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more satisfactorily solved by Mr. Hunter's Theory of Life than by any other.
Impressed with the difficulties of the task I have undertaken, of giving lectures in the presence of men of superior knowledge and talents, respecting subjects on which every one has formed his own opinions, which of course he thinks correct; though desirous of fulfilling the design of these lectures to the extent of my ability, I feel unable to display the subjects of them in any other way than that to which I have been accustomed. Thinking as Mr. Hunter taught, with regard to life and its functions, in health and disorder, I must use his language as expressive of the phaenomena we observe. That an attention to the sympathies of parts and organs is necessary to our understanding disorder and disease, I shall hereafter endeavour to shew. That Mr. Hunter
did observe these sympathies in a manner and to an extent that surprized most professional men, is well known to all those who were present at his lectures on this subject. Their surprize was indeed natural, because they were not then fully acquainted with his views and motives.
I mention these things, because I am aware that there are some who say sympathy is a term without any direct meaning, and that all which Mr. Hunter said on the subject of life, explains nothing. What Mr. Hunter meant, I believe I understand; what persons of different sentiments, whom I acknowledge possess great information and ability, mean, when they talk in this manner, I am not so well able to discover. They seem to deny that life can be any thing which may not be seen or felt. They seem to wish us to believe that they have that philosophical turn of mind which exempts them from vulgar prejudices, and that no Theory appears to them satisfactory, neither do they propose any for our adoption.
Thinking being inevitable, we ought, as I said in the beginning, to be solicitous to think correctly. Opinions are equally the natural result of thought, and the cause of conduct. If errors of thought terminated in opinions, they would be of less consequence; but a slight deviation from the line of rectitude in thought, may lead to a most distant and disastrous aberration from that line in action. I own I cannot readily believe any one who tells me, he has formed no opinion on subjects which must have engaged and interested his attention. Persons both of sceptical and credulous characters form opinions, and we have in general some principal opinion, to which we connect the rest, and to which we make them
subservient; and this has a great influence on all our conduct. Doubt and uncertainty are so fatiguing to the human mind, by keeping it in continual action, that it will and must rest somewhere; and if so, our enquiry ought to be where it may rest most securely and comfortably to itself, and with most advantage to others? In the uncertainty of opinions, wisdom would counsel us to adopt those which
have a tendency to produce beneficial actions.
If I may be permitted to express myself allegorically, with regard to our intellectual operations, I would say, that the mind chooses for itself some little spot or district where it erects a dwelling, which it furnishes and decorates with the various materials it collects. Of many apartments. contained in it, there is one to which it is most partial, where it chiefly reposes,
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and where it sometimes indulges its visionary fancies. At the same time it employs itself in cultivating the surrounding grounds, raising little articles for intellectual traffic with its neighbours, or perhaps some produce worthy to be deposited amongst the general stores of human
Thus my mind rests at peace in thinking on the subject of life, as it has been taught by Mr. Hunter; and I am visionary enough to imagine, that if these opinions should become so established as to be generally admitted by philosophers, that if they once saw reason to believe that life was something of an invisible and active nature superadded to organization; they would then see equal reason to believe that mind might be superadded to life, as life is to structure. They would then indeed still father perceive how mind and matter