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I mean the intellectual and moral part of man; but whether the compound creature called man be altogether matter, or whether his intellectual and moral part be of a different nature from every form of body, is a question, which his Creator alone can absolutely decide. We may find a difficulty in conceiving of any existence which is not material, as if the negation of form and magnitude were the absolute negation of being; or on equal at least, if not better grounds, we may find it difficult to conceive how any

fornı or modification of matter can be capable of consciousness and thought. It is only left to us from those phænomena, which are the ground of all our reasoning on every subject, to infer the greater or the less probability of either supposition. The prosecution of the object of my essay, to which without further preamble I immediately proceed, will enable you to judge, whether on weak or satisfactory grounds I have concluded for myself, that the mind, or thinking part of man, is a being absolutely distinct


nature, and

and arrange

from matter, or any modification of matter whatever.

The first, and perhaps the strongest argument arises from observing the manner in which we classify the different existences in

them under genera and species. All that we know of the beings around us, and which authorises us to distinguish them from each, as different in kind, is derived from the phænomena which they exhibit; that is, the appearances under which they present themselves to our observation, and the effects which they produce in their actions upon us, or upon each other. Of the appropriate nature or essence of different beings, on which their characteristic phænomena and effects depend, we know nothing, nor in our present state of existence does it seem possible that we ever should know. But as every phænomenon or effect must suppose an inherent principle or cause, because every effect must have an adequate cause ; whenever we observe, that the phænomena of any number of being's


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are uniform, an adequate inherent principle or cause is assumed by us as a datum, and we give a name to this inherent principle, expressive of its character. But it must never be forgotten, that this name argues no knowledge, and conveys no intelligence of the nature or essence of this inherent principle, or how it acts. Its existence alone, whatever 'its nature may be, or whatever its mode of operation, is admitted, and necessarily admitted. When Sir Isaac Newton gave the name of gravity to the secret cause which precipitates a stone to the earth, he knew that it was but a name. That a cause was, admitted of no doubt; but what it was, or how it acted, he knew as little as any rustic at the plough, nor did he pretend to know more. His penetrating eye caught the resemblance between this familiar phænomenon, and the retention of the planets at their prescribed distances in their revolutions round the sun. The phænomena being perfectly similar, he saw no reason to multiply causes; one simple cause was adequate to both, and he re1


tained the name of gravity as applicable to both phænomena; or rather he adopted that of attraction, as more expressive of the various, extensive, sublime, and beneficial operations of this wonderful principle. But this more appropriate denomination conveyed no additional intelligence of the cause. What it was, that through the vacuity of space, and at a distance of hundreds or thousands of millions of miles, could act upon

the immense orbs which compose the solar system, remained, and does remain, to the materialist, a mysterious unknown. To return to the manner in which alone we can conduct our investigation of the productions of the Creator, and distinguish the peculiar and appropriate character of each, an illustrious specimen of which is exhibited in the instance just cited; wherever a uniformity of

appearances in any number of beings, though with minute and unimportant differences, arguing a common nature, indicate a class, we denominate them a species, under some name expressive of this common na


And as

ture, which in the languge of the logicians we call their specific difference. cending in the same order of induction, when any number of species, each marked by their respective specific differences, present to us some property or properties,which, notwithstanding their specific differences, are yet common to them all ; we acknowledge, and by the same necessity of reasoning acknowledge, a higher common nature; to which we also give a name; we class these species under this name,

denominate them a genus, and consider this common nature as their generic difference. In this manner the numerous beings, which occupy this globe, are successively ranged under more comprehensive genera, till we ascend to the denominations of fossils, vegetables, and animals; which three great genera comprehend the multitudinous furniture of our Earth. Each of these genera have their generic differences, and the subordinate genera and species, which class under each, have also their generic and specific differences; and


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