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giants in metaphysical science, as Aristotle, Plato, Cicero, Locke, Reid, Stewart, Brown, and a host of others, whose publications have excited the admiration of the scientific world, and which have been successively adopted as oracles of truth. I am also aware of the irresistible influence of prejudice, and the pride of opinion, which array many scientific professors against contemporaneous innovators. The innovations of a Gallileo, a Harvey, and a Rush, were repudiated, and they denounced as unworthy of confidence, until their last rival contemporary had passed into oblivion.
Posterity has done them justice. The tongue of envy and jealousy having been paralyzed in death, other tongues became vocal to their honor, and eulogized them as benefactors of mankind. These instances exemplify the natural disposition of man to assail innovators in science; and from the asperity of that censorious spirit, I have no expectation nor desire to be exempt. I trust the remarks of the critic, whether breathing the spirit of censure or of praise, will be equally useful to direct my future course through this trackless ocean. Like the intrepid mariner, voyaging for the discovery of a new world, amidst obstacles the most appalling, I shall persevere in my onward course of investigation, until the light of truth, from some distant isle, shall dissipate all doubts, and with uverring indications of ultimate success, shall excite to renewed energies, or the limitless and lowering expanse in prospect shall preclude the hope of all future discoveries.
Ever since the time of Aristotle, writers on mental science bave considered man as a compound being, consisting of two distinct parts, mind and matter, or material and immaterial. In all their discussions, they have identified the soul with the mind. This confusion of terms, this indiscriminate use of soul and mind, to express the same entity, has led to a correspondent obscurity in all the efforts to explain the origin of ideas.
It will be my primary object to designate the error of this hypothetical philosophy, the consequent erroneous deductions relative to the operations of mind, the origin of ideas, and the various results of promises founded upon a philosophy at variance with the inductive system of Bacon. The revolution which this practical philosopher introduced, has never been extended to improve the science of metaphysics, except that branch which relates to the mind, in connection with the modern system of phrenology. It may be replied, that immaterial entities are unsusceptible of demonstrative proof deduced from positive facts. But this will not justify the departure from approved authorities, and the substitution of theories drawn entirely from creative imaginations.
The physical parts of man have, from the earliest origin of medical science, been subjected to the dissector's knife; and their situations, forms, structures, and uses, have been so repeatedly demonstrated by the anatomist and the physiologist, as to have produced a general and uniform concurrence of opinion in the accuracy of their explanations. But not so with the immaterial part of man. A great diversity of opinion has prevailed, and will continue to prevail, until some positive evidence can be adduced, that will not admit of a difference of construction.
Perhaps no author contributed more to harmonize those conflicting opinions, and to concentrate public opinion in his favor, than the celebrated John Locke. But already have some of his errors been demonstrated and refuted, and some of his favorite theories been compelled to yield to others. I will briefly advert to a few of his prominent errors. He denies the existence of innate ideas, and ascribes all our knowledge to ideas derived entirely from sensation and reflection. He also considers the mind as a tabula rasa, or blank sheet of paper, susceptible of any impressions that may chance first to be made upon its surface.
The following passages from Locke's essay, will more fully explain bis own views. He says:
• I doubt not but to show that man, by the right use of his natural abilities, may, without any innate principles, attain a knowledge of a God, and other things concerning him, and may arrive at certainty, without any such original notions or principles.
• Let us then suppose the mind to be, as we say, white paper, and void of all characters, without ideas, how comes it to be furnished ? Whence has it all the materials of reason and knowledge ? To this I answer, in one word, from experience. In that all our knowledge is founded, and from that it ultimately derives itself. Methinks the understanding is not unlike a closet wholly shut from light, with only some little opening left, to let in external visible resemblances or ideas of things without.'
• The great source of most of the ideas we have depending wholly upon our senses, and derived by them from the understanding, I call sensation. The other fountain, from experience, furnishes the understanding with ideas, is the perception of the operation of our own minds within us, as it is employed about the ideas it has got. I call this reflection. These two are, to me, the only originals from whence all our ideas take their beginnings.'
With regard to the moral duties, he says : 'I doubt not but without being written on their hearts, many men may, by the same way that they come to the knowledge of other things, come to assent to several moral rules, and be convinced of their obligation, which persuasion, however got, will serve to set conscience at work.'
The doctrines here advanced by Locke, however unintentionally on his part, have led to skepticism, and have furnished Hume and other skeptics with arguments in favor of the absurdities of the ideal system, to the total exclusion of the existence of matter.
In develop ing my own views on this subject, I shall endeavor to show that these opinions are unfounded.
Notwithstanding the variety of opinions that have been succes. sively advanced upon the faculties and operations of the human mind, very little of inportance has yet been added to the discoveries of Aristotle and Piato. Pioneers in the science of mind, they were guided by their own genius to a more successful discovery of truth than many of their more enlightened successors. Imagination had not then fabricated so many baseless hypotheses, as subsequently distinguished those ages of the world, more famed for learning and science.
I shall now proceed to give my own views on this subject, for VOL. XV.
which I claim no farther credence than as they may consist with reason and with truth, and be sustained by facts, and by satisfactory evidence. Preparatory to more detailed explanations, I now submit the following propositions, as comprehending the fundamental principles of this theory :
I. Man consists of three distinct entities :: mot-di!
II. The ideas of sensation are those carnal ideas which constitute the animal propensities, and which we derive, in common with other animals, from the five senses.
III. The intellectual, and moral, and religious ideas, which some philosophers ascribe to reflection, and to innate principles, are derived entirely and exclusively from the soul. In the soul is held the high court of chancery, denominated conscience, or the moral sense.
IV. When the soul operates upon the brain, it produces what may be denominated a moral mind, endowed with intellectual and religious faculties; and until excited to action by this operation, the faculties of the brain remain perfectly dormant.
V. When the senses operate upon the brain, they produce what may be denominated sensual mind, which man possesses in common with the inferior animals, but which is essentially changed and improved by the accession of the soul to the body.
I now proceed to consider the first proposition, that man consists of three distinct entities; body, soul, and mind. This proposition constitutes the fundamental principle by which all the others are sustained.
In searching for proof in the authority of names to sustain this proposition, I looked in vain to the publications of metaphysical authors. I have consulted theologians and professors of mental science in literary institutions, without being able to obtain any satisfactory information. All seemed to concur in the opinion that the mind and soul are identically the same.
I therefore resolved to abandon this course of investigation, and to direct my researches to that Volume alone, which reveals the occult mysteries of the world of spirits. And here I found the following command :
• Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.'
This command was issued by that very Being who made man; who breathed into him, and he became a living soul; who spake as never man spake; who is the word of truth, and from whose lips streams of instruction incessantly flowed.
This appropriate text, emanating from such high authority, and from one who never spoke in vain, arrested my attention, shed a gleam of light over the science of mind, and by deep and continued reflection on the important truth it contained, dissipated my doubts, and almost entirely dispersed the dense obscurity in which this science appeared to be enshrouded. The positive distinction here
made between the soul and the mind, pours a flood of valuable information upon the latter, and developes sources of ideas never before suggested. It subverts the basis of many absurd hypotheses, explains phenomena hitherto unintelligible, and conducts us to a clear and perspicuous view of the science of mind.
I am aware, at the same time, that this construction will naturally suggest the following reflections: Can this be true, and not have arrested the attention of a Locke, a Reid, a Stewart, a Brown, and other eminent philosophers, who possessed the same evidence, and whose long and untiring investigations were assiduously directed to the same object ? Is it possible that a texț so full of meaning, so plain, intelligible, and expressive, and which will not admit of any other literal interpretation, could have escaped the notice of all philosophical inquirers after truth, from the time it was first recorded, to the present period? Were not the repetition of soul and mind intended merely as an amplification, to impress the subject deeper and more permanently upon the mind ?'
These and similar reflections induced me for a long time to hesitate, and almost to doubt the evidence of my own senses. But the more I reflected and investigated, the stronger were my convictions of the truth of the construction which I had conceived. Regardless, therefore, of consequences to myself, and of the criticisms of a censorious world, I resolved to persevere, to sustain and promulge a truth so important to a correct view of the science of mind, and even at the risk of a collision with a system of philosophy sustained by illustrious names, and sanctioned by the experience of ages. I was also aware that I should have to combat that pride of opinion which never yields to innovators neither principles nor discoveries that have not been sanctioned by time, or by the highest authorities in science; without which sanction, legitimately conferred, error must be error still.
The spirit of truth has pronounced the distinction between soul and mind in a command equally clear and positive, as when he said
Let there be light.' Both rest on the same immutable basis; both are equally perspicuous, and unsusceptible of a figurative, or any other construction, than those simple words are intended plainly to convey; and whoever denies the one, may with the same propriety reject the other. It is a remarkable fact, in corroboration of the theory I am endeavoring to sustain, that the arrangement of the three entities in this text, is precisely the same which this theory assigns to each in their successive origins. The body is first formed with its five senses, each of which goes into full operation as they successively become matured; the soul next occupies its destined station in the body, and by its appropriate action on the brain, produces the mind.
We have then body, soul, and mind, arranged in the order of their creation, and perfectly corresponding to the arrangement adopted in the mandate of Christ. I was not aware of the reason of this arrangement, till long after this theory had been formed; and now simply make the allusion, to evince the perfect coincidence of every important circumstance in the illustration of truth.
• But,' says the objector, 'this order in the text is a mere undesigned contingency.'
Who art thou, O man, that judgest ?' With man, I admit such might have been the fact; but not with God. Our Creator does not so instruct his creatures. He leaves nothing to a contingency. He has a design in all his works, by which to illustrate his own existence, the works of creation, and the mysterious work of redemption.
This argument may be farther illustrated by the following mandate: • Let us make man in our own image.'
It is the creed of a great proportion of the Christian world, that divinity consists of three distinct entities, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. If the opinion be correct that man consists of only two parts, bow can he be made perfectly to resemble, in all respects, the image of the triune God? Consistency would require Trinitarians at least to reject an hypothesis so much at variance with their faith, and adopt the opinion that man, like his great Creator, consists of three distinct entities, and is made in all respects, both physical and moral, in the perfect image of the Deity.
I am at the same time aware, that the construction generally given to this passage makes the allusion refer exclusively to the moral image of God. But this limits his operations to a scale incongruous with the infinity of his nature. His image, in all its constituent and moral parts, is impressed not only on man, but on every part of creation. This is perfectly in accordance with the moral government of the universe, every portion of which is susceptible of spiritual interpretation, with a direct typical reference to the Deity. That his image is impressed upon all his works, adds much cogency to the argument, and is a beautiful illustration of the instruction which it furnishes of the existence of the Deity, and of his superintending providence.
The argument also acquires additional confirmation from that great spiritual philosopher, Saint Paul, in the following passage : ' That which may be known of God, is manifest in them, for the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead.'
This is decisive proof that man is created in a perfect resemblance of the Deity, and that by attentively observing the component parts of man, we may arrive at a correct knowledge of the component parts of God.
The body of man represents the Son, the soul the Father, and the mind the Holy Ghost. A still stronger likeness may be found in their respective actions. As the soul, operating upon the brain, produces the mind, so the Father, by the operation of his own will, produces the Holy Ghost. Those who disbelieve in the Trinity, for the single reason that they cannot comprehend the existence of three distinct beings in one person, by studying the complex nature of man in the aspect herein represented, must be convinced that the same complex existence of God is perfectly reconcileable to reason and to common sense. And they will also perceive how clearly the invisible things of him may be understood, by the visible things that are made ; how perfectly symbolical man represents the image of his Creator.