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tion; and that by the very nature of the Human Being, it cannot be changed from that relation to one of strife and contest between two antagonist powers. The “governing” powers are to govern ; this is their function, and they always will govern, how weak soever they be, if only they go according to their Law. And the “subordinate” powers will always be subordinate to them, how strong soever they may be, for the one is “governing,” the other “subordinate." It is the weakness, then, of the one, and not the strength of the other, that originates evil. And the strength of the “governing” powers is according to their law.*
From this it may be plainly seen that there is no man, how weak soever his Governing powers are, and how strong his Subordinate ones, that cannot, if he will, rule and check the last, a truth which the experience of each man will confirm.
It remains, therefore, in order to the finishing of this chapter, to examine the differences that exist between the “governing" faculties and those that are subordinate." And the first and most manifest difference is this, that the “governing" faculties are always to govern in him whose life is moral, and according to the truth of his nature. Reason, the Conscience, the Affections, the guiding influence of a self-determined Will, these are to be seen and felt in each and all his actions and words. These are always to come in, and the “subordinate" faculties not always, but only according to the measure prescribed by these.
In this fact will be seen the solution of some difficult cases, even of some that may have carried men away with a false glare. For if we take one of the higher “subordinate" faculties, that of Benevolence, for instance, or that of Maternal Affection, and ask, “May so exalted a faculty as this rule and become a governing' faculty ?" and the answer is, “No"; from the simple fact that it is " subordinate."
Nay, not even the natural feeling of Theopathy, or love Godward, not even this is to be a ruling faculty; but it is to be enlightered and proportionated in its action by Reason, to be measured as to its ends by Conscience, to be adapted to the good of society, softened and humanized by the Affections, and guided in a fixed and determined line of direction by a fore-thoughted and fore-planning Will.
* This is discussed in the latter part of this chapter.
And he that gives himself up to any Subordinate faculty, even of the highest and purest, and permits this to engross his mind so as to dethrone the “governing" powers from their seat, and puts it in their stead, this man is wholly wrong. This man prepares * for himself insanity, if it be made to preponderate over the Will or Reason; destruction of natural honesty and piety, if his desire preponderate over his Conscience; and fierce fanaticism that despises all relations to society, if it overpower the Affections.
For as we have said, the “governing” faculties ought to govern always. And when they do not govern, when the man knowingly and willingly exalts anything else in their stead, then he prepares the way of his own accord for moral disease; we use not the words merely for moral transgression, but for such a state of his moral constitution as must lead to moral transgression ultimately, or else be saved from it only by insanity or mental incapacity.
Another inference we would draw from this, which is more important still than the last. It is seen that the business of the governing faculties is to govern always. Of course their weakness is in their non-governance, first, which we have spoken of in the last paragraph; and secondly, in their intermission.
For hereby they become as the “subordinate" faculties, which are of their own nature, only intermittent, acting at intervals. Upon this I would remark, first, that the greatest amount of unhappiness that is caused to any individual, is caused by the intermission of the “governing” powers, by the person one time ruling, checking, constraining the “subordinate” faculties by them, and again permitting these faculties to take their place and rule. Upon this all weakness and inconsistency of course depends. And he that shall look at the two supposable although never entirely possible cases of a man, on the one side ruled by the superior faculties entirely, and one on the other in whom one or more of the “subordinate” faculties, even in a faulty shape, have taken their place entirely, such as ambition or avarice, he shall see that these both admit of something of happiness, which the other is not capable of. And he shall see that inconsistency of thought and word, of resolution and action, of moral knowledge and conduct, and worse than all, the feeling of self-contempt thence ensuing, this state, a state in which the “governing" faculties now rule, and now do not, is one of the most miserable in the world.
The second moral inference which we had intended to make is
this, that the “governing" powers by their nature being intended to be always acting, and therefore, as we have shown in this chapter being capable of subduing passions, affections, desires, emotions of any degree of strength whatsoever, and proportionating them to their law; it follows that their strength is in their continuity of action, their weakness in their intermission. When they act always, that is, when their influence is exerted at every moment of life as a principle of supremacy, by the individual man, then will they be able to rule any one of the “subordinate" faculties at any time.
But when the man lives as an animal, indifferent to their action, until it is necessary, in opposition to some of the "subordinate" faculties; then these powers, merely called up for the occasion, shall be invariably vanquished. For “governing" faculties that do not govern always, have no strength at any particular crisis. The man who, in all things and at all times, rules himself by the ruling powers of his nature, that man shall be able in the one thing wherein he has the most danger to subdue that danger. But he who uses Reason, and Will, and the Affections, and the Conscience only against that one emotion or passion, and only at the time that it rebels, that man shall invariably be overcome. Let the men that are able to rule themselves examine, and the men who are not able, and both classes shall find this account to be true. Hence shall they deduce one of the best practical rules, or rather principles of life and action.
Another thing we shall note in reference to these two classes. The "governing” faculties, in order to be perfect in their action, must, in addition to the two qualifications that we have laid down, have also another—that of governing according to a law, and not according to themselves. The Will that places in itself the reason of its guidance; the Reason that puts in reason, or its reasoning the cause of acting; the Conscience that makes of itself the ultimate rule, or the Affections that decide wholly by themselves, -these are, or become evil.
And he that has examined the greatest evils inflicted by man upon his fellows, he will find them to have taken place from those who had the power of governing themselves, and that perpetually, but did so, not by a law, but by themselves,—a case perhaps permitted only for particular purposes by the Almighty. And he that will look at the misery such men are capable of inflicting, per.
haps may see good reasons why so many are permitted to be naturally deficient in their powers.
We shall finish this Chapter by making two observations. The first is, that our division of the faculties into “governing” and "subordinate,” is a natural one, supported by nature itself. She tells us that unity of action is, in some measure, the perfection of man's nature,—that all feelings, powers, faculties, desires, should work on together in moral harmony,—that there should be no jarring, no discordance; but, as the Platonists say, there should be in all perfect natures, “unity in multiplicity.”
Now, that very “oneness in múltiplicity,” man, as a limited being, existing under the conditions of Space and Time, manifestly would have, but for the weakness of the “governing powers," which I have spoken of, and it would consist in the constant subordination of all the other powers to them, or rather through them, to the Law of God, who is the Supreme Good and the Supreme Law.
And if man had that “oneness,” he would be entirely good according to his nature, as a limited being, without any change in the nature of his present faculties, more than that of complete and entire subordination--that change bringing them in their action, and in themselves to the most complete perfection of which they are capable.
The question comes up here most appropriately of the influence of the moral powers and their cultivation upon the intellectual, or, as they are commonly called, the mental faculties. Now putting aside altogether the fact that Reason is one of the governing powers, inasmuch as it will be found, upon referring to the book that treats of it, to be quite a different thing from reasoning, -Putting this aside, I think that the view we have given of “governing” and “subordinate" faculties, will give us, upon this point, principles of the highest importance.
It is by that view plain that in all right action of our nature, there is first the subordinate faculty or faculties working towards their ends. And secondly, that along with that force, there always exists another, that is the power of all the governing" faculties, as ruling and guiding. In all mental operations, then, there will be normally a two-fold action that of the mental faculty, and that of the moral faculty; and in all cases of perfect and appropriate action, these both will come in. It follows from this, that there ought to be two ways of increase ing the intellectual powers; the first by developing the mental power itself; the second, by developing and bringing to perfection the moral powers, so as to act strongly upon the mental power, which we desire to cultivate; and that this last ought to effect the object as fully as the first.
For the relation of these two in action will resemble that of a piece of machinery, in which there is the immediate tool that effects the given work, which is united by a certain attachment to a driving power; or it will resemble the axe fitted to hew, the saw to cut, the augur to bore, guided and driven by the arm of the workman. The state then of the instrument in itself, as to adaptedness to its purpose, in metal, weight, sharpness, and so forth, is one requisite to action; that of the power that drives it, whether in machinery or muscular strength, is a second.
And much about the same relation do I conceive the intellectual powers bear dynamically to the moral faculty. I have no objection, then, to acknowledge that the mere mental power of many a man have been as great as Shakspeare's originally; but for effect and dynamic action, something more is necessary than power merely mental.
This is enough to indicate and illustrate the connection. We shall, however, announce mose precisely the conclusion we have come to upon this matter first, and then our reasons for it. It is this :-“ If you wish to develope to the uttermost your own intellectual powers, or those of youth, whether your own children or those committed to your care: the first and greatest means is the establishment, to the completest degree that the instance will admit of, of the supremacy of the moral power.”
We shall not claim to demonstrate this; we shall only give reasons that may show its probability.
In the first place, more persons are kept from a development of their mental powers by impediments to, than by actual deficiency in those powers: and secondly, almost all these are impediments to the “governing” powers. Look at the reasons why children or men cannot develope their mental powers,—“ He could not fix his mind to study;" “He could take no interest in studies;” “I believe he could study well enough but I never could persuade him to do so;" or, “He knew he could study, and that he ought to do, but he never did it.” What are these excuses which we hear so often? All of them deficiencies of the governing powers,