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quences of Adam's fall to his posterity; That the rich patrimony of mental furniture, which might otherways have descended entire to each individual son, was greatly curtailed and diminished, and even the little remainder parcelled out in very unequal lots to the different sons of man.-But that without an actual revelation it is not capable of any augmentation, Solomon, the wisest of men, that is, whose imitative faculty was more lively and extensive, and who fortunately had the richest patterns to copy from, Solomon, I say, has positively determined, by this shrewd observation, " That there is nothing new under the sun.
The advantages of this system are not inconsiderable. It will be gratifying to speculative inquirers, to be able to account for the vast variety of characters that exist amongst men. From this single principle of imi. tation are all the diversified phænomena of the human mind immediately deduced. Allowing that this faculty is originally different in different individuals, the greater fa
cility of one and repugnance of another, to the receiving the impression of what is presented before him, will enable us to say why Nature should at one period produce a Newton, at another a Jedediah Buxton. This will account also for that brilliancy of ge· nius which in many we find to be destitute of solid judgment. They possess the imitative faculty in so great an extent as to have nothing fixed in their minds; but, struck with every new appearance, they instantly catch the resemblance, and every former acquisition gives immediate place to the latter : while others but slowly perform the office of imitation, require repeated trials to effect a perfect likeness, and as slowly part with it when acquired.
This system does also best account for, and the most severely expose, the obstinate tenacity of man to certain opinions and habits already entertained. A perfect indifference to all things this theory does indeed by no means contend for; nor can it fairly be concluded from it; nor would it be con
ducive to the happiness of the individual or society, if it led to this issue. However formed, and however indifferent at first, it has appeared that the whole human constitution may become assimilated in a great degree to those opinions and habits which have been impressed by long usage.
Besides, it must be allowed that there are certain sensations of a purely bodily nature, which are not from the first indifferent; a blow, the cutting off a limb, the withholding of food, and the internal disorders of the animal ceconomy, are not perhaps wholly indifferent, though the imitation of others may give to the progressive man an amazing ascendancy over all the bodily feelings, as is strongly witnessed by the cheerful abstinence and patience in his hunting or military expeditions ; by the fortitude and unyielding self-possession of the American saváge, throughout the whole scene of his longprotracted and ingenious tortures. But however the attachment of the mind to particular ideas or things is effected, the admirable
convenience and utility of this system will be, that allowing no essential and immutable truth in any opinion or practice, every man would catch by imitation the likeness of his fellow, or look with unconcern on his peculiarities, nor, while himself is allowed to follow his own humour, think any
difference of sufficient consequence to disturb the peace of society. Variety will to him appear a beauty of a distinguished kind, as presenting that only field in which the mind of man can find a continual and agreeable employ
The overweening fondness of the vulgar to the narrow path in which they walk, may lead them to pronounce every other absurd and irrational. But to an enlarged mind, whose imitative faculty enables him to take a wider range, the application of such unhandsome terms will appear to be the only absurdity which human nature is capable of, because he will see nothing in any opinion or habit which ought to recommend it in preference to another, except
the single influence which custom and fashion
-may have given it over the mindu The charácter may
be just what it will under a proper train of discipline; but when once formed; and from a narrowness of capacity radically fixed as it were in the soul, it is not easily laid aside. But to'a more active and capacious mind, the transition is perfectly easy, and he will find no difficulty in following the lead, and receiving any impression from the fashion of his superiors. To what purpose then to declaim' against the follies and absurdities of a particular faith of a religious nature! they may be absurd to those who have learnt a different faith, and are incapable of change, but perfectly natural and beautiful to all who have been long exercised in the profession, or the greatness of whose souls adapts them alike to every faith.
faith. The whole advantage which the opponents of the church of England, and we might have added, of the church of Rome, the church of Mecca, or any church on Earth enjoys, arises from granting to them certain principles and maxims as the common basis of reasoning