as facilities of communication increase between the east and west, this subject (on which, however inefficiently, I have ventured to write) may more and more excite the attention of intelligent observers, my own limited experience having been yet extensive enough, to have led me to the firm conviction, that the more diligently and ably research is made into the origin of the opinions of the people of the East, and the natural effects of them on their habits-the more research is made into usages, the result of climate, in connection with food, agriculture, sanitary precautions, and domestic life, and as such, equally affecting the natives of countries under similar latitudes-the more will the present manners of the people of India, though they may differ in their geographical position, be found in accordance with, and illustrative of, the sublime, natural, simply told, and most touching narratives of the sacred writings.
MORELL'S PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION.
By WILLIAM M'COMBIE.
The Philosophy of Religion. By J. D. MORELL, A.M.-London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1849.
BEFORE proceeding to examine the leading principles of this work we have a preliminary difficulty to state. We doubt the possibility of the task the author has assigned himself. Religion, considered as an emotional state of the human soul—and it is under this aspect that Mr. Morell contemplates and discusses it--is something beyond the range of philosophy. Not having a logical but an emotional birth, it is a subject not belonging to Philosophy, but to the Natural History of the human mind. And were we to regard religion as expressing the external means divinely put in operation for calling forth the internal sentiment just referred to, a similar impossibility attaches to a philosophy of religion regarded in this sense. Such appliances originating in the sovereign appointment. of heaven, and
having thus a strictly supernatural source, are equally above the possibility of being produced by natural agencies, and of being accounted for by natural reason. A philosophy of the process of redemption is just as absurd as would be a philosophy of the process of creation. The matter is not a subject of philosophy, but a question of fact. If there has been any such thing as a supernatural revelation (and that is a question to be determined by evidence), then it must embrace facts and bearings of facts beyond the comprehension of reason, else it would cease to maintain a supernatural character. Nothing comes within the range of philosophy but what reason may account for; but all that reason can account for is, by that very fact, evinced to be physical, or in the established course of nature, which is governed by ascertainable laws, and not supernatural.
But though thus indicating this preliminary objection to the very nature of the attempt before us; we do not mean at present to enter on the disquisition to which its full elucidation and application would lead us, but shall take up the work as we find it. And as our space does not permit us to enter into it in detail, we shall confine chiefly ourselves to one bearing of the discussion it embodies, which however is the main one, viz., what we are to recognise as our religious guide, and our ultimate standard of appeal.
Various answers have been returned to this question; but we are concerned at present with only two, viz., that generally given by Protestants, and that given by our author.
Protestants generally recognise the Scriptures as the main source of religious knowledge, and the ultimate standard of appeal. Mr. Morell holds the source to be 'intuition,' or the 'intuitional consciousness,' and the ultimate standard the common intuitions of 'mankind at large.' We cannot at present enter into the psychological question in regard to intuition, nor is it exactly needful. Our purpose will be served by taking intuition or the intuitional consciousness as our author defines and describes it, and examining the consistency of his statements concerning it, and its competency, as so defined and described, for the functions assigned it. There is a vagueness and variation about our author's statement of the characteristics and functions of this faculty, which occasions a reviewer considerable inconvenience; however, by combination and comparison we must make the best we can of our materials:
'There is one state of our intellectual consciousness by virtue of which we define terms, form propositions, construct reasonings, and perform the whole office that we usually attribute to a mind that acts logically; but there is another state of our intellectual consciousness, in which the material of truth comes to us as though by a rational instinct
stinct-a mental sensibility—an intuitive power-a "communis sensus," traceable over the whole surface of civilized humanity' (p. 33). state of consciousness constitutes a kind of intellectual sensibility—an immediate intuition of certain objects, which are in no respect cogniable simply by the senses and the understanding. The faculty of which we now speak, and which may be termed pure reason or intuition, ... brings us face to face with the actual matter, or reality of truth itself.' (pp. 18, 19.)
'Intuition implies a direct gazing on truth in its concrete unity' (p. 342); The knowledge involved in it could not have been gained by our own efforts' (129); but is presented to us immediately by God' (128).
Moreover, we must be careful not to confound the products of this intuitional consciousness with the fundamental forms of thought, such as are usually described in a table of categories; the product of intuition is never an abstract, formal, empty notion; it is precisely the reverse, namely, a direct perception of some actual concrete reality' (p. 57). Again, The great peculiarity of that portion of our knowledge which comes through the process of intuition is, that it is not derived from any previous knowledge whatever-that there is no inference in the case-that we receive it immediately as a direct manifestation to our minds' (p. 129).
But this may suffice. Let us now examine the first example our author gives of the action of this faculty, which happens to be at once the most apposite and the highest possible. If the intuitional consciousness can be shown to have a direct perception of the Divine nature, then it will vindicate all that is claimed on its behalf. Let us see
'These two efforts of reason to seek the nature and origin both of the universe and the soul, lead naturally and inevitably to the conception of some common ground from which they are both derived. The soul is not self-created, but is consciously dependent on some higher power. There must be a type after which it was formed; a self-existent essence from which it proceeded; a supreme mind which planned and created my mind. So also with regard to nature. If the universe as a whole shows the most perfect harmony, all the parts thereof symmetrically adapted to each other, all proceeding onwards like a machine infinitely complicate, yet never clashing in its minutest wheels and movements; there must be some mind vaster than the universe, one which can take it all in at a single glance, one which has planned its harmony, and keeps the whole system from perturbation. In short, if there be dependent existence, there must be absolute existence; if there be temporal finite beings, there must be an eternal and infinite one. Thus the power of intuition, that highest elevation of the human consciousness, leads us at length into the world of eternal realities. The period of the mind's converse with mere phenomena