Imágenes de página
[blocks in formation]

"The subjoined list exhibits some of those points which either were, or still are, matters of dispute in the old school, but which phrenologists regard as set at rest by the discoveries of their science. The bringing of these points into one view, may perhaps tend more impressively to shew the advantages which phrenology is one day destined to confer on mankind, when passion and prejudice shall have given way to a conviction both of its truth and importance.

"1. That the brain is exclusively the organ of the mind. CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 330.

2. That the mind possesses a number of distinct or primitive faculties, each of which is dependent on a particular material organ for its manifestation; the power of manifestation being, ceteris paribus, in proportion to the size of the organ.

"3. That these faculties and organs are divided into three great classes; propensities, sentiments, and intellect.

"These may be considered as the great leading discoveries of phrenology. The following either flow from, or are included under, the above general heads.

"4. That faculties, and not ideas, are innate.

"5. That attention, perception, memory, and imagination, are not primitive faculties of the mind, but only modes of activity of all or any of the intellectual faculties.

"6. That there is an infinite variety among individuals in their respective endowment of the primitive faculties. Hence the differences among men are original and innate; a mathematician is not necessarily a metaphysician, nor a poet a painter.

"7. That these original differences descend, by the laws of propagation, from parents to children.

8. That it is upon this principle chiefly that national character depends; the feebleness of the Hindoo character, as compared with the European, being caused by the former inheriting from nature a smaller brain than the latter.

"9. The distinctive character of the sexes, particularly in the propensities of amativeness and philoprogenitiveness, and in general size of brain.

10. The essential distinction between man and the lower animals. In particular, the latter do not possess the organs of the sentiments of hope, veneration, conscientiousness, &c., nor those of the reflecting faculties of comparison, casuality, or wit.

"11. That man possesses a natural sentiment leading him to the worship of a God.

3 B

«12. That man has an innate moral sense. This depends chiefly, though not solely, on conscientiousness. The existence of this faculty disproves the theories of virtue given by Hume, Hobbes, Mandeville, Paley, &c.

music, chiefly tune, time, įmitation, and secretiveness.

"13. The existence of the faculties of adhesiveness, acquisitiveness, secretiveness, love of approbation, benevolence, conscientiousness, and intellect, prove that a state of society or civilization is natural to man; in opposition to the reveries of Rousseau, Monboddo, &c., who held that the solitary or savage state was natural, and the social unnatural.

"14. That we may determine, a priori, the education most suitable to be given to, and the professions best adapted for, different individuals.

15. That insanity is, in every case, a bodily and not a mental malady; and that the seat of the disease is exclusively in the brain, or in some particular part of it.

"16. Hence the cause of partial insanity the organ of self-esteem,


"21. The necessity and importance of imitation and secretiveness; the latter in particular giving expression in acting and in the fine


"22. That the disputes which existed as to the reality of an external world, arose from casuality attempting to take cognisance of that which belonged exclusively to individuality and the other knowing faculties.

"23. Phrenological theory of virtue; the faculties on which it depends being benevolence, veneration, and conscientiousness; former theories having been founded chiefly on propriety, prudence, or benevolence.

"24. That the causes of the different degrees of liberty, enjoyed by different nations, are dependent chiefly on their respective endowment of the higher sentiments, and not on their particular forms of government, free institutions being the effects and not the causes of liberty."


for example, may alone be diseased, ON A PASSAGE IN BISHOP HEBER'S in consequence of which the individual may suppose himself to be a king; while every other organ, and, in particular, the organs of the intellectual faculties, may be in a state of perfect sanity.

"17. The causes of idiocy, partial or total, arising from the deficiency of size or structure, in all or any of the organs.

"18. The phenomena of dreaming; profound sleep being the repose of all the organs, and dreaming the activity of only some of the organs. "The points above-mentioned are held by phrenologists as indubitable. Some of those which follow may admit of doubt, but are considered as, at least, highly probable.

19. The analysis of humour, the combination of wit and secretiveness.

"20. Analysis of the different faculties which concur in producing

Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.

I HAVE been exceedingly interested in reading the Journal of the late excellent Bishop Heber. It is impossible to rise from the contemplation of his character, thus undesignedly, and undisguisedly, pourtrayed by his own pen, without feeling more pungently the greatness of the loss which the Christian church, and especially that part of it of which he was so bright an ornament, has sustained by his premature removal. There is, however, passage, in of Christian feeling and consolation a delightful letter, full -addressed to Miss Stowe, on the death of her brother, the Bishop's chaplain-which struck me as novel, affectionately expressing himself, if not unscriptural. After thus most "And now farewell! God support,


bless, and comfort you! Such as my prayers are, you have them fervently and sincerely offered;" he adds, "But you have better and holier prayers than mine. That the spirits in paradise pray for those whom they have left behind, I cannot doubt; since I cannot suppose they cease to love us there. Your dear brother is thus still employed in your service, and still recommending you to the Throne of Mercy; to the all-sufficient and promised help of that God, who is the Father of the fatherless; and of that blessed Son, who hath assured us that they who mourn shall be comforted." There is certainly something very soothing, to a surviving relative, in the sentiment here advanced; but the comfort it is calculated to afford is of a very questionable nature. Is the idea scriptural? Have we any reason to believe, from the word of God, that our deceased pious friends are engaged in interceding for us with the Father of our spirits? I know of no passage which warrants such an interpretation. Such views fall in with our natural feelings under such circumstances; but they are calculated to withdraw our minds from those only real sources of consolation which the Scriptures of truth open to us.


up such points to one another, for the sake of one common public worship. Above all things, abstain from ridicule or reflection upon their persons and teachers; from reproaching them with the conduct of their ancestors, or predecessors of the same sect; from idle reports of their absurdities or immoralities; from groundless suspicions of their insincerity; and particularly from charging them with opinions which they disown, or consequences they do not deduce."

The first head of this advice is much too generally expressed; for though some differences of opinion may be trivial, others are of the greatest moment. When the main points are right, much should be sacrificed for peace; but Dr. Paley would not, I conclude, have wished a clergyman to tell his flock that "the points which divide" them from the Socinian or the Papist are things of "unimportance." meant only to inculcate a kind and charitable spirit, especially towards pious Dissenters, of whatever class; which is quite another thing from destroying the landmarks between truth and error.

He doubtless

But in his second article of advice I fully agree, and would strongly urge it in our controversy with the Church of Rome. In every one of the particulars mèntioned by Dr. Paley, too many Protestants offend in their speeches and

ON CONDUCT TO DISSENTERS AND writings against Popery. From all

[blocks in formation]

of them I would say, with Dr. Paley, "abstain." Neither the "wrath" of man, nor his ridicule, or misrepresentation, "work the righteousness of God." D. E.


Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.

YOUR correspondent, " A Friend to Order," whose letter on the subject of the Conventicle Act appeared in your Number for March last, has, I con

ceive, fallen into a mistake with regard to the interpretation of that Act. The statute now in, force is that of the 52d of the late King, cap. 155, which repealed the old Conventicle Act of 22d Car. II. cap. 1, and enacted new and milder provisions. This statute relates exclusively to congregations or assemblies "for religious worship of Protestants;" and it would, in my opinion, be a monstrous perversion of the Act to construe it as extending to a meeting assembled simply for a charitable purpose, or for any other purpose than that of religious worship, merely because such meeting, either at its commencement or its close, was sanctified by prayer : and should two justices so pervert the Act, and convict under the circumstances stated by your correspondent, an appeal is given by the Act to the quarter sessions; provided notice in writing of the intention to appeal be given to the convicting justices within eight days after the conviction.

At the same time, I entirely agree with your correspondent in wishing, not indeed for a total repeal, but for an amendment of the Act of the late King. A total repeal would revive the still more objectionable Act of Charles the Second, and two other intolerant Acts, which are thereby repealed; and would repeal a useful clause (the 12th), protecting religious assemblies from disturbance. But I should rejoice to see an Act passed repealing the Act of the late King, and at the same time repealing the three Acts thereby repealed, and making provision to protect religious assemblies from disturbance. It is my firm conviction, that no one legislative measure has more tended to exclude, so far as it can be excluded, real religion from the pale of the Established Church, and to impede the exertions and narrow the usefulness of its most devoted ministers, than the Conventicle Act of Charles the Second: and although its severity has been much mitigated by the

late Act of George the Third, the relief thereby afforded has been rather to Dissenters, than to members of the Establishment. I consider both Acts as imposing oppressive and mischievous fetters on religious worship: and I should hail an Act repealing them both and the two other Acts repealed by the latter, as a measure eminently calculated, at the present moment especially, to strengthen generally the cause of Protestantism, (which I consider as the cause of Christianity itself,) and in particular the Established Church.

L. C.


Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.

WILL you allow me to request information respecting the best mode of forming a central parochial library? Unless a village library is very liberally supplied with new publications, the interest it at first excited gradually subsides; and many valuable books, which would be eagerly read in another parish, lie neglected. I am aware that a society has been formed in Scotland to obviate this evil, by supplying parishes with sets of books, which are kept a certain time, and then returned to the central library, to be circulated in other parishes. The plan appears to me to be a good one, but I am not acquainted with its details *; and I shall be glad also to know from what sources suitable books may be procured.

W. A. S.


Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.

I BEG you to inform me what is the real meaning of the word nature. Some persons say, it means God;

tails of the East-Lothian Libraries in our • Our correspondent will find the delast volume, p. 659.

others, that it means something distinct from, and opposed to, God: some of my neighbours, when they mean to excuse what they think not quite right, say, It is natural; others say, What is natural is quite wrong; whereas others, when they mean to designate something very bad, say, It is unnatural. Language should correctly convey thought. I hope your readers will judge this muchused word worthy of an explicit determination; for, till we agreed in the use of words, we shall be in the case of the builders at Babel, who received stones when they called for mortar, and a flint for sand.




Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.

In your Number for February 1828 you have inserted, among Specimens of American Sacred Poetry, some lines on the words, " As thy day is, so shall thy strength be." Permit me to enclose, as a specimen of EastIndian sacred poetry, a few verses on the same words, composed by a young teacher in one of our female charity schools in Calcutta.


When passions dire this heart assail,
And strength and hope and courage fail,
While through the clouds that intervene
A Father's face is darkly seen,
How blest thy promise, Lord, to me,
That' As my day, my strength shall be.'

Should keen affliction fill my eye,
And sorrow drink my spirit dry,
Thou, the sure Refuge of my soul !
Do Thou my rising fears controul,
Blest Saviour! speak, and say to me,
As is thy day, thy strength shall be.'
If in this vale of tears below,
Exempt from trials, sorrow, woe,
My days in peace serenely glide,
Still keep me ever near thy side;
And may I firmly trust in Thee,
That as my day, my strength shall be.'

[ocr errors]


Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.

I HAPPENED lately to open an old volume of the Christian Observer, where four lines, literally translated from the Persian, are inserted, with a wish for a more full version. The following lines occurred to me.

Literal Translation from the Persian.
"O Thou whom we openly adore!
We are conformed to thy likeness;
On thy skirt we fasten our hold
When we slip off from the world.”

Metrical paraphrase.

O Thou whose name we dare to own,
We come to bend before thy throne,
Our Father and our King!
Though faint our likeness, may it prove
We are the children of thy love,

And nursed beneath thy wing.
When from this fleeting world we glide,
We'll cling to thy once-bleeding side;
Thy spotless robe we'll hold :
That robe of righteousness Divine,
In which thy saints for ever shine,
And wrap them in its fold.
A. B. C.


Sermons. By TIMOTHY DWIGHT, D.D., LL.D. Two volumes. 8vo. 17. 4s. Edinburgh. 1828. If we had never heard of the name of Dr. Dwight, but had opened casually upon some of these discourses, we should soon have found

ourselves under the powerful spell of an unknown master. They are not in regular sequence, like the author's System of Theology;" but consist of fifty-nine sermons; some in series, others detached; all preached in the course of his pastoral and academical labours,

« AnteriorContinuar »