Imágenes de página


[ocr errors]


SELFISHNESS. The value of time and of youth, and the bitter fruits Selfishness is the universal form of human depravity; that result from mis-spending them, are truths so simple every sin that can be named is only a modification of it. and obvious, that we fear, like the great tree in St Paul's What is avarice but selfishness grasping and hoarding? Churchyard, about the existence of which so many wagers What is prodigality but selfishness decorating and indulghave been lost and won, they are sometimes in danger of ing itself-a man sacrificing to himself as his own god ? being overlooked from their very familiarity. It would What is sloth but that god asleep and refusing to attend be easy, indeed, to invest these topics with a gloomy into the calls of duty ? And what is idolatry but that god terest, by proving that the evils resulting from the lost enshrined-war worshipping the reflection of his own opportunities of youth more or less cling to a man image ? Sensuality, and, indeed, all the sins of the flesh, throughout his existence; and that they must be, from are only selfishness setting itself above law, and gratifytheir nature, greater in reality than they can be to the ing itself at the expense of all restraint. And all the eye of common observation. For men do their best to sins of the spirit are only the same principle impatient of disguise the punishment of a neglected education; or contradiction, and refusing to acknowledge superiority, or rather, to speak more truly, the punishment disguises to bend to any will but its own. What is egotism, but them. It hurries them away from our sight to be immo- selfishness speaking? Or crime, but selfishness without lated in secret by mortification--to die in the shade of its mask, in earnest and acting? Or offensive war, but neglect, and to be buried in the shroud of oblivion. But selfishness confederated, armed, and bent on aggrandizing it is not by appealing to the ignoble principle of fear that itself by violence and blood ? An offensive army is the we should teach the youthful bosom the value of its golden selfishness of a nation embodied, and moving to the atopportunities. A feeling still more honourable than even tainment of its object over the wrecks of human happianxiety for reputation-namely, the desire of knowledge | ness and life.- Dr Harris. for its own sake-must enter into the motives of every man who successfully devotes himself to mental improve

LOVE'S NECESSITY. ment; for learning is a proud mistress, that will not be courted for our hopes of worldly profit by her dowry, nor for our ambition to be allied to her family, nor for the pride

Two things doth men with earnest instinct crave.

His portion, weakling, while he pilgrims here-
of showing her in public, without the passion and devotion To be most dear to ONE, and one to have
which we must bear to her sacred self.— Thomas Campbell.

To him inost dear.

Doth not love's aliment, thic pursling lost,

But lonul the bosom whence it faia would fos? The grave of those we loved—what a place for medi- And what shall soothe, bis baby yearnings crust, tation! There it is that we call up in long review the

The nursling's woe ? whole history of virtue and gentleness, and the thousand Even so with love, that turns to gall if pent, endearments lavished upon us, almost unheeded, in the

The breast of man hath Goillis Father stored ;

And one it seeks on whom may well be spent daily intercourse of intimacy-there it is that we dwell

The holy loaru. upon the tenderness, the solemn, awful tenderness of the

Eren so it claims a love pure, passionnte, free, parting scene : the bed of death, with all its stifled

And, losing that, all short of it will spurn; griefs, its noiseless attendance, its mute, watchful assi

Loving one best, it best beloved must be duities; the last testimonies of expiring love: the feeble,

By one in turn. fluttering, thrilling-oh, how thrilling !--pressure of the

Thon liest, Ambition! Thine is vulgar blise: hand; the last fond look of the glazing eye, turning upon

Boaster, thoult stoop in any sphere to shine!

'Cæsar or nobody! such speech as this us even from the threshold of existence; the faint, fal

Is Love's, not thine. tering accents, struggling in death to give one more He brooks no rival, no divided will; assurance of affection. Ay! go the grave of buried love,

His clime the Torrid or the Arctic zone, and meditate. There settle the account with thy con

No parley holds he, nor will deign to fill

A dubious throne. science for every past benefit unrequited, every past endearment unregarded, of that departed being, who can

Jealous as generous in his beings' good,

Mau would be both th' adored and devotee; nerer, never return to be soothed by thy contrition. If His human heart an idol seeks, he would thou art a child, and hast ever added a sorrow to the soul,

An idol be. or a furrow to the silvered brow of an affectionate parent

Such are the terms on which the heart will trust; -if thou art a husband, and hast ever caused the fond

That needle never points but to the polebosom that ventured its whole happiness in thy arms, to

And, giving all its tenderness, it must

Get back the whole. doubt one moment thy kindness or thy truth-if thou

Happy, if his own bliss he knew, who may art a friend, and hast ever wronged, in thought, or word,

On one bright soul unchecked aflection shed, or deed, the spirit that generously confided in thee-if Who, from his heart of hearts, can dearest say, thou art a lover, and hast ever given one unmerited pang

And hear it said. to that true heart which now lies cold and still beneath

Sad is his lot whose lore no resting-space thy feet—then be sure that every unkind look, every un

Hath found ; and sadder his whose love hath won

In some few hearts perchance the second place, gracious word, every ungentle action, will come thronging back upon thy memory, and knocking dolefully at thy soul- then be sure that thou wilt lie down sorrowing and

IMPRUDENCE. repentant on the grave, and utter the unheard groan, and pour the unavailing tear; more deep, more bitter, be

Those who, in consequence of superior capacities and cause unheard and unavailing.- Washington Irving.

attainments, disregard the common maxims of life, ouzh:

to be reminded that nothing will supply the want of priWISDOM OF FAITH.

dence, and that negligence and irregularity, long conDoes not every architect complain of the injustice of tinued, will make knowledge useless, wit ridiculous, and criticising a building before it is half finished? Yet who genius contemptible.-Doctor Johnson. can tell what volume of the creation we are in at present,

FIRST AND LAST THOUGHTS. or what point the structure of our moral fabric has attained! Whilst we are all in a vessel that is sailing under

In matters of conscience, first thoughts are best; in sealed orders, we shall do well to confide implicitly in matters of prudence, last thoughts are best. our government and captain. MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS.

Printed and published by JAMES HOGG, 122 Nicolson Street, There be four good mothers have four bad daughters :

Edinburgh ; to whom all communications are to be addresah

Sold also by J. JOHNSTONE, Edinburgh ; J. M'LEON, Glasgow : Truth hath hatred ; prosperity hath pride; security hath W. M'COM, Belfast; R. GROOMBRIDGE & Sons, London; and peril; and familiarity hath contempt.

1 all Booksellers.



No. 4.


PRICE 11d.

[ocr errors]

were so many self-evident axioms, reminding wisc and CHAPTERS ON THE VIRTUES.

sensible listeners of the taunt of a venerable scripture

worthy, 'No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom COURTESY.

shall die with you.' He will beware of exalting himself We do not hesitate to claim for courtesy, as Doctor above others ; of hinting even indirectly their inferiority Johnson did for cleanliness, a place among the virtues. to him. He will not take the faults and misfortunes of It is a virtue, and one which greatly promotes the comfort others as incense to his own vanity-a practice which, and happiness of mankind. It is the sugar in the cup of though common, is mean and despicable. It is easy to life—the sweetener of domestic and social existence. see how an humble opinion of one's self will thus promote The rery name of this grace is so associated with the genuine politeness. stiff, frigid, and, in some instances, ludicrous forms of Affectionateness is another of its essential preetiquette, that we are apt to overlook its worth, and to requisites. To be pleasingly well-bred, we must have a have inadequate ideas of its importance. These forms, regard for those with whom we mingle ; for its absence unless they be all the more extravagant, are by no means no artificial deference will compensate. The great desire to be neglected; but it should not be forgotten that they of every person when he goes into society, should be to conare often punetiliously observed by persons who do not tribute as largely as possible to the general fund of hapknow what real politeness is—in whose minds the senti- piness—to impart as well as receive pleasure. Good ments that create true courtesy have no place.

will towards all with whom we feel it right to associate, To be courteous in the best sense, we, must have an must shine through the countenance, flow from the humble estimate of ourselves and our attainments. Ex- tongue, be conveyed in the cordial grasp of the hand; cessive vanity and true politeness will not be fonnd and in a thousand ways, easier felt than described, be together. When you meet with a person who is on the made apparent. Why should we blush to confess that we tery best terms with himself, and has a most extravagant have a kindly feeling towards our fellow-creatures ? Why idea of his own importance, you need not expect to seek to hide the sympathies that are so honourable to us! receive very courteous or respectful treatment from him. Why not circulate as widely as we can, those feelings of It can scarcely have escaped the notice of the least ob- brotherhood which are of such advantage to our race ? serving, that the artificial manners current in society are There are some, indeed, who have so degraded themselves constracted in deference to the sentiment of humility. that they may be thought hardly entitled to affection. * The tendency of pride,' says one of the greatest and But even when called to mix with such persons, we should best of men, “to produce strife and hatred, is sufficiently remember that kindness bas a killing power, and that apparent from the pains men have been at to construct the best way to make a man respect himself, is to show a system of politeness, which is nothing more than a sort that others still would fain respect him, would he but act of mimic humility, in which the sentiments of an offensive so as to enable them to do so. Affectionateness is indisself-estimation are so far disguised and suppressed as to pensable to that kind of politeness which a man with a taake them compatible with the spirit of society ; such a heart relishes. There is no mistaking cold artificial mode of behaviour as would naturally result from an manners for the genuine courtesy of the heart. Persons attention to the apostolic injunction, “Let nothing be with the gloomy and scowling look—the harsh, querulous, done through strife or vain glory ; but in lowliness of and domineering tone-on whose brows you can trace the

mind let each esteem other better than themselves.' And clouds of the quarrel that was just hushed up as you of even the hollow forms of this virtue be so important crossed their threshold, never can be courteous in the

that we cannot dispense with them, how much more best sense of that term. There is no good society, no circle valuable must the reality be ; if the painting be both worth spending an hour in, where love is not a guest. useful and pleasing, how excellent and charming the Her presence is indispensable to the 'feast of reason and original! Humility, then, it should be kept in mind, the flow of soul.' is essential to genuine courtesy. The really humble in- A scrupulous and delicate regard to the feelings of dividual will not usurp a place to which he has no claim. others, is also an essential ingredient in the character of He will be content with his own share, or rather less, in a well-bred person. The most guarded, indeed, may conversation. Even when conscious of being in the right, occasionally trespass through ignorance or inattention, he will not express his convictions in that rude and but they who do so designedly violate the first law boisterous tone, which creates disgust both at the speaker of correct manners, which is to make all around us feel and what he says ; he will not state his views as if they as easy and cheerful as possible. There are some persons so sensitive and touchy on almost every topic, whose better that they be accomplished in manners too. It is sensitiveness, too, arises from their overweening self-con- a vulgar error that a man will scarcely be a genius and ceit, that one can scarcely be expected so to shape his at the same time a gentleman. speech as not to give them offence; while there are those who have so little regard for the feelings of others, that

PETRA, THE LONG LOST CAPITAL we almost feel it a duty, when an opportunity occurs, to

OF EDOM. lend them a pretty hard blow in return. We quite agree with the sentiment of one of the greatest of our moralists By the Rev. J. A. WYLIE, Author of the 'Modern Judea,' &c.

They who cannot take a jest, ought not to make one.' Of the many great discoveries by which the early part These exceptions apart, however, there is such a thing as of the present century was distinguished, not the least wantonly tampering with the feelings of those with whom important was that of Petra, the long lost capital of the we mingle, which is one of the grossest outrages upon Edomites. Not only did this discovery enlarge and engood breeding. If the gentle Cowper was right when he rich geographical science, it added, moreover, another said that he would not enter upon the list of his friends, and a most important fact to the stores of our biblical the man who would heedlessly set foot upon a worm, what literature. On the pages of the Bible it shed a new light are we to say of those who intentionally would crush or and a new interest. The unerring precision with which wound that sensitive, and sprightly, and loving thing, the those prophecies which relate to the land of Edom had human heart? They should be sent to herd alone. They pointed out the future state of its capital, now began to are the kind of natures whom one would be glad to see be- be understood, though before we had been able only to take themselves to the cloister or the cave; they are among guess at the meaning of these predictions, and were not the nuisances of the social circle, the banes of domestic prepared to verify, at least in every particular, their aclife. Higher motives apart, self-love should prevent such complishment. Petra, the capital of Edom, after being conduct. Who is altogether invulnerable? Is not that lost for ages, was discovered by Burckhardt in 1812. individual singularly fortunate—the rare exception--who Every thing which relates to the manner in which this has nothing in his personal appearance, habits, profession, discovery was brought about is interesting ; but, before past history, present condition, family connexions, and

we can judge of its importance, and the service it has the like, fitted, when an uncourteous and unfeeling allusion rendered to revelation, we must advert for a little to the is made to it, to stir a sigh or kindle a blush ? And early history of the city to which it relates. every man is aware when such allusions in his own case A dark chain of mountains, whose singularly ragged would be felt cruel, and he should not forget to act to- and broken outline presents to the eye many a romantic wards his neighbour on the golden maxim, . Do as you peak, stretches between the southern extremity of the would be done to.'

Dead Sea and the head of the eastern arm of the Red A prying and inquisitive disposition, too, is incompa- Sea. Here, in ancient times, dwelt the posterity of tible with true politeness. Impertinent curiosity is one Esau. In the very heart of these mountains, occupying of the chief banes of social intercourse. It is easy to see a little plain of less than two miles circumference, stood how it becomes so. You put a question respecting cir- the capital city of the people to whom this region becumstances which you have no right to know anything longed. A few holes hewn in the crags which environed about, and which common sense might tell you the party the little plain all around, formed the rude beginnings of you interrogate is not willing to disclose. The latter this city. Some of these caves were placed so high on must either equivocate, or directly falsify, or, much to the mountain's face, that the early Edomite, whose the annoyance of his own feelings, state distinctly that dwelling they formed, looked forth, like the eagle in his the question is one you have no right to put, and which, eyry, upon the little plain beneath, and the mountains therefore, he does not mean to answer. So that if to summits beyond, glowing, it might be, in the light of preserve tranquillity of mind, to impart as well as re

the morning sun, or tinged, perhaps, with his setting ceive pleasure, be the object of good manners, every rays. By and by, as their knowledge of art increased, Paul Pry in the social circle must be a very offensive and as their wealth enabled and prompted them to carry person indeed. We should keep a sharp look out' on that knowledge into effect, the inhabitants began to emthose whose conversation is chiefly in the question form. bellish the entrances of their röcky dwellings by such

True courtesy has other elements on which we do not ornaments as it belongs to the chisel to create. The enlarge at present. There is, for example, purity of con- most beautiful façades began to cover the bottom of the versation—that purity which teaches us to shun not mountains, not built, but hewn in the rock; while merely open obscenity, but which is often as dangerous- pillars, arches, temples, and elegant and luxurious covert insinuation. Then there is the propriety of feeling dwellings, rose on the little plain, and entirely covered as much at ease as may be consistent with due respect to its surface. others. “Ease,' Lord Chesterfield says, “is the standard Shut in from all the world by a rampart of rocky of politeness.' We must be courteous to those beneath mountains, beyond which, on the west, lay a sandy deour own roof, would we practise this virtue with grace in sert extending to the Nile, and on the cast, a vast society. We may rest assured that politeness is a grace plain by no means distinguished for its fertility, one of no mean order. Some may affect to contemn it: it would have thought that Petra would have been rarely says the less for their sense, their taste, their virtue. visited—that it would have been one of the most secluded That man has need of far more merit than falls to the cities in the world, and little known. Just the opposite share of ordinary mortals, who dares to act in contraven- of this was the fact. There was scarce a city of its time tion of the established forms and usages of society; and of which it could be said that it was a more frequent, or even the most accomplished in mind will be all the a more general resort. This city amid the hills of Edom

[ocr errors]

(Petra) was, for a long period, the centre of the com- to contain the multitudes that occupied it, should be merce of the world. All the riches of the East--the tenanted only by owls. myrrh and the frankincense of Arabia, the pearls and the This terrible denunciation stood on the inspired page, rich stuffs of India-passed through her on their way to but the city which was the subject of it passed away from the climes of the West. There was not a country on the the earth. It appeared strange that the same proviMediterranean shore, from Egypt on the one side to dence which had recorded against Petra a prophecy so Greece and Italy on the other, which did not look to this minute as well as so sublime, should not have preserved city amid the mountains of Seir for what its people some memorials of the city's former existence, in order needed, in addition to what its soil produced. Petra, that the exact fulfilment of the prediction might be verimoreover, was the abode of royalty, as well as the centre fied. Many began to doubt whether such a city had ever of a rich and extensive trade. She had sovereigns of her existed; for now it had been totally unknown for upown; and her people-brave in war, as well as skilful in wards of a thousand years. • Where are the proofs,' the commerce-retained their independence, when the rest infidel might ask, that there ever was such a city as of the nations bowed to the yoke of the great monarchies that against which this prophecy is pointed-a city which successively arose in the world. Nature had en- dwelling amid the clefts of the rocks-a city from which compassed her with impregnable defences; her walls were men of all nations passed out and returned ? or where the everlasting hills; and from the bottom of her moun- are the proofs that its predicted doom has been accomtains she saw the armies of Rome, which had over-run plished ? The only answer we were able to give was of the world, turn back. Such was the eminence to which, too general a nature to be perfectly satisfactory, and from small beginnings, this city rose. Not only did she much too general to silence the gainsayer. The hour challenge the admiration of the world by the singular had not yet come when the vail which hung above the beauty and extraordi character of her architecture; prediction was to be rent-when Petra was to rise from she was the resort of strangers from every region of the the dead. But that hour came at last. Drawn by the earth ; and the command she exercised over the vast thirst of discovery, the traveller directed his steps to the trade of which she was the channel, gave her great influ- dark mountains which stretch away to the south from ence over the surrounding nations. But now the sun of the extremity of the Dead Sea, and where it was known commercial prosperity, which had long shone upon Petra, the ancient Edomites had dwelt. The first European began to decline-its last and setting beams were now who had visited this country in modern times, he struck gilding her mountain-tops. To the twilight succeeded into the heart of the mountains, undismayed by the perils the night ; and, during the darkness of that night, the which attended such a journey. Providence smiled upon splendours of her day were forgotten. She passed as the undertaking, seeing He had higher purposes to serve completely from the knowledge of the world as if she than any of which the traveller was conscious. The rehad never existed. The darkness lasted for ages ; but sults of this visit, fraught as it was with consequences of when at length the night came to an end, which it did the highest importance to revelation as well as science, in the year we have already indicated (1812), Petra re. we shall give in a future number. appeared on the earth. Like a ghost summoned from the tomb, and standing on the same site where it had lived in splendour and revelled in delights, so Petra rose THE ADVANTAGES DERIVED FROM THE again amid her hoary mountains-appeared in all the

STUDY OF MENTAL PHILOSOPHY. sorrow and sadness of the grave, on the same site where she had glorified herself and lived deliciously, being sum- The observation is equally trite and true, that men, in moned from her tomb by the voice of providence; and entering either on a course of study or of commercial enfor what purpose ? How astonishing ! To bear testimony terprise, need to be incited to its efficient prosecution by to that Word, which, during her lifetime, she had denied a display of those advantages which may be expected to and opposed !

flow from it. In the principle here assumed, it is clearly There is thus an interest attaching to Petra which can implied that the amount of activity expended on the obscarce be said to belong to any other city that ever existed ject will be regulated by the convictions of the agent in on the earth. The high antiquity to which it can lay reference to its influence on his happiness. On the steadiclaim : for it goes back to the days of Esau, or very nearly ness and zeal, again, with which our aim is followed out, so-its extraordinary and romantic site—the singular success, in the large majority of instances, is chiefly decharacter of its structures; many of its temples and pendent. If this hold true generally, and if, as we are palaces being literally hewn in the rock of the mountains disposed to think, it holds eminently true of literary and amid which it stood—the incidental allusions made to it philosophical pursuits, it follows that a patient and by the inspired writers, who speak of it under the name serious estimate of the benefits resulting from any study of Selah, the city of the rocks--the notices respecting it we mean to prosecute is dictated both by duty and inwhich occur in the pages of heathen authors in those of terest. Pliny among the Romans, and in those of Strabo among Of all the sciences, Metaphysics perhaps stands most the Greeks, impart to it a peculiar charm. The last- need of that excitement which the investigation now mentioned writer especially has given a little picture alluded to is calculated to afford, in order to attract and of its appearance and position, the fidelity of which it to animate its students. The subjects of which it treats was reserved for our own age to verify : he speaks of are in the highest degree abstract and intangible. The the little plain on which it stood—of the peaks which cold and haughty goddess, realising the fable of Juno and

bristled all round it—of the fountains with which this Ixion, often melts into a cloud in the embraces of her 1 rock-girt capital was refreshed-of the gardens and votaries. The difficulty necessarily attaching to the ap

clumps of olives which occupied the clefts of the moun- prehension and treatment of topics so abstruse must i tains, and which tended somewhat to soften and beautify needs operate as a discouragement from the study. A

their hard naked sides. But what tended more than very accurate and clear perception, indeed, of the anything else to invest this city with an interest of an advantages which may reasonably be expected to acunusual kind, was the stern denunciation recorded against crue from it is required to make us prosecute with it in the volume of prophecy. While Petra was fast ris- ardour an inquiry whose subjects are frequently eluding ing to the eminence she was destined to attain, and while our grasp. Besides, the advantages of mental science she had yet before her many centuries of prosperity, her are not of that palpable class which even the dull and doom was foreshown by the prophets of Israel. They the unreflecting cannot fail to perceive and appreciate. spoke of a day when she should be brought down from the clefts of the rock where she dwelt; when her site, * We give the following as introductory to a series of papers, which the resort of strangers from every land, 'should be visited will appear at intervals, on metaphysical subjects. no more ; and when her narrow confine, then scarce able i a few to whom they will be especially welcome and interesting.

that while these may prove aseful to all our readers, there are not

We believe

[ocr errors]

Its utility is not apparent at once; its discernment is the salutary and efficient discipline. While a man may infruit and reward of patient and severe thought. In this deed find ample and exalted occupation in mastering for respect it differs widely from physical philosophy. The himself, or in expounding to others, the laws that regubearing of the latter on our comfort and convenience, late the material universe, it is surely a still more digniand especially on the interests of those who study it pro- fied occupation to ascertain and elucidate the powers and fessionally, is too direct and immediate to escape the the processes of that mysterious principle which is not only notice of even the most superficial observer. It cannot the recipient but the creator of knowledge. In metabe doubted that physical science owes its rapid progress physical and ethical investigation there is a counteracting to its intimate alliance with the arts of life. The pre- influence to those restricted and debasing impressions vailing distaste for the theoretical, has, in this instance, which the constant obtrusion of sensible objects is apt to readily yielded to the urgent and acknowledged need form and foster. These inquiries, if we may venture a of the practical bound up in it. The shell has been form of speech more forcible than exact, keep the intelbroken to extricate the kernel—the mine cleared to lect cognisant of its own existence. By turning it upon reach the ore. It is on this principle we must explain itself, they afford it the most worthy subject for the exthe fact, that the science of body, if we may so call it, crtion of its own powers. While physical science is barely has numbered more votaries and earned more triumphs, empiric, mental is also reflective. In it, indeed, reflecwithin its own range, than the science of mind. If the tion is experiment. The former branch of study, thereheavens have been, from the earliest ages, so diligently fore, calls exclusively into action the powers of observaexplored, it has been because navigation was so dependent tion and comparison. The latter gives employment in on astronomy. If the structure and properties of bodies succession to all ; communicates to each the highest deare so accurately known, it is because the love of life and gree of improvement of which it is susceptible; and thus health has prompted the study of anatomy and cheniis- preserves most effectually the proper balance of the try. If the various forces of nature have been so curi- mind. It is not,' says Dugald Stewart, .among men of ously determined, it has been because the prosecution of confined pursuits, whether speculative or active, that we trade and commerce, whence result all the conveniences are to expect to find the human mind in its highest state and elegancies of life, made imperative an acquaintance of cultivation. This conclusion may be defended by a with tha principles of mechanics. IIad the philosophy reference to the obvious fact, that the most celebrated of mind been similarly recommended, our knowledge of names, either in British or Continental literature, are, it would have been, we may believe, proportionally ad- with a very few exceptions, those of metaphysical phivanced. But it had no claims equally weighty in the losophers. vulgar estimation with those of the other sciences; and The prosecution of this study, likewise, enables us to the few faint pleadings it ventured to profler were estimate aright our own capacities. As we have no acdrowned in the clamour of its sturdy competitors. As cess to inspect the workings of other minds, the facts suredly it is not on account of any intrinsic inferiority and phenomena we are in quest of must be made knowo that mental is less popular than natural philosophy. A to us by personal experience and consciousness. A dilistatement the reverse of this would be far nearer the gent and protracted scrutiny of our individual minds is truth. Its superior dignity and refinement is the er- thus rendered imperative. This again cannot be conplanation of its neglect. Mental science is indeed in its ducted without a material increase to our acquaintance infancy, while physical has risen to manhood; but the with our own idiosyncrasies. In this study we do not infant is of a higher order of being than the adult. Na- consider the human mind abstractly so much as our owa ture is indeed a vast and gorgeous temple, but its holy of minds individually. It is by separating from the latter holies is the human mind; and while we trace in exter- what is accidental, that we reach the true conception of nal creation--and trace with wonder, reverence, and de- the former. Of how much utility the discrimination of light--the evidences of his beneficence, his wisdom, and these accidents is, no one needs to be told. We can his power, it is in that august and mysterious adytum scarcely over-estimate its importance, whether we conthat there is opened to our view the type and image of template it as conducing to the improvement of the imthe Deity.

derstanding or to the cultivation of the morals. That The causes, then, of the preference we have noticed department of philosophy for which we now plead carries are to be sought in dispositions and views of interest a lantern into the dome of thought and affection-lays which cling to us tenaciously in our present state. Our bare those obscure recesses which formerly we were too immediate concern, however, is less with the inquiry, negligent or too timid to explore-informs us where our What are the reasons of this preference? than with the strength lies, that we may put it forth; and where our fact itself which they are tendered to explain. This fact weakness, that we may apply ourselves to its removal. evinces plainly the necessity to the student of mental It is, moreover, apparent that the study of mental science of a profound conviction of its utility. We shall science must have a happy influence on the moral and attempt to impress this conviction in the sequel by indi- religious principles. The truth of this has been quescating a few of the advantages that seem naturally to flow tioned. Overlooking the fact that sacred truth has from an acquaintance with mental philosophy.

nothing to dread but everything to hope from all rightly This study is eminently fitted to refine and strengthen conducted philosophical inquiry, some have been forward the faculties of the mind, and to impart to it correct no- to denounce, as hostile to it, independent investigation into tions of its own capacities. Of all the points of analogy the mind, especially as directed to its moral powers and between our corporeal and mental organizations, there is susceptibilities. Such narrow and illiberal assaults are none more prominent than this, that, in both, exercise fitted to injure the cause they are meant to promote. is indispensable to the maintenance of health and vigour. This, indeed, is not to be feared in the case of the candid And as some modes of action are found more salutary and discriminating. In their view, the science of theology than others in their effects on the bodily system, so is will suffer as little from the indiscretion of its friends as the thinking principle variously affected by its own ap- that of mind and morals from the virulence of its adverpropriate influences. Of those which may generally be saries. If piety is to be advanced by a most impressive styled beneficial, there are different degrees of useful class of proofs of the being, the purity, the benevolence, adaptation; and there is therefore ground among them and the providence of the Deity, then the investigation for comparison and preference. To a high, if not to into the laws of mind cannot fail to be happy in its inthe very highest, place in this order of influences, we fluence. In the curious yet easy processes of that power think the study of mental science entitled to be raised. by which we apprehend the existence and the forms of By the concentrated attention it constantly demands, the external world ; in the mysterious tenacity of meby the subtle and profound analysis to which it accustoms mor;-a tenacity consistent with temporary obliviousness,

-above all, by the habit of independent thonght and in- that our experience inay only aid and not encumber us; quiry which it creates—it subjects its votaries to a most I in the crowning power of judgınent, by which we discri

« AnteriorContinuar »