SKETCHES OF MORAL AND MENTAL
Their connection with each other and their bearing on doctrinal and practical Christianity
THERE seems a special necessity in the present times, for
laying open to the light of day every possible connexion, which might be
fancied or alleged between Theology and the other Sciences. All must be aware
of a certain rampant infidelity that is now abroad, which, if neither so
cultured nor so profound as in the days of our forefathers, is still unquelled
and resolute as ever; and is now making fearful havoc, both among the disciples
of the other learned professions, and among the half educated classes of
British society. The truth is, that infidelity, foiled in its repeated attacks
on the main citadel of the Christian argument, now seeks for auxiliaries from
every quarter however remote of human speculation. There is not perhaps one of
the sciences which has not, at some time or other, been pressed into the
service; and the mischief is, that, in very proportion to their ignorance of
these sciences, might the faith of men be unsettled by the imagination of a
certain wizard power, that each of them, on the authority of some great infidel
name, has been said to possess a power, not only to cast obscuration over the
truth of Christianity, but bid the visionary fiction altogether away into the
shades from which it had been conjured. And accordingly, at one time there
arose Geology from the depths of the earth, and entered into combat with a
revelation, which, pillared on the evidence of history, has withstood the
At another, from the altitudes of the upper firmament was Astronomy brought down, and placed in hostile array against the records of our faith; and this assault also has proved powerless as the former.. Then, from the mysteries of the human spirit has it been attempted, to educe some discovery of wondrous spell by which to disenchant the world of its confidence in the gospel of Jesus Christ; and many an argument of metaphysic form has been taken from this department of philosophy, to discredit both the contents and the credentials of that wondrous manifestation; and these have been successively, though perhaps not yet fully or finally disposed of. Even, in quest of argument by which to prop the cause of infidelity or to find some new plausibility in its favour, the recesses of physiology have been explored; and from Lecture-rooms of Anatomy, both in London and elsewhere, have the lessons of materialism been given, and that to the conclusion of putting a mockery on all religion, and if possible expelling it from the face of the earth.
But perhaps the most singular attempt to graft infidelity on any thing called a science, is by those who associate their denial of the Christian Revelation with the doctrines of Phrenology - as if there were any earthly connexion between the form of the human skull, or its effect upon the human character upon the one hand, and the truth or falsehood of our religion upon the other. For, granting them all their organs, it no more tells either to the confirmation or disparagement of our historical evidence for the visitation of this earth by a messenger from Heaven, than it tells on the historical evidence for the invasion of Britain by Julius Caesar. And we venture to affirm of all the other sciences, that no discovery has been made in any of them, which is not in every way as inconsequential to the point at issue; and that the truths of all Philosophy put together as little interfere with the truths of the Gospel, as the discoveries of the astronomer interfere with the discoveries of the anatomist.
But so it is. While each science rests on an evidence of its own, and, confining itself to its own legitimate province, leaves all the other sciences to their own proper credentials and their own claims - the science of Theology has been converted into a sort of play-ground for all sorts of inroads, and that from every quarter of human speculation. Nor are we aware of a single science in the vast encyclopedia of human know]edge, which has not, in some shape or other, been turned, by one or more of its perverse disciples, into an instrument of hostility against the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless it too has an evidence of its own, alike unassailable and beyond the reach of violence from without. It is not by the hammer of the mineralogist, that this evidence can be broken. It is not by the telescope of the astronomer, that we can be made to descry in it any character of falsehood. It is not by the knife of the anatomist, that we can find our way tb the alleged rottenness which lies at its core. Most ridiculous of all, it is not by his recently invented cranioscope, that the phrenologist can take the dimensions of it and find them to be utterly awanting. And lastly, may it be shown, that it is not by a dissecting metaphysics, that the philosopher of the human mind can probe his way to the secret of its insufficiency; and make exposure to the world of the yet unknown flaw, which incurably vitiates and so irreparably condemns either the proofs or the subject-matter of the Christian faith.
All these sciences have, at one time or other, cast their missiles at the stately fabric of our Christian philosophy and erudition; but they have fallen impotent at its base. They have offered insult but done no injury, save to the defenceless youth whose principles they have subverted, or to those men of ambitious vanity yet imperfect education whose little learning is a dangerous thing. If pedantry be defined the untimely introduction of science, with its imposing nomenclature, either into companies that cannot understand it, or into subjects where it is wholly inapplicable, then is this the most mischievous and unfeeling of all pedantry. It were well to expose it and disarm it of its power over the imaginations of ignorance - to prove that Theology has an independent domain of her own, where, safe in her own inherent strength and in the munitions by which she is surrounded, she can afford to be at peace with her neighbours, and, free from all apprehension or envy, can rejoice in the prosperity of all the sciences. Analogous with these repeated attempts on the part of a vain philosophy to destroy the credentials of our faith, is the attempt, and under the guise of lofty science too, of that transcendental scripture criticism which flourishes in Germany, to vitiate and transform its subject-matter.
Now the ways to meet the ignorant pedantry of this attempt, is to make distinction between such a scripture-criticism as that which accomplished the English translation of our Bible, and that very best and highest scripture-criticism, which, if brought to bear on this our own popular version, might confer on it the utmost improvement or rectification of which it is susceptible. The one might be termed the ordinary scripture-criticism of which we enjoy the benefit in our own land, the other, the transcendental scripture-criticism, most cultivated in Germany while comparatively unknown among ourselves. Now what we affirm is that the ordinary scripture-criticism brings the whole substance of theology within our reach; and that in our Authorized Version, the product of that scripture criticism, not only are all the articles of theology accurately rendered; but that every article of the least importance, whether estimated practically or scientifically, is therein to be found. And it further admits, we think, of sound and impregnable demonstration - that it lies not within the power of the transcendental scripture-criticism either to change or to undermine this theology. It might make certain infinitesimal additions to our former knowledge, in things minute and circumstantial, and by all means let us have these; but we utterly mistake and overrate its powers, when we think that, by its means we shall ever be able - either to make any material additions by which to enlarge, or any material alterations by which to transform the system of doctrine, that, with slight variations, has been espoused by all the reformed churches of Christendom. It might defend the faith; but it will not enlarge the faith. As an instrument of defence it is most valuable; but as an instrument of discovery it is a microscope, and not a telescope - dealing in things that are minute, but not in things that are momentous.
There are certain difficuties which it can master, certain scriptural enigmas which it can resolve, certain éciaircisseniens which we should like it to prosecute to the uttermost. But as to the capita fidel, as to all the moralities of the Christian -practice, or all the heads and articles of the Christian faith, it can make no additions to these, it can make no changes on these. It is powerful as a protector of the great truths we have; but not as a discoverer of more - as a shield to our existing orthodoxy, but not as an architect by which either to take it down, or to substitute another orthodoxy in its place. We are not refusing its pretensions to a very high place in our schemes of ecclesiastical education; for by its means, we repel the inroads of heresy, and raise a bulwark to the faith. -But we utterly refuse the mischievous pretensions which have been made for it, to amend, or to alter, -or even to subvert that faith. They who put forth such extravagant pretensions wholly misunderstand the instrumentality and the functions, not of the ordinary, but of the superlative scripture criticism; and this attempt to injure and to unsettle, by means of the science of scripture-criticism, is of a piece with the attempts to turn to the same unhallowed purpose all the other sciences.
On the Distinction between the Moral and Mental Philosophy.
1. THE two terms Moral and Mental are often held as
synonymous with each other. In its primitive and right meaning, Moral stands
opposed to vicious or immoral, and so is tantamount to the virtuous or good in
character. In its later meaning, it stands contrasted with Material; and thus
by the moral world, we are made to understand the world of minds - and so Moral
Science is equivalent to Mental Science, or that Philosophy, the object of
which is to assign the laws and properties of the substance Mind, in
contradistinction to that other Philosophy, which, comprehensive of many
sciences, assigns the laws and properties of the substance Matter. It is thus
that Moral Philosophy has greatly widened, of late, the field of its topics and
inquiries; and, instead of being what it wont, a manageable and well-defined
science, has become a medley of incongruous subjects - charging itself with a
sort of mastery or control over all the sciences; and, on the principle
perhaps, that, in virtue of the cognizance which it takes of mind, it might
extend this cognizance to all which the mind has to do with_making inroads on
every territory of human speculation, and ranging illimitably or at pleasure
over all the provinces of human thought.
2. It were well to reduce this strange concretion; or to marshal aright into proper and distinct groups, the ill-sorted members of this vast and varied miscellany. And first, regarding the mind as the seat of certain affections and processes, we would assign to Mental Science as its legitimate and sole office, the investigation of these viewed simply as phenomena. The recordof these would form the Natural History of the mind. The classification of these would form its Natural Philosophy. The Mental Science comprehensive of both; taking cognizance of all the various states of mind, with the changes or sequences which take place on these in given circumstances, as so many facts which it must describe aright and register aright it thus presents us with the Physics of the Mind, with the Physiology of Dr. Thomas Brown, with the Pneumatology of an older generation. It is thus that Mental Science lies as much within the domain of experimental or observational truth, as does the Science of the Material Universe. The one is as much the science of actual events or of existent objects, as the other. The quid est of Mind, whatever can be predicated thereof as descriptively or historically true, belongs to Mental Science just as the quid est of Matter, whatever can be predicated thereof as descriptively or historically true, belongs to Material Science. Each is a science of pure observation; and the Inductive Philosophy of Lord Bacon is alike applicable to both.
3. But the quid est is not to be confounded with the quid oportet; and Moral Truth is in every way as distinct from the facts or principles which make up the actual constitution of the human mind, as Mathematical Truth is distinct from the actual laws and properties of the material world. The question, What are the affections or purposes of the mind, is wholly distinct and dissimilar from the question which relates to the rightness and wrongness of these affections or purposes. My knowledge that such a purpose or passion exists, is one thing; my judgment of its character is another. In the one case, it is viewed historically as a fact; in the other it is viewed morally as a vice or a virtue. In the one aspect, it belongs to mental; in the other, to moral science - two sciences distinct from each other in nature, and which ought never to have been so blended, as to have been treated like one and the same science in our courses of philosophy.
4. It is true that every moral perception or moral feeling has its being or residence in the mind; but this forms no greater reason for viewing moral as identical with mental science, than for so viewing any physical or even mathematical science. Every perception of external nature, or even of the properties in geometry, has as much its residence in the mind, as have our perceptions of Ethical truth; and the thing perceived should no more be confounded with the perception, in the one department than in the other. The objective truth is alike distinct from the subjective sense or notion of it, in all the sciences. In looking to the rightness or wrongness of certain acts and certain dispositions, the mind is no more looking to itself - than when looking abroad on the fields, or taking an observation in Astronomy. The judge on the bench needs no more have been looking inwardly during the currency of a protracted trial, than the mathematician during the whole process of a lengthened algebraical investigation. Mental Science is as distinct from all other sciences, including the ethical and the logical, as our notions of things are from the things themselves. In the act of estimating what is right in morals, or what is sound in reasoning, or what is correct in taste, we no more look to the mind than we do in the act of estimating what is true in Geometry, or of estimating any of the properties of material substances. If Mental Science, then, have absorbed the Moral and Intellectual Sciences, it might claim for itself the monopoly of all the sciences. Moral Philosophy is the Philosophy of Morals, not the Philosophy of Mind.
5. But, as we have already in part intimated, Mental Science has not only usurped the Science of Ethics, but also Logic and the Philosophy of Taste. There is no sufficient reason for this. The mind is not thinking of itself at all, in the act either of constructing a syllogism, or of proflouncing on the legitimacy of its conclusion. And it is as little thinking of itself, when estimating the beauties of a landscape, as when forming an estimate of its magnitudes and distances.
6. In spite however of these considerations, there has been in these sciences a process, not of further subdivision, as in the Philosophy of Matter; but, marvellous to say, a process of annexation and monopoly. Once that the Moral became equivalent to the Mental Philosophy, then it broke forth, by an act of violent aggression, beyond the confines of its own legitimate territory, and usurped a right of cognizance and domination, not only over the whole sciences of our spiritual and intellectual nature, but over other sciences standing in the same relation to that of mind as itself does. As if the Ethical department did not afford a sufficient range, Moral Philosophy has gone forth, and made forcible seizure on the principles of Taste, on the Metaphysics of Grammar, on the whole physiology of the mind, with all its feelings and all its faculties, and lastly on the laws and methods of the human understanding. It is certainly strange that while all other Philosophy is more shared and subdivided than before, with the accumulation of its materials all these subjects should thus have been heaped together into one aggregate under the title of Moral Philosophy, and the whole burden of it laid upon one solitary Professorship. Even centuries ago, a separation was deemed necessary, as may be inferred from the very existence in our Universities of a Logic along with a Moral Philosophy class and it does seem inexplicable, that, in proportion as truths are multiplied, the smaller should be the number of repositories in which they are laid. It is thus that Moral Philosophy is now in a state of compression; and that its Lectureship has, in some degree, become a heterogeneous medley of topics which are but ill adjusted with each other. We have for years been in the habit of regarding this not merely as incommodious for the practical business of a University; but in itself as unphilosophical. We hold the whole of this domain to be wide enough for being broken down into its sections and its provinces; and, both to reduce the plethoric magnitude of one subject as well as to save an invidious usurpation on the right and property of others, we do think it expedient, that when there is for the Philosophy of Taste a class of Rhetoric, and for the Philosophy of Knowledge a class of Logic, the distinct and appropriate business of this one class should be the Philosophy of Duty.
7. And we apprehend that down to the days of Hutcheson, and even of Dr. Adam Smith, Moral Philosophy was mainly and substantially the Philosophy of Morals. Both of these eminent writers were chiefly ethical; and did, we understand, in their University courses, very much confine themselves either to the principles of virtue, or to its motives and practical applications. It was, we imagine, in the days of Hume, that Moral Philosophy first broke over its original barriers, and made the widest diffusion of itself throughout the other departments in the science of human nature. Certain it is, that the infidelity of that distinguished philosopher bore a threatening aspect on the very foundations of morality; and called forth, at his first appearance, a noble reaction of vigilance and alarm, on the part of its defenders. Among these the professors of Moral Philosophy took, as became them, a conspicuous place; and seized on every outpost of advantage, from which they might repel the inroads of this wasteful and withering scepticism. But it was mainly a warfare on the grounds of evidence or belief and so, a careful review had to be taken of the intellectual powers; and the champions of morality, directing their main force to the quarter of attack, felt themselves principally called upon at that period to guard and illustrate the whole philosophy of the understanding. It was thus that in the hands of Reid and Beattie, the moral and the metaphysical came to be so intimately blended; and even after they had achieved the important service on which they went forth, did they still linger on the field of combat, and neither they nor yet their successors have retired within the limits of the original encampment. In this way the proper and the primary topics of a Moral Philosophy class have been in a great measure overborne; nor do we see, in the writings either of Stewart or Brown, any tendency to restore these topics to the place and the preeminence which belong to them.
8. We are informed by one of Dr. Smiths biographers, that, In the professorship of Logic, he soon saw the necessity of departing widely from the plan that had been followed by his predecessors; and of directing the attention of his pupils to studies of a more useful and interesting nature, than the Logic and Metaphysics of the schools. Accordingly, after exhibiting a general view of the powers of the mind, and explaining so much of the ancient logic as was requisite to gratify curiosity, with respect to the artificial mode of reasoning which had once occupied the universal attention of the learned, he dedicated all the rest of his time to the delivery of a system of Rhetoric and Belles Lettres. He afterwards became Professor of Moral Philosophy in Glasgow, which he treated purely as the Science of Morals, and divided it thus into four parts. The first contained Natural Theology, in which he considered the proofs of the Being and Attributes of God, and those principles of the human mind upon which religion is founded. The second comprehended Ethics strictly so called. In the third he treated at more length of that branch of morality which relates to justice; and which, being susceptible of precise and accurate rules, is capable of a more systematic demonstration. In the fourth he explained those political regulations which are founded upon expediency, and which are calculated to increase the riches, the power, and the prosperity of a state.
9. Now this may serve as a specimen of what Moral Philosophy once was - standing in wide contrast to what it now is, since it suffered the transformation of which we have been speaking. When engaged in the duties of a Professor of Logic, Dr. Smith did feel himself called upon to exhibit a general view of the powers of the mind, and to explain the most useful parts of Metaphysics - and, besides grafting the distinct subject of Rhetoric upon his course, to examine the several ways of communicating our thoughts by speech. And when from this professorship, he entered upon that of Moral Philosophy instead of availing himself, as he well might, of the preparations that he had already accumulated - if Moral Philosophy had then been what it has now become in our present day he evidently sets himself to it as altogether a new subject, and feels as if he was entering on a wholly distinct region of speculation. In the sketch now given of his labours in his second chair, we read of Natural Theology, and Ethics, and Jurisprudence, and Political Economy - but not one word of Metaphysics. And we venture to affirm, that, without any aid from this last science, he both conceived and brought to maturity his most valuable speculations.
10. It is very true that, in virtue of his previous attentions to Logic, he might have been better qualified for the prosecution of his new labours in Moral Philosophy just as a certain mathematical preparation is indispensable to the study of Natural Philosophy. But this does not affect our position of the subjects being distinct, and that they ought to be laid on distinct professorships. We should esteem it a most oppressive imposition on him, whose office it is to unfold the doctrines of Natural Philosophy were he also required to teach all the Geometry and Algebra, that might be indispensable to the understanding of his demonstrations. And it were surely equally unreasonable, it were blending two professorships into one, it had to a certain extent been translating Dr. Smith to substantially the same professorship under a different name, should it have been held incumbent on him, or on any of his successors in office, instead of laying an immediate seizure on the truth which directly belonged to their own appropriate science, to have entered on an analysis of the powers by which, truth is investigated. This is the office of another labourer; and, if it must be fulfilled upon the student - ere he is a fit subject for the demonstrations of Ethical Science, this is only saying that Logic should precede the Moral, even as Mathematics precede the Natural Philosophy.
11. But in point of fact, the truths of Ethical Science may be apprehended without any antecedent investigation on our part of the apprehending faculty. In like manner as the visible qualities of an object, may all be looked to and so ascertained without once thinking of the eye so there are many thousands of objects in every department of Science, and Moral Science among the rest, which may all be regarded with most correct and intelligent observation, without the bestowing of so much as a thought on the observant mind. There is one philosopher who has outstripped all his predecessors in those high efforts of analysis, by which he has unravelled the operations and powers of our mental system. But admitting the soundness, as we do the talent and originality of his speculations, still we refuse to acknowledge them as forerunners and scarcely even as auxiliaries to the study of Moral Philosophy. We question their subserviency to the demonstrations of Natural Theology, or Ethics, or Jurisprudence, or Political Economy. Admitting many of his positions regarding the Physiology of the mind to be truths, still they are truths irrelevant to the proper object of Ethical Science. And, however much it may startle the admirers of one who emitted so powerful a light during his short but brilliant day, and who has left in posthumous authorship a monument of proud endurance behind him yet we shall esteem the conclusive separation of his Mental from the Moral Philosophy, to be as great a deliverance for the latter, as Dr. Smith seems to have felt, when, departing widely from the plan that had been followed by his predecessors, he cleared away from the business of his first professorship the Logic and Metaphysics of the schools.
12. But this great philosopher himself is thoroughly aware of the distinction; and, we think too, must have been aware of the independence in a great degree of the two subjects of the Intellectual and the Moral Philosophy. If, however, during the flourishing periods of Greek and Roman letters, this intellectual analysis was little cultivated, the department of the philosophy of the mind, which relates to practical Ethics, was enriched, as I have said, by moral speculations the most splendid and sublime. In those ages, indeed, and in countries in which no revealed will of Heaven had pointed out and sanctioned one unerring rule of right, it is not to be wondered at, that, to those who were occupied in endeavouring to trace and ascertain such a rule in the moral nature of man, all other mental inquiries should have seemed comparatively insignificant. It is even pleasing thus to find the most important of all inquiries regarded as truly the most important, and minds of the highest genius, in reflecting on their own constitution, so richly diversified and adorned with an almost infinite variety of forms of thought, discovering nothing, in all this splendid variety so worthy of investigation, as the conduct which it is fitting for man to pursue.( Brown Lecture I.)
13. At a time then when the intellectual analysis was little cultivated, the department of Ethics was enriched by splendid and sublime moral speculations. We are aware of a prejudice by which many are disposed to think that when there is much splendour, there is no solidity. But we affirm that there might be solid as well as sublime moral speculations, by those who cultivate the intellectual analysis as little as the ancients did just as a man can not only be dazzled by the glories of a landscape, without so much as the consciousness of that retina which hath taken in the impression of it; but can also take accurate cognizance of all the objects which are there placed before him.
14. We regard splendour as at best a very ambiguous compliment, when ascribed to any speculation. But what we contend for is, not that splendid, but that sound ethical speculation may he formed without the aid of the intellectual analysis. We are not at present inquiring into the justness of this analysis, and offer no reflection either on the truth or the importance of Dr. Browns speculations on the physiology of the mind. But every thing in its own place. And what we affirm is, that, to make the antecedent knowledge of our mental frame in all its parts a preliminary to the study of Ethics, is just laying as heavy and uncalled for a servitude upon this subject, as it would be to require a familiarity with all the methods of the fluxionary calculus, ere we admitted a scholar into the studies of Chemistry. It is as competent a thing to lay an immediate hand on Moral Philosophy, without any reflex view beforehand of the powers and principles of our mental constitution - as it is to lay an immediate hand on the diagrams of Geometry, without one thought of the constitution of that eye by which we are made to perceive them.
15. Dr. Thomas Brown, though in practice he followed the example of his predecessors - yet, aware of the distinction on which we now insist between Moral and Mental science, expresses himself as follows: In one very important respect, however, the inquiries, relating to the physiology of Mind, differ from those which relate to the physiology of our animal frame. If we could render ourselves acquainted with the intimate structure of our bodily organs, and all the changes which take place, in the exercise of their various functions, our labour, with respect to them, might be said to terminate. But though our intellectual analysis were perfect, so that we could distinguish, in our most complex thought, or emotion, its constituent elements, and trace with exactness the series of simpler thoughts which have progressively given rise to them, other inquiries, equally or still more important, would remain. We do not know all which is to be known of the mind when we know all its phenomena, as we know all which can be known of matter, when we know the appearances which it presents, in every situation in which it is possible to place it, and the manner in which it then acts or is acted upon by other bodies. When we know that man has certain affections and passions, there still remains the great inquiry, as to the propriety or impropriety of those passions, and of the conduct to which they lead. We have to consider, not merely how he is capable of acting, but also, whether, acting in the manner supposed, he would be fulfilling a duty or perpetrating a crime. Every enjoyment which man can confer on man, and every evil, which he can reciprocally inflict or suffer, thus become objects of two sciences - first of that intellectual analysis which traces the happiness and misery, in their various forms and sequence, as mere phenomena or states of the substance mind ;and secondly, of that ethereal judgment, which measures our approbation and disapprobation, estimating, with more than judicial scrutiny, not merely what is done, but what is scarcely thought in secrecy and silence, and discriminating some element of moral good or evil, in all the physical good and evil, which it is in our feeble power to execute, or in our still frailer heart, to conceive and desire. (Brown - Lecture I.)
16. This is not very distinctly expressed; and yet we may gather from it, how it is that Moral Philosophy may yet be recalled from that wide and unlimited survey which it has lately taken of our nature. In the hands of some of our most celebrated professors, it has been made to usurp the whole domain of humanity insomuch that every emotion which the heart can feel, and every deed which the hand can perform, have in every one aspect, whether relating to moral character or not, come nnder the cognizance of Moral Philosophy. Now even though Moral Philosophy were to have some sort of reference to every exhibition that humanity gives forth, yet it does not follow that Moral Philosophy should comprehend all that might be affirmed, and affirmed truly, of every exhibition. Geography has a reference to every one spot on the surface of the globe; but there ig only one particular thing relating to that spot of which it takes cognizance, and that is the local position of it. There are many other things which might be affirmed of the same spot, wherewith strictly and properly Geography has nothing to do. The flora, for example, of the district belongs to Botany; its subterraneous productions to Mineralogy; its political revolutions to History - and, though in geographical grammars all these circumstances are adverted to, yet there is an overstepping on the part of Geography, when it extends its regards beyond the locality of the place in relation to other countries, or its locality in relation to the mimdane system. We have here the example of several sciences - all bearing as it were on one spot of earth, and each claiming its own peculiar share of the truths or the informations which relate to it. And so of each action in the territory of human life - which may be regarded in various aspects, and to the production of which there behovcd to be the co-operation perhaps of many distinct feelings and faculties of our nature; and which therefore in all its circumstances it were wrong to refer to Moral Philosophy, although this science has lately monopolized them all.
A man, for example, may eye with tasteful admiration a neighbours estate; and he may calculate its value; and he may feel a covetous affection towards it; and he may enter on a series of artful and unjust proceedings, by which to involve the proprietor in difficulties, and compel a surrender, and possess himself of that domain by the beauties of whose landscape he was at first attracted, and by the calculation of whose worth he was determined, though at the expense of rectitude and honour, to seize upon it. Now here there are various principles blended together in one exhibition; and each coming forth into development and display within the limits of one passage in the history of an individual. Each, we say, belongs to separate provinces in the philosophy of man; and Moral Philosophy ought not to have engrossed them all, as it has done. It belongs to the Philosophy of Taste to take cognizance of that impression of loveliness which man takes in from external scenery. It belongs to the Philosophy of the Understanding, to take cognizance of his intellectual processes. And it is only with the rise of the covetous affection, and the promptings of it to iniquitous conduct, that Moral Philosophy has properly to do. Each of the two first stands as nearly related to the human mind, as does the last of these sciences - rhe strict and special province of which, we again repeat, is the Philosophy of Duty.
17. Before proceeding further, let us consider shortly, what the precise thing is which entitles this or indeed any other subject to the name of a Philosophy.
18. When one looks to a multitude of objects, and can see no circumstance of similarity between them, each individual may be the object of a distinct perception - and each, perhaps, may have obtained a hold upon the memory of the observer - but in no way, can they be made the objects ot a common philosophy, it is with resemblances, in fact, and with these alone, that Philosophy is conversant - and were each one thing or event in Nature unlike to every other, then there could be no Philosophy and that purely from the want of materials. The office of Philosophy is to group objects or events together according to their resemblances - to put them into classes - and it is some certain likeness between the individuals of a class, that constitutes what may be called the classifying circumstance. The discovery of the Law of Gravitation, was just the discovery of a likeness between the way in which a stone is drawn to the ground, - and the way in which the Moon is drawn to our Earth, or Planets to the Sun, or each one particle of matter to each other in the universe. And so, it will be found from every instance, that Philosophy consists altogether in the classification of individual facts - and that every such classification is founded on some common resemblance among the individuals.
19. When the individuals are without any resemblance, or at least without any resemblance that is observed - the mind may still have a regard to them - but it cannot in any way regard them philosophically - and that, just because they cannot be associated together into one object of general contemplation. The state into which the mind is thrown when a medley of dissimilar objects is made to pass before it, may be imagined, in the case of an uninitiated spectator, who has been carried from one apartment to another of a very crowded museum. It may be true that a principle of classification reigns over all the varieties of this complex spectacle - but if not palpable to the eye of a visitor - he sees nothing in all that is before him, but a number of unlike and unconnected individuals. It must be admitted that even he, though he were wholly unpractised in science, and still more, though scarcely advanced beyond the limits of infancy can seize upon the broad resemblances of things, and so, all unconscious to himself, has made some steps or advances in Philosophy, he can recognize the general similarity that runs through shells and plants and minerals and coins, and by which each is arranged into a generic class of its own. But there are certain recondite similarities which the eye of his observation has not yet reached - and in reference to these, each individual specimen of the same family stands isolated and detached from all the others. And so it is, that, while the man of science can subordinate into gradations and manageable parts, this whole contemplation, the man of mere spectacle is baffled and overwhelmed by it. He is lost among those endless diversities, between which he can perceive no tie of resemblance or relationship - and retires from the dazzling confusion in as great perplexity, and with fully as little profit, as if he had given the perusal of many hours to the dates and the distances and the offices and all the other miscellanies that lie scattered over the pages of an almanac. instead of the student having a master view of the subject-the subject would fairly master and overcome the student. It gives to one the same superiority over Nature, when, in virtue of certain discovered resemblances, he can arrange the various objects which compose it into their respective departments - that he has over the thousands of an else undisciplined mob, who, by the word of command, can marshal them into the regiments of a well ordered army. This forms a main distinction between the philosopher and the peasant. The one may be said to have an intellectual command over the phenomena of Nature, when he groupes and arranges these objects of his thought, according to their perceived resemblances; while the other, looking upon Nature as a vast miscellany, and unaware of many at least of the resemblances, views each event in its own particularity, and can trace no relation of likeness among the facts and the phenomena by which he is surrounded.
20. One of our own poets has said, that the proper study of mankind is man - and yet were we to enumerate all the distinct acts of his history, and all the distinct exhibitions of his character, and view them as so many separate amid independent facts, we should feel bewildered amid their vast and interminable variety. The creature appears to be susceptible of as many influences, as there are objects without him, that may be addrest to his notice, or brought to bear upon any of his senses - and, when under one or other of these influences, he is seen at one time to weep, at another to smile and look satisfied, at a third to be transported into anger, or love, or vehement ambition - when each of his multitudinous desires is seen to break forth into deeds or expressions that are alike multitudinous - we should feel it a relief from the fatigue of such a contemplation, could some common characteristics be seized upon, that might assemble so mighty a host of individuals into a few species or families. Now the leading topic of an ethical course supplies us at least with one such characteristic. There is an exceeding number both of the outward acts and the inward emotions of a human being - that may at once be recognized as being morally right or morally wrong. There is one common aspect under which they may all be regarded and even those actions to which no moral character may be assigned, by being grouped together under the common title of actions of indifference, are capable of being described with a reference to the great subject of Moral Philosophy. It is thus that, in the treatment of this subject, we feel ourselves placed on a vantage-ground, whence we may survey the whole of human life, and take cognizance in all its phases and varieties of the human character - and from the individual actions in which there is found to be a moral rightness, we can, in the very way in which a Philosophy is formed out of the resembling facts in other departments of human investigation, ascend from the separate moralities of human conduct to a Moral Philosophy.
21. All are aware how in the construction of a map, they can simplify and reduce to the minds eye the whole geography of a district, by one leading.line of reference, from which all the positions that lie scattered on the surface of the land, can be thrown off in their respective bearings and distances, from that line to which they have been subordinated. And it is thus that we may have the map of human life submitted to our observation - by running as it were through the whole moral territory the line of unerring rectitude, or if more convenient the line of deniarcation between right and wrong; and, from this, deriving an estimate of every individual action that is brought under our cognizance. It is true that we cannot, in this way, arrive at a thorough acquaintance with all which may be predicated of any given action - no more than from the chart of an empire, we can collect the population, or the climate, or the agriculture, or the mineral and vegetable productions of every given spot that is within its confines. But still we obtain a certain information of every spot, for we obtain its geographical position - and so, although it is not the part of Moral Philosophy to teach all that relates to the feelings,and the actions of a human creature, although, we must consult the science of Pneumatology and the Philosophy of Taste and the Philosophy of Knowledge ere we can be said to complete what may be called the Philosophy of Man - yet it is well that by the means of the Philosophy of Duty, we can command at least one generalized view of human life; and bring within the sweep as it were of one comprehensive estimate, what might otherwise have lain as so many loose and scattered individualities along the track of a mans history in the world.
22. The mind feels nothing but defeat and difficulty among a multitude of individuals - but when it can seize upon some one quality that is cornmon to them all, then, by means of this as a family likeness, it is invested with a certain ascendancy over the subject, and can bring it within the limits of one general contemplation. That quality which it is the part of Moral Science to find in human actions, and by which it arranges them into classes of its own, is their moral rightness. This it finds to be attached to an exceeding diversity both of the doings of a mans history, and the feelings of his heart - and, in the act of regarding these, it rises to a very extended review of our nature. But the mere magnitude of its survey is exceeded by the vast importance of it - an importance which is directly announced to us by the very name that is given to this Science-and by which we learn that the whole questiou of moral good and evil is submitted to its cognizance. There is an intrinsic greatness in the question itself, apart from its bearing upon every other interest - and this is enhanced to the uttermost, when we further think how momentous the interests be which are suspended on the resolution of it - when we reflect on the moral state of man, as it infers a, certain connexion with the God who is above him, and a certain consequence in the Eternity that is before him, - and when in the things about which this science is conversant, we behold not merely the most urgent and affecting concerns of a present world, but that they form as it were an opening vista into the magnificence and glory of a world which lies beyond it.
23. It is the natural and we believe the almost constant practice of every instructor, to expatiate on the great worth if not the superiority of his own assigned portion in the encyclopedia of human knowledge. So, that at the opening of every academic course, the student in passing from one introductory lecture to another, may, amid the high-coloured eulogies which are pronounced upon all the sciences, be at a loss how to assign the rank and the precedency of each of them. It is the very perfection of the divine workmanship that leads every inquirer to imagine a surpassing grace and worth and dignity in his own special department of it. Yet surely it is not possible to be deluded by any over-weening estimate of a theme, which reaches upwards to the high authority of heaven, and forward to the destinies of our immortal nature.
24. And here it occurs to us to say, that it gives a unity and a simplicity to our contemplations of human life, somewhat akin to the effect that is produced by the generalizations of philosophy, when we look to man in those greater elements of his being, and according to the high relationships in which he stands to the God who called him into existence, and to the coming futurities of an existence that is endless. When man lives at random, and under the ever - varying impulse of the objects which surround him, he is like a traveller entertained perhaps at every new turn and evolution of the scenery through which he passes out who, all unconscious of the geography that is hefore him, is lost and bewildered among the mazes of an unknown land. But let him rise to the top of a commanding eminence, and the whole prospect is submitted to him - and deserving, as he now may, both the near and distant objects the landscape, he can both so take his aim, and guide his direction, as might give a design and a consistency to all his movements. And so of him, who rambles through life without one thought of the presiding authority that is above, the great everlasting that is before himn - and with whom each day has its own peculiar walk, hut not one day all the while spent with any practical or decided reference to the coming immortality. He lives in a sort of hourly fluctuation among the currente that play and circulate within the limits of this world - but he lives without any general drift thet sets in his hopes or his pursuits or his wishes upon another world. It is the doctrine of a moral government that has omnipotence for its head, and for its issues a deathless futuritv - it is this which places the traveller through life on the very eminence that gives him to see afar, and with a reach of anticipation that overmasses the interrnediate distance between him and the grave - it is this which sublimes humanitv, and carries it beyond the confines of earth on which humanity has but for a few little years to expatiate - it is this which reduces the perspective of existence to its greater lineaments ; and, instead of a desultory creature at the mercy of a thousand lesser and fortuitous influences, it is this which establishes the footsteps of man on a loftier path, and causes every aim and every movement to bear upon the mark of a high calling.
25. But it is worthy of remark - that, just as we sublime the prospects of humanity, we simplify them. We become conversant with greater elements - but though great, they are few, as has been well observed of Astronomy the most magnificent of all the sciences, and yet in one respect the simplest of them all - because of the one or two forces that act on the great masses of the system,- and whereof the resulting phenomena can he far more easily traced, than those which proceed from the more complex relations, whether of Chemistry or of the Animal and Vegetable Physioiogy. And so, of the celestial in Morality as well as in Physics. We are as it were raised high above the intricacies of a terrestrial maze - and if, among the cloudless transparencies of the region to which we have been elevated, we are made familiar with greatness we, while looking down on the earth that is beneath and onward to the radiant heaven after which we aspire, we are less bewildered by complexity than before. And here perhaps the difference between Knowledge and Wisdom may be made apparent. On the one hand it is possible to know much, and yet be destitute of wisdom; and on the other hand to be wise, though in possession of very few materials of knowledge.
This difference is well exemplified by a christian peasant and a man of the world - the latter of whom knows life in its modes and phases and according to the varieties of a multiplied experience - and the former of whom, ignorant of all these particulars, knows it in relationship to the eternal fountainhead whence it has issued, to the path of righteousness along which it must run, and the immeasurable ocean of bliss and glory into which it falls at the outlet of our earthly dissolution. The few great simplicities of his state are the all with which he is conversant; and his wisdom lies in the recognition that he makes of their worth and their greatness - a recognition, not by the consent of the understanding only, but by the conformity of his whole heart and habit to the important realities wherewith he has to do. For wisdom includes in it something more than discernment - it is discernment followed up by the adoption of a right choice and a right conduct. It has in it more of a practical character than belongs to mere knowledge, or even to judgment - for it not only perceives such truths as are addrest to it, but it also proceeds upon them - and we repeat of many an unlettered sage, that, solely because he has seized on the few greater elements of Humanity, and admitted them to have the ascendancy over him - there is a reach and a dignity about the whole man which mere Philosophy cannot attain to - a pure and elevated serene, that is not to he disturbed by those earth-born anxieties which tyrannize over the hearts of ordinary men - even a grace and propriety in all his movements, because each is in keeping with one another, and with the grand purpose of existence - a march of consistency through the world, that gives somewhat the gait of nobility even to the humble occupier of a cottage, who, in walking with his God, feels a gathering radiance upon a path that is enlightened from above, and that bears him onward to the realms of immortality.
26. We may readily conceive the mastery, which it gives to an inquirer over all the phenomena, which are offered to his notice, on any given subject of contemplation - when he is put into the possession of some leading principle, which is adapted to all, and gives a place and a subordination to all. It is thus with the law of gravitation, when, by the aid of mathematics, it is made to harmonize into one simple and beautiful principle all the intricacies of our planetary system. And it is thus too with certain laws in Political Economy, by which a determinate impulse is given to the mechanism of trade - and whole classes of phenomena are reducible to one compendious expression. And it is thus too that a habit of mind, like unto that which is acquired by him who is much exercised among the generalizations of Philosophy, is exemplified by the christian peasant - for he also is daily and familiarly conversant with the most sublime of all generalizations. There is with him, the great interest that absorbs all the lesser interests of his being-a high relationship with his Creator, to which the countless influences that play upon his moral system from all parts of the surrounding creation are made most thoroughly subordinate - one magnificent and engrossing aim, in the prosecution of which he becomes familiar with great conceptions, and rises to a sort of mental ascendancy over all the diversities of visible existence, as he thinks of the God who originated all, and of the eternity which is to absorb all - one complete and comprehensive rule of righteousness that is suited to all the varying circumstances of humanity; and in the application of which he can pervade the whole of life with one character, just as the philosopher can pervade all the phenomena that lie in the field of his contemplation with some one law or principle of nature. And so religion and morality do more than exalt the imagination of a peasant. They elevate the whole cast of his intellect. They familiarize him to abstractions which are altogether akin with the abstractions of Philosophy. The man who has become a Christian, can, on that very account, look with a more philosophic eye than before over the amplitudes of nature - and, accustomed as he now is to a generalized survey of human life and its various concerns, he can the more readily be made to apprehend the reigning principle which assimilates the facts and the phenomena in any one department of investigation that has been offered to him. Hence it is, that it has so often been distinctly observed-how the reformation which gives a new heart, also brings in its train a new and a more powerful understanding than before - how, at this transition, the whole man, not only softens into goodness, but brightens into a clearer and larger intelligence - how, more particularly, instead of being lost as before among the endless specialities which lie in Nature or in the multitude of its individual objects, all untutored as he has been in the schools of Philosophy, he is now capable of lofty and general speculation; and, with the faith which has now entered into his bosom, he has received at the same time the very elements of a philosophical character.
27. It is this alliance between the understanding and the heart - it is the undoubted fact that he who has practically entered upon the generalizations of moral and religious principle, is all the more fitted thereby for entering upon the generalizations of science - it is the way, in which however we may explain it, the purity of ones character gives a power and a penetration to his intellect - it is the connexion between the singleness of an eye that is set upon virtue, and such an openness to the truth which beams upon us from every quarter of contemplation as to make the whole man full of light it is this which makes it pertinent, and before we have at all entered on the philosophy of Moral Science, to bid, as the best preparation for its lessons, a most devout and deferential regard to the lessons of conscience. There is nought of the science, and nought of the direct observations of Astronomy, in the simple notice to its pupils that they should frequently repair to the observatory, and avail themselves of the instruments which are provided there - yet, anterior to all demonstration, it is entirely in place to deliver such an intimation at the very outset of their study of the heavens. And when entering on the study of their moral nature, although nothing may have yet been said that has in it much of the precision, or even much of the phraseology of science-yet that is said which is practically of importance to know, if we tell at what post and in what attitude we are upon the best vantage-ground for the discernment of its truths - if we proclaim the affinity which obtains between a correct performance of the duties, and a clear perception of the doctrines of morality; and make it our initial utterance on the whole matter, that, like as an unclouded atmosphere is the essential medium through which to descry those ulterior objects that are placed on the field of contemplation- so it is the serene which gathers around a mind unclouded by remorse, amid free from the uproar of guilty passions or guilty remembrances, that forms the medium through which the truths of moral science are seen in their brightest lustre, and so are most distinctly and vividly apprehended.
28. It forms part of the business of this science, to arrange according to the methods of phiosophy, the feelings and the faculties of our moral nature. But it is well in the meantime for its students, to cherish these feelings and put these faculties intel busy exercise. It is thus that ere the speculation is formed, they become familiar as it were with the raw or primary materials - and will be in far better circumstances afterwards for understanding the place and the functions of that moral sense which is within them, if now they give most faithful attendance to all its intimations. There is not a day of their lives that does not supply a multitude of occasions, upon which this inward monitor may lift up his voice, and bring before the cognizance of their judgment the whole question of the distinction between right and wrong - and it must make all the difference imaginable, ,whether they be in the habit of listening to the voice, or of turning a deaf ear and an unimpressed heart away from its suggestions. It is thus that as the will becomes more depraved, the understanding becomes darker, and the two act and react with a fearful operation of mischief the one upon the other - insomuch that the sophistry from which we have most to apprehend, in finding our way through the intricacies of the subject, is the sophistry of evil habits and of evil affections.
29. But however important Moral Philosophy, in its own separate and distinctive character, may be - we must not forget that sciences, though distinct, may yet stand related to each other; and while we view the Mental as diverse from the Moral Philosophy, we must not overlook the connexion between them. There is one respect indeed in which the Mental stands related to all the Sciences - mind being the instrument for the acquisition of them all; and the whole of our knowledge therefore, throughout its various branches, having the same sort of dependence on the nature of the mind, that perception has, not on the thing perceived, but on the nature of the percipient faculty. There are besides emergencies in the history of science, which might call for a recurrence to the laws and constitution of the human understanding - questions of perplexity or doubt, which can only be decided by an appeal to the ultimate principles or tendencies of our intellectual nature. The scepticism of Berkeley and Hume, for example, when these philosophers denied the existence of the material world, may be said to have struck at the whole Philosophy of External Nature. It had to be met by the assertion, of the deference that we owed, or rather of the deference that all men actually paid and were irresistibly constrained to render, to our instinctive principles of belief. In like manner, when men had forsaken the path of observation, and sought after truth by a creative process of their own they were at length reclaimed from this great error of the middle ages, by an inductive philosophy which may be said to have made proclamation of the laws and limits of the human understanding. And so also the sureness and stability of all physical science depends on the constancy of nature; and we can imagine that men will arise, to question the grounds of our belief in this constancy, so as to undermine our confidence in the doctrines or averments of our existing Philosophy. This also is met, and can be adequately met in no other way, than by a statement of our faith in the constancy of nature, as a mental law the authority of which is recognized and obeyed by all men. It follows not, however, that, ere the properties or laws of matter can be ascertained, the laws of mind must have been previously investigated, or that the study of mind is anterior to all other study. Men go forth on the arena of all the sciences, without any preparation of this sort, in the vigorous and healthful exercise of such faculties as they find to be within them, and under the impulse of such tendencies as the strong hand of nature hath implanted and might make sound progress in all, as unconscious of a Mental Physiology, as. the thousands, who trust and trust aright in the informations of their eyesight, are unconscions of the retina that is within them.
30. But Mental Science stands in a still more close and peculiar relation to the other Sciences, than to those which are usually denominated physical, and which belong to the Philosophy of Matter. It is true that in the study of Logic, the mind is not employed in the investigation of its own phenomena, at the time when employed in investigating the differences between good and bad reasoning. But an extreme scepticism might throw us back on the Mental Philosophy, by forcing us to vindicate the procedures of Logic - which cannot always be done, without vindicating and so describing the procedures of the human understanding. When the results of abstraction and comparison and inference come to be questioned, it might often be necessary to take cognizance of these respective faculties of the mind, and of the methods of their operation. Yet, in performing the direct business of Logic in estimating, either the truth of the premises in the syllogism or the soundness of the deduction that is made from them the mind, when so occupied, might be as far removed from the consideration of itself or its own properties, as when giving the full intensity of its regards to a diagram in Mathematics or to a specimen in Natural History. In the act of framing a system of Logic, the direction of the mind is altogether objective. But in defending that system, the mind may have to look subjectively to its own powers and its own processes.
31. But there is more than this to be said for the part which Mental Science has in the Philosophy of Taste. It is not that the states of emotion, including the emotions of beauty, are so many mental phenomena for they are not more so than the intellectual states are; and it is only in the act of holding converse with the objects of taste, that these emotions do arise- insomuch that we no more look to the mind in estimating the beauty of an object, than in estimating the truth of a proposition in any of the physical sciences. So that in constructing a Philosophy of Taste, or in learning that Philosophy if already constructed, we for far the greater part are employed objectively. And yet there are certain questions which properly belong to this Philosophy, but which cannot be resolved without a subjective consideration of the mind and of its processes. As an example of this~ we might refer to the celebrated question of the effect of association in matters of taste; or whether the grace and grandeur which we feel to be immaterial objects be owing to any inherent qualit in themselves, or to the ideas which are suggested by them and which are not material - as ideas of power, or danger, or utility, or of certain of the graces and virtues of the human character. Now the fact of such association, if true, is a mental phenomenon. The rapidity wherewith it is performed is a mental process. And in the act of considering these, we are directly employed on the treatment of a question in Mental Science. In this instance, Mental Science lends a contribution from itself to the Philosophy of Taste - nor is that Philqsophy completed, without laying hold of a doctrine or a phenomenon in Mental Science, and making it a component part of its own system.
32. But Mental Science makes still larger contributions to the Philosophy of Morals; and the latter is still more dependent on the former, for the solution of certain of its questions. It is true that the great bulk of ethical questions are prosecuted, altogether apart from the consideration of the mind or any of its phenomena, so as fully to warrant the treatment of the Ethical and Mental as two distinct sciences. Yet ethical science would not be completed, and certain of its most interest.. ing doctrines or difficulties would remain unsettled - if we did not call in the aid of the Mental Philosophy for the determination of them. Thus, after the establishment of the maxim that nothing is virtuous or vicious which is not voluntary, we must, before pronouncing upon the virtuousness of certain affections, make sure that the will has to do with them. It is thus that the virtuousness of a right belief and the virtuousness of certain of the emotions, as of gratitude for example, require for their demonstration that we should advert to the constitution of the mind, and evince there from the dependence of an intellectual state in the one case, and of a state of emotion in the other, on certain antecedent volitions which had given them birth. And there is one very celebrated question wherewith the science of morals is most intimately concerned - that which respects the freedom of human agency. Abstractly speaking, this question lies within the department of the Mental Philosophy; but as, in the estimation of many, the character, nay the very being of morality, depends on the decision of it - it is the part of all who are interested in Moral Science, to look after this decision; and, more especially, is it incumbent on the expounders of this science, to watch over an inquiry the results of which are conceived to bear with an import so momentous, and even with an aspect so menacing on the whole of that subject matter which so peculiarly belongs to them. The professor of Moral Science ought not to shrink then, from taking a part in the much agitated controversy. between the contingency and the necessity of human volitions; and, on whichever side the determination is given, it is also his part to consider in what way the moral character of mens acts or of mens dispositions is affected by it - and, more especially, whether either virtuousness or viciousness can he predicated of any performance that is done, or any purpose that is conceived by a voluntary agent, should the whole line of his history be as certainly determined, as is the path of a planet in the firmament. In deciding on this latter question, cognizance must be taken, not only of our moral judgments and feelings, viewed as phenonema; but of the precise circumstances in which they are called forth - and when thus engaged we are dealing with Mental Science - we are taking a direct view of the mind, in one of its most interesting evolutions.
33. But, beside the common relation in which these three sciences stand to the Mental Philosophy, they have also certain mutual affinities among themselves. For example, there is a margin or a debateable border-ground between the Philosophy of Knowledge and the Philosophy of Duty, of which each may claim a share; or, rather, of which both may be regarded as the joint proprietors of the whole. We have already intimated as a maxim, that whatever comes within the province of duty must be dependent on the human will; that no action can be designated as right or wrong, unless a previous volition have been of influence to call it into being; that, ere the character of virtue or vice can be assigned to any state of mind, and along with it all the responsibility which attaches to character, that state must be resolvable either into an act or a habit of choice on the part of its owner. Now such is the actual machinery of the human constitution, that the will and the understanding do have a reciprocal action the one upon the other and, through the medium of attentión, a man can, at his own bidding, turn his intellectual faculties to some given quarter of contemplation; and so become deeply censurable for his habitual negligence of questions, that rightful challenged his utmost reverence and regard them. The relation that there is between the state of a mans will and of his opinions, is a topic that has its occupancy on the margin to which we now referred - and by investigating which, light may be thrown upon the inquiry in how far man is accountable for his belief, and in how far his belief may operate either to the perversion or the establishment of his moral character. The way in which right volitions conduct one to right views, and the way in which right views serve to inspire and to sustain right volitions, we hold to be a most interesting portion of that middle ground which lies between the moral and the intellectual philosophy: Nor will it be found that the purely ethical doctrine stands so disjoined in connexion or influence from the other sciences, if it be true as has been strenuously asserted by Dr. Campbell, that worth and simplicity of heart give a mighty aid even to the investigation of speculative truth - that they infuse, as it were, a clearer element into the region of our intellectual faculties - and that there is a power in moral candour which not only gives more of patience to our researches, but even more of penetration to our discernment.
34. And, in like manner, does the province of Moral Duty overlap to a certain extent the province of Taste - and, in so far as it does so, it offers to us so much space of a common or intermediate character. To philosophise the whole of the latter department is the proper business of another Science - but Moral Science dots not overstep her own rightful or legitimate boundaries, when it offers to expatiate, not merely on the grounds, hut also on the gracefulness of human virtue - when it inquires in how far the loveliness that stands imprest on visible and inanimate things, might be resolved into the charm of a moral association - or, adverting to the way in which, through the medium of physiognomy, the worth and excellence of the unseen mind can be put forth in such form and colouring, as might picture to the eye its modesty, or its gentleness, or its kind affçction, or its serene and manly determination, - when it suggests the probability, that, with so many alliances between the spiritual and corporeal parts of our nature, there might go forth the expression of a character on the flowers, and on the landscape, and on the varying tints of the sky, and on all the materialism by which we are surrounded. One thing is certain that virtue is the object of a tasteful, as well as of a moral admiration; that there is in it what may be called a sort of transcendental beauty, to which an homage is yielded that is altogether akin to the delight we feel in music or in scenery; that this is an emotion in which even the worthless can sympathise and be made to acknowledge that untainted delicacy and devoted patriotism, and unswerving truth, and honour fearless because unimpeachable, and everbreathing humanity, and saintly or angelic holiness that, after all, these and such as these are the fairest blossoms in the garden of poetry. Thus far might Moral Science make incursion upon the region of Taste and that, not to regale the imagination, or idly to deck its own lucubrations; but to fetch even from this fairy border, some grave and important materials wherewith to inform the judgment, and to probe a most instructive way among the arcana of our moral nature.
35. And there is one most important practical inference, to be drawn from this conjunction between the moral and the tasteful in human nature. - If virtue be an object of taste as well as a matter of obligation then it is a conceivable thing, that it may continue to be felt as the one, after that as the other it has been utterly fallen from. Now should this conceivable thing turn out to be real - should it be found of one whose moral principles have been vitiated by self-indulgence, that still he can be regaled with the graces of a fine moral exhibition, just as he can enjoy the luxury of any pathetic or theatrical emotion - should it be found furthermore, that this is a sentimentalism not confined to those rarer instances of Depravity, when much of what may be called the poetry of a mans character has survived the utter ruin of his principles; but that, in fact, it overspreads the whole face of every-day life, so that it might nearly be said of all who still are abundantly capable of a passing tribute to the grace and the goodliness of virtue, that nevertheless they each make a divinity of his own will, and practically breathes in no other element than that of selfishness - then is there room for this weighty and warrantable inference, that, with all the complacency of their exquisite feelings and their tender recognitions on the side of virtue, still their conscience and their life might be utterly at war with their imagination Or, in other words, that whatever remainder of moral sensibility may still exist like the fragment of a lovely or a venerable wreck in their constitution, nevertheless this sore distemper is upon them, that the hourly and the perpetual habit is at variance with those lofty aspirations after excellence whereby they occasionally are visited, and they continually disown in practice -what in description and in theory they admire.
36.- But with all these admitted relations among the sciences of which we now speak, it is philosophically of great and obvious importance that each science should be rightly distinguished from all the others; and thus be made to stand in its own place, and to rest on its own proper and independent evidence. It would put out the light of many a false analogy; and strip of their dangerous authority,, those, who, because eminent in one department, have made presumptuous inroad on another that perhaps was altogether foreign to it. Had each inquiry been confined within its own rightful limits, we should not have heard a crude geology from the lips of the mere theologian; nor would an infidel philosophy, as in the person of La Place, elated by the triumphs it had won on the field of astronomical science, rushed unbidden and unwarranted on the Christian argument. The violence that is thus often done to the strict philosophy of the subject, is not the only evil to be deprecated, from the confusion or the misplaced interference of one science with another. There is a greater evil to be apprehended of a moral or a practical kind - as giving to scepticism the semblance of a deep philosophy; and thus arming it with a sort of superstitious sway over the prostrate understandings of men, who, if unable to comprehend its demonstrations, are yet in danger of being bewildered and misled because alike unable to refute them. Let the imagination be once given way to, of some mysterious connexion between the mental and the moral sciences; and then, as from the depths or the arcana of some hidden region, might the specious fallacy be conjured up, by which to undermine the foundations of the Ethical Philosophy, and to cast an obscuration over its clearest principles. It is to save this mischief, that we labour to manifest the distinction between these two sciences - insomuch that the first elements of the one are beyond the reach of any possible discovery which can be made in the other. Our knowledge of the morally-right and wrong, does not hang on our knowledge of the mental physiology. The informations of these two different sciences ought no more to be confounded, than the informations that we obtain by the means of two different senses. Those realities of sight of which we know by one inlet, can sustain no possible discredit, from those realities of sound of which we know by another inlet. And so it is of the Moral and the Mental Philosophy. Each has its own peculiar walk; and each lights us onward from doctrine to doc trine, by a peculiar evidence of its own.
37. And if Moral Science have suffered from its fancied dependence on another science; to whose tribunal it is liable to be brought, and by whose award some have conceived it must stand or fall - certain it is that Christianity has suffered to a tenfold greater extent from the same cause. Infidelity may be said to have drawn its missiles of attack from all- the sciences; and Geology, and Astronomy, and Metaphysics, beside other sciences of lofty pretension and formidable name, have been set forth as containing within their hidden repositories, some truth of deadly import, that, in the hands of an able assailant, might be wielded to the subversion of the faith. And thus it is, that had the aim been as effective as it was meant, Christianity must, long ere now, have received its sentence and its death blow, at the hand of Philosophy, in some one or other of its branches. We have already said that the certainties of one science can have no effect in displacing the equal certainties of another science; but, strange to say, the uncertainties of almost all the sciences, have been held to be of sufficient authority, for displacing the certainties of the Christian Revelation - as, for example, the uncertainties, or as they have been termed the visions of Geology, to displace the informations of the best and surest of those historical vouchers which have come down to us from ancient times. It seems to have been forgotten of our religion that it is based upon facts, sustained by that very evidence which has given to modern science all its solidity and all its elevation - the evidence of the senses with its first promulgators; and the evidence of their testimony, transmitted on a firm pathway to all future generations; and to which we add, the evidence of consciousness, that as well been termed the faculty of internal observation, and by which an unlearned man of piety and prayer obtains the same kind of demonstration for the truth as it is in Jesus, that he has for the reality of his own thoughts. These are the evidences which uphold Christianity as a stable and independent system of truth, resting on a foundation of its own; and which can no more be shaken by the hostility of foreign sciences, than by any irrelevancies which are altogether foreign to the question. And yet what a dangerous fascination has their eminence won on other fields, thrown around the names of our most distinguished sceptics; and with what a mighty yet sorely misplaced authority has their general reputation as philosophers or savans invested them - as Laplace, illustrious in mathematical science; and Hume in metaphysical; and Voltaire in wit and poetry, and the playfulness of a pen that flew with every wind, and ever flung abroad from its prolific stores some new brilliancies to enrich and enliven the literature of his country; and lastly Rousseau with sentiment and eloquence of a profounder cast, and whose very misanthropy, issuing from the bower of his chosen retirement as from the bosom of some mysterious cavern and uttered in notes of deepest pathos, gave a sort of oracular power to the sentences of his dark and distempered infidelity. And yet they never fully grappled with the question as eruditionists, or held up to it in sober and sustained earnest, the lights of criticism and history; and far less did they condescend to the subject matter of Christianity, or take account of its marvellous adaptations to the actual state and felt exigencies of human nature. Yet these are the oniy real and competent evidences on which to decide the question; and so Christianity hath stood its ground amid all the noise and splendour of its adversaries - for if these had forced a surrender, it had been like a citadel of strength stormed by a display of fireworks. But though the enduring and indestructible church weathers all these assaults of infidelity, yet countless, notwithstanding, is the number of individual victims who are immolated at its shrine; and thousands, tens of thousands there are, who, simply because these men have written, have lived in guilt and died in thickest darkness. That ignorance is the mother of devotion is a maxim applicable, not to the votaries of drivelling superstition alone; but it has had full and fatal verification also among the worshippers of infidel genius. The neologists of Germany have caused too many to believe, that, from the profundities of German criticism, they have drawn up the secret which gives another meaning to the records of our faith, and so changes altogether the substance and character of Christianity; and, in like sort, has infidelity deluded many into the imagination, that, from the hidden depths of that wisdom and philosophy which some of its own most accomplished disciples have explored, the secret has been drawn, by which, not only to change the character of Christianity, but to destroy its existence. In both the illusion is upheld through the same means - the illegitimate authority of great names over minds spellbound and held in thraldom by their own ignorant admiration. And in both, the illusion is dissipated in the same way by exposing the imaginary connections which have been alleged, and often too for the purposes of infidelity, between one science and another, and keeping each science within its own proper sphere. Philosophy evinces her highest wisdom, when recognising and respecting the limits of the territory which belongs to her. When she oversteps these, it ceases to be wisdom, and degenerates into pedantry - which I may be defined the unwarranted intrusion of learning either into companies who do not understand it, or into subjects to which it is altogether in applicable. It is thus that the sophistries of Hume in our own country have been pretty well disposed of; and thus too, may it be shown, in the face both of French infidelity and of German freethinking, that Christianity is impregnable and that orthodoxy is safe.
38. We do not say that for the direct teaching or enforcement of Christianity, it is indispensable that one should be accomplished in all the sciences. But we say it is most desirable for Christianity, exposed to random assaults from every quarter of possible speculation, that it should rank some of every science among its defenders and its friends. And there is a higher wisdom than the doctrines and lessons of any science can communicate, which is of mighty avail for the defenee of our faith against the unlicensed inroads of an ambitious and vain philosophy a wisdom that arbitrates among all the sciences, saying to each of them Thus far and no further shalt thou go - assigning to each respectively its own strict and legitimate province drawing around each its proper limitations. It is such a wisdom as Bacon exemplified in Philosophy; and it is for a Bacon in Theology to demonstrate the repeated injuries which she has sustained from the unlawful trespasses, that in the name of Philosophy, have been committed on the domain which rightfully and exclusively is hers.
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