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them true is that man cannot help so believing them! The same may be said of that great fact, without which the whole world would be at a stand-still-a belief in the uniformity of the phenomena of external nature; that the same sun, for example, which rose yesterday and to-day, will rise again to
That this cannot be demonstrated, is admitted on all hands; and that it is not absolutely proved from experience is evident, both from the fact that experience cannot prove any thing future, and from the fact that the uniformity supposed is only accepted as partially and transiently true; the great bulk of mankind, even while they so confidently act upon that uniformity, rejecting the idea of its being an eternal uniformity. Every theist believes that the order of the universe once began to be; and every Christian and most other men, believe that it will also one day cease to be.
But perhaps the most striking example of the helplessness to which man is soon reduced if he relies upon his reason alone, is the spectacle of the issue of his investigations into that which one would imagine he must know most intimately, if he knows anything; and that is, his own nature—his own mind. There is something, to one who reflects long enough upon it, inexpressibly whimsical in the questions which the mind is for ever putting to itself respecting itself; and to which the said mind returns from its dark caverns only an echo. We are apt, when we speculate about the mind, to forget for the moment, that it is at once the querist and the oracle; and to regard it as something out of itself, like a mineral in the hands of the analytic chemist. We cannot fully enter into the absurdities of its condition, except by remembering that it is our own wise selves who so grotesquely bewilder us. The mind, on such occasions, takes itself (if we may so speak) into its own hands, turns itself about as a savage would a watch, or a monkey a letter; interrogates itself, listens to the echo of its own voice, and is obliged, after all, to lay itself down again with a very puzzled expression - and acknowledge that of its very self, itself knows little or nothing! • I am material,' exclaims one of these whimsical beings, to whom the heaven-descended “Know thyself” would seem to have been ironically addressed. “No! — immaterial,' says another. I am both material and immaterial,' exclaims, perhaps, the very same mind at different times. Thought itself may be matter .modified,' says one. • Rather,' says another of the same perplexed species, matter is thought modified; for what you call * matter is but a phenomenon.' • Both are independent and * totally distinct substances, mysteriously, inexplicably con"joined,' says a third. • How they are conjoined we know no
. more than the dead. Not so much, perhaps. Do I ever
cease to think,' says the mind to itself, even in sleep? Is not 'my essence thought? You ought to know your own essence best,' all creation will reply. "I am confident,' says one, that I
do cease to think, — not even in the soundest sleep.' “You . do, for a long time, every night of your life,' exclaims another, equally confident and equally ignorant.
Where do I exist?' it goes on.
"Am I in the brain ? Am I in the whole body? Am I anywhere? Am I nowhere?' I cannot have any local existence, for I know I am immaterial,' says one.
I have a local existence, because I am material,' says another. I have a • local existence, though I am not material,' says a third. • Are my habitual actions voluntary,' it exclaims, however rapid they become; though I am unconscious of these volitions when they have attained a certain rapidity; or do I become a mere automaton as respects such actions ? and therefore an automaton nine times out of ten, when I act at all?' To this
two opposite answers are given by different minds; and by others, perhaps wiser, none at all; while, often, opposite answers are given by the same mind at different times. In like manner has every action, every operation, every emotion of the mind been made the subject of endless doubt and disputation. Surely if, as Soame Jenyns imagined, the infirmities of man, and even graver evils, were permitted in order to afford amusement to superior intelligences, and make the angels laugh, few things could afford them better sport than the perplexities of this child of clay engaged in the study of himself. Alas !' exclaims at last the baffled spirit of this babe in intellect, as he surveys his shattered toys- his broken theories of metaphysics, “I know that I am; but what I am where even how I act • not only what is my essence, but what even my mode of
operation, -of all this I know nothing; and, boast of reason as ! I may, all that I think on these points is matter of opinion-or
is matter of faith!' He resembles, in fact, nothing so much as a kitten first introduced to its own image in a mirror: she runs to the back of it, she leaps over it, she turns and twists, and jumps and frisks, in all directions, in the vain attempt to reach the fair illusion; and, at length, turns away in weariness from that incomprehensible enigma — the image of herself !
One would imagine — perhaps not untruly—that the Divine Creator had subjected us to these difficulties - and especially that incomprehensible trilemma, - that there is an union and interaction of two totally distinct substances, or that matter is but thought, or that thought is but matter,- one of which must be true, and all of which approach as near to mutual contra
dictions as can well be conceived, - for the very purpose of rebuking the presumption of man, and of teaching him humility; that He had left these obscurities at the very threshold — nay, within the very mansion of the mind itself, — for the express purpose of deterring man from playing the dogmatising fool when he looked abroad. Yet, in spite of his raggedness and poverty at home, no sooner does man look out of his dusky dwelling, than, like Goldsmith's little Beau, who, in his garret up five pair of stairs, boasts of his friendship with lords, he is apt to assume airs of magnificence, and, glancing at the Infinite through his little eye-glass, to affect an intimate acquaintance with the most respectable secrets of the universe !
It is undeniable, then, that the perplexities which uniformly puzzle man in the physical world, and even in the little world of his own mind, when he passes a certain limit, are just as unmanageable as those found in the moral constitution and government of the universe, or in the disclosures of the volume of Revelation. In both we find abundance of inexplicable difficulties; sometimes arising from our absolute ignorance, and perhaps quite as often from our partial knowledge. These difficulties are probably left on the pages of both volumes for some of the same reasons; many of them, it may be, because even the commentary of the Creator himself could not render them plain to a finite understanding, though a necessary and salutary exercise of our humility may be involved in their reception; others, if not purely (which seems not probable) yet partly for the sake of exercising and training that humility, as an essential part of the education of a child; others, surmountable, indeed, in the progress of knowledge and by prolonged effort of the human intellect, may be designed to stimulate that intellect to strenuous action and healthy effort - as well as to supply, in their solution, as time rolls on, an ever-accumulating mass of proofs of the profundity of the wisdom which has so far anticipated all the wisdom of man; and of the divine origin of both the great books which he is privileged to study as a pupil, and even to illustrate as a commentator,
- but the text of which he cannot alter. But, for submitting to us many profound and insoluble problems, the second of the above reasons — the training of the intellect and heart of man to submission to the Supreme Intelligence — would alone be sufficient. For if, as is indicated by every thing in human nature, by the constitution of the world as adapted to that nature, and by the representations of Scripture, which are in analogy with both, the present world is but the school of man in this the childhood of his being, to prepare him for the enjoyment of an immortal manhood in another, everything might be expected to be subordinated to this great end; and as the end of that education, can be no other than an enlightened obedience to God, the harmonious and concurrent exercise of reason and faith becomes absolutely necessary not of reason to the exclusion of faith, for otherwise there would be no adequate test of man's docility and submission; nor of a faith that wouid assert itself, not only independent of reason, but in contradiction to it, — which would not be what God requires, and what alone can quadrate with that intelligent nature He has impressed on His offspring - a reasonable obedience. Implicit obedience, then, to the dictates of an all-perfect wisdom, exercised amidst many difficulties and perplexities, as so many tests of sincerity, and yet sustained by evidences which justify the conclusions which involve them, would seem to be the great object of man's moral education here; and to justify both the partial evidence addressed to his reason,
and the abundant difficulties which it leaves to his faith. The evidence of religion,' says Butler, 'is fully suffi• cient for all the purposes of probation, how far soever it is from • being satisfactory as to the purposes of curiosity, or any other : • and, indeed, it answers the purposes of the former in several * respects which it would not do if it were as over-bearing as is • required.” Or as Pascal beautifully puts it: – “There is • light enough for those whose sincere wish is to see, — and dark ness enough to confound those of an opposite disposition.' †
* Analogy,' part 2. chap. viii.
† Pensées. Faugère's edition, tom. ii. p. 151. The views here developed will be found an expansion of some brief hints at the close of the article on Pascal's 'Life and Genius' (Ed. Review, Jan. 1847), though our space then prevented us from more than touching these topics. We may add that we gladly take this opportunity of pointing the attention of our readers to a tract of Archbishop Whately's, entitled “The example of children as proposed to • Christians,' which his Grace, having been struck with a coincidence between some of the thoughts in the tract and those expressed in the ‘Review,' did us the favour to transmit to us. Had we seen the tract before, we should have been glad to illustrate and confirm our own views by those of this highly gifted prelate. We earnestly recommend the tract in question (as well as the whole of the remarkable volume in which it is now incorporated, · Essays on some
of the Peculiarities of the Christian Religion') to the perusal of our readers, and at the same time venture to express our conviction (having been led by the circumstances above mentioned to a fuller acquaintance with his Grace's theological writings than we had previously possessed) that, though this lucid and eloquent writer may, for obvious reasons, be most widely known by his ‘Logic and
As He 'who spake as never man spake' is pleased often to illustrate the conduct of the Father of Spirits to his intelligent offspring by a reference to the conduct which flows from the relations of the human parent to his children, so the present subject admits of similar illustration. What God does with us in that process of moral education to which we have just adverted, is exactly what every wise parent endeavours to do with his children, — though by methods, as we may well judge, proportionably less perfect. Man too instinctively, or by reflection,
Rhetoric,' the time will come when his Theological works will be, if not more widely read, still more highly prized. To great powers of argument and illustration, and delightful transparency of diction and style, he adds a higher quality still - and a very rare quality it is an evident and intense honesty of purpose, an absorbing desire to arrive at the exact uth, and to state it with perfect fairness and with the just limitations. Without pretending to agree with all that Archbishop Whately has written on the subject of Theology (though he carries his readers with him as frequently as any writer with whom we are acquainted), we may remark that in relation to that whole class of subjects, to which the present essay has reference, we know of no writer of the present day whose contributions are more numerous or more valuable. The highly ingenious ironical brochure, entitled Historic Doubts relative to Napoleon Buonaparte;' the Essays above mentioned, ‘On some of the Peculiarities of the Christian Reli
gion;' those ‘On some of the Dangers to Christian Faith,' and on the * Errors of Romanism ;' the work on the Kingdom of Christ,' not to mention others, are well worthy of universal perusal. They abound in views both original and just, stated with all the author's aptness of illustration and transparency of language. We may remark, too, that in many of his occasional sermons, he has incidentally added many most beautiful fragments to that ever accumulating mass of internal evidence which the Scriptures themselves supply in their very structure, and which is evolved by diligent investigation of the relation and coherence of one part of them with another. We are also rejoiced to see that a small and unpretending, but very powerful, little tract, by the same writer, entitled 'Introductory Lessons on Christian Evidences,' has passed through many editions, has been translated into most of the European languages, and, amongst the rest, very recently into German, with an appropriate preface, by Professor Abeltzhauser, of the University of Dublin. It shows to demonstration that as much of the evidence of Christianity as is necessary for conviction may be made perfectly clear to the meanest capacity; and that, in spite of the assertions of Rome and of Oxford to the contrary, the apostolic injunction to every Christian to be ready to render a reason
for the hope that is in him,'- somewhat better than that no reason of the Hindoo or the Hottentot, that he believes what he is told, without any reason except that he is told it, — is an injunction possible to be obeyed.