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IX. CONCLUDING SUGGESTIONS.
Germain to the points we have made and the principles we have sought to establish, are suggestions of deep, practical import. But our discussion has already been protracted so far, that we barely glance at a few of them.
1. The soul and the body are mutually adapted to each other. They are mutually adapted just as the telegraphic wire and the magnetic fluid. This does not imply sameness, or even similarity in nature, but simply that they aro adapted to co-work for the accomplishment of specific ends. The telegraphic wire and the magnetic fluid co-work for the transmission of knowledge to points far remote. The soul and the body are united for the production of humanity, with all its inconceivable relations to the universe and all the varied purposes of its being. For aught we know, the Creator might have invested any other kind of being with a soul as well as man. But had the soul been connected with the material mechanism of a beast or a bird, how limited in number, and how restricted in use, would have been the organs it could have controlled! But, in the human organism, what multitudes of parts, and what diversity of limbs and organs wait to do the bidding of the soul! We can scarcely doubt that the human body was formed with special reference to the soul by which it was to be inhabited and controlled.
2. It is obvious, also, that man was a special device of the Creator. He is unlike any other being upon the globe. The worlds that people the amplitude of space are doubt the abodes of life. But their analogies are so remote to ours; their differences in structure, motions, temperature, and surrounding fluid are so great that their peopling must be by something very different from human
life. Some of the ends to be accomplished by this special device”-the creation of man—are obvious even here, but more of those purposes shall be unfolded hereafter.
3. Man is not a dualism.. Two elements—the spiritual and the material—enter into his nature, but man is one. We never think of reckoning the air or the water as dualistic, and yet two distinct and widely-different elements enter into the composition of each.
4. The subject also suggests the dignity of the spirit and the culture demanded for it. The development of the ingenuity and the uses of domestic animals has been one of the grandest achievements of man in the progress of his civilization and the subjugation of the earth. If the culture of the animal is so connected with the earth's advancement, how much more the cultivation of
especially of the spirit that is in man! The cultivation and improvement of the animal is every-where beset with difficulties and hedged around with limitations! Mind presents for culture a boundless field, and one fruitful as it is boundless.
THE HUMAN SOUL AND THE ANIMAL SENSES.
“Why is light given to a man?" Job iii, 23.
"Now hath God set the members every one of them in the body.” 1 COR. xii, 18.
“Is not the life more than meat ?" MATT. vi, 25.
1. How beings purely spiritual correspond with each other, or with the material world, we know not. Indeed, it is hardly a subject of rational inquiry. Revelation gives us little light upon it beyond the bare fact that such correspondence is not only possible but actual. As a subject of philosophical inquiry, the elements of its determination seem too recondite and inaccessible to the human mind to give any ground of hope for its immediate solution. It is, probably, one of those mysteries the solution of which will be reached only in our future state.
2. But in animal life, and also in an embodied spirit,” such as we have seen man to be, there are organs of sensation through which the living being holds connection with the outside material world. These organs are fitted to re ceive impressions from without, as when the image of an external object is painted upon the retina of the eye, affecting the sensorial nerve. The nature of that object is thus perceived by the soul, which, by a mysterious intuition, goes forth, as it were, to grasp it in its intelligence. It is by this process that “ we are put in relation to material things, as to their color, sound, odor, weight, resistance, and all that we learn of time and space by contact with matter."
3. Some transcendental philosophers would, indeed, have us believe that the only real substances are ideas, and that . the imagined existing material things, and their qualities, have no reality in nature. Against this refined transcendentalism we shall not undertake to reason, but leave it to the common-sense and practical judgment of mankind.
4. We usually enumerate five senses—sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch—but Dr. Moore intimates that a little reflection will convince us that there are other modes of experiencing sensation, and adds: “There would, indeed, be no impropriety in regarding every part of our bodies as an organ of sense, since every part is endowed with a kind of feeling peculiar to itself and exactly suited to its office. Probably all sensations are but modifications of the same nervous action, and they may all be regarded as the contact of an active agent with the organ, or of something moving, or tending to move, operating on nerve.”
Thus light strikes upon the retina, the vibrations of air strike upon the tympanum, the odor-laden air comes in contact with the olfactory nerves, the juices spread over the palate, and thus an effect is produced upon the nerves just as much as when a solid comes in contact with the sense of touch.
Between the sensuous system and the soul there is so intimate a connection; our thoughts, and feelings, and stimulus to action seem so dependent upon it, that many have been led to question whether there is or can be any existence of the human spirit independent of it. We have already seen that soul is not a function of matter. This might cover the present question, as the whole sensuous system, which has its center in the brain, is only a part of the bodily organism, and is, therefore, nothing more
than a material structure. But our survey of the ground will be incomplete till we have made a more direct examination of the relations of the soul to the senses, in order to demonstrate its existence independent of them.
The position we propose to maintain in this discussion is that
THE BODILY SENSES, WHETHER IN MAN OR IN THE AN
IMAL, ARE MERELY ORGANIC INSTRUMENTS, AND, THEREFORE, ARE NOT TO BE CONFOUNDED WITH EITHER ANIMAL LIFE OR THE INTELLIGENT SOUL.
Among the reasons which go to establish this position may be named the following:
I. It is evident that the organs of sense are mere instruments of the soul, because the soul has power over them to direct them, and also has power to make a choice among them.
The living organism, as we have already seen, is a sort of vehiculum of the soul—the bond of connection and the medium of communication between the soul and the material world. This organ, therefore, has a twofold function-one relating to the material world, and developing itself in action; the other relating to the soul, and developing itself in sensation. In both these respects it acts in obedience to the impulse given by the mind. The connection is intimate; the velocity of spiritual action inconceivable. “We will to move a foot,” says the author of Man and His Motives, "and it obeys us in the 1-200,000,000th of a second.” This may as well be expressed by the algebraic formula x=0. It may be safely inferred that impressions upon the senses are received and noted by the mind with equal rapidity. The power of the mind over the action of the limbs is