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called into activity in order to the right performance of an act of adoration, and are necessary to a compliance with the command to love the Lord our God with all our heart.
This, we are told, is the first and great commandment of the law. We do not rise to a compliance with this by first obeying other laws; but if we are able to attain this, it of itself will lead to all other obedience. If we love God, we must desire to please him, and to avoid whatever is contrary to his will, and, consequently, the love of God leads necessarily to all righteousness. He himself has said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments, and this is my commandment that ye love one another;" and if we love one another, we will, of course, do no wrong one to another, but rather good, bearing one another's burdens. If we love him, and feel a constant sense of reverence towards him, we will endeavour to maintain personal purity, that we may be able to render him acceptable service. Personal purity, and zeal and activity in well-doing, lead to a clearness of the understanding, and a sound condition of all the faculties, and this to attention to all minor points by which these may be best cultivated and preserved.
If, therefore, we would improve the condition of man, the true mode of proceeding is to begin by improving, exercising, and strengthening his religious sentiments, and directing them to their proper objects. From this, as from a pure and hallowed fountain, will naturally flow every other kind of improvement. The diligent and persevering use of those means which have been pointed out as enabling us to obtain the aid of spiritual influences, has been experienced to be effectual in promoting this improvement in the case of individuals, and that to a degree amounting to a complete change of character; and if this has been the case in individual instances, no
140 MAIN DEFECT OF MR COMBE'S SYSTEM,
reason can be stated why the same effects may not follow in regard to the race in general, if the same means were diligently applied, and steadily and consistently persevered in through a series of ages; and hence, no bounds can be set to the improvement of the world, which may be finally expected from the universal diffusion of Christianity.
ON THE CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN FACULTIES, CONSIDERED IN RELATION TO THEIR RESPECTIVE OBJECTS.
MAN is composed of an organized body and a reasonable soul, and is endowed with capacities and powers, animal, rational, moral, and religious.
Mr Combe has considered his constitution in all these different respects except the last. He considers man merely in his relations with external objects in the present life. He looks exclusively to what is within the province of the bodily senses. He confines his views, as to space, to the surface of the earth which we at present inhabit; and, as to time, so far as regards the individual, to the miserable span of seventy or eighty years, which, so far as mere sense is concerned, appears to comprehend the term of our existence.
There would be less objection to this mode of considering the subject, if he were merely silent in regard to those mighty themes which are suggested by the ideas of an unseen and a future world; but this, I am sorry to say, is not the case. He alludes to them, no doubt, and most properly states that they belong to the province of
revelation; but he does not leave the matter there. He not only makes no attempt to shew a correspondence between what revelation teaches on these important subjects, and the conclusions of natural science, but he takes every opportunity, as far as his ability extends, of turning the latter, openly or covertly, into a weapon of attack against the credibility of the former. We have already seen how far he has attempted this in regard to the scriptural doctrines of the original perfection, the fall and the consequent degeneracy, of man, and we have seen that he has signally failed in this attempt. We shall afterwards have occasion to consider other instances of the same kind, in the conclusions he has drawn with regard to the paradisaical state, and his views respecting death, and the future prospects of the human race. These need not be farther anticipated here.
Even though he had merely been silent on these subjects, and had confined his attention strictly, as he professes to do, to the present life, and to what lies within the province of the senses, I would have considered such a view of man, and his relations to other objects, to be eminently defective, inasmuch as it omits by far the most important of these objects and relations. The omission is inexcusable. Mr Combe cannot allege that speculation on these subjects, in a general way, is unphilosophical; for the most eminent philosophers of ancient times, Socrates, Plato, and others, who were ignorant of a revelation, shewed that, by the light of natural reason alone, man could arrive at conclusions, very nearly, if not altogether, amounting to demonstration, on the subject of a future state, as well as on the existence of a God. And it will be afterwards shewn, that the natural arguments for both are greatly strengthened by the discoveries of Phrenology. Taking into view,
then, both these peculiarities in Mr Combe's system,—the arguments for a future state omitted, which plainly lay in his way, and to which he has himself referred in other publications, and the arguments openly stated, or covertly insinuated, against it, which lay entirely out of his we can only surmise his determination to be, to exclude it as something that is absurd and incredible, or which, if believed at all, is to be believed without evidence; and which, therefore, must be unworthy of the consideration of a rational being.
I shall pass over what he says respecting man as a physical and organized being, as there is nothing in regard to these upon which we materially differ. H has pointed out some correspondences between our bodily frame and external objects, evincing a wise and benevolent adaptation of the one to the other, as many other authors have done before him. This is a most interesting subject, and is still far from being exhausted, many minute correspondences existing which have not yet been adverted to; but enough has been done in this field of inquiry to establish beyond all dispute or cavil the infinite wisdom, power, and goodness of the Creator. This, as Lord Bacon says, is an excellent argument, and has been exceedingly well handled by diverse, and I do not see that there is any thing in Mr Combe's views which has added much either to our knowledge or conviction on the subject.
Leaving, therefore, those points on which there is no difference of opinion, I proceed at once to the consideration of the mental faculties of man. And here, as I stated in the preface, I adopt substantially the same system as Mr Combe, namely, that which has been gradually evolved and deduced from the observations and discoveries of Gall and Spurzheim. Like him, I assume this doctrine to be founded in truth, and "con
sider it to afford the clearest, the most complete, and the best supported system of human nature which has hitherto been taught." I have, therefore, taken it for the basis of my views, but it will be seen that the conclusions I draw from it are very different from his. The public will now have an opportunity of judging which of these are the most sound and philosophical.
As I am here arguing with a believer in Phrenology, I need not enter into a statement of the evidence on which it is founded. I have here Mr Combe on my side. He considers the evidence sufficient, and so do I. He has, in his various writings, stated the evidences originally adduced by the founders of the science, and added many original observations of his own, confirming and illustrating their views. He has strenuously, and I think successfully, answered the common objections to the doctrine, as leading to materialism, atheism, and fatalism. It is, therefore, unnecessary here to enter into these objections, and various others, which have been refuted over and over again, and which the opponents of the system seem to have at last abandoned.
As to those who are unacquainted with the science, who have not examined its evidences, and have not as yet adopted its doctrines, I may propose the scheme of the faculties which it exhibits as one which corresponds with what we find in nature. Let it be adopted, if they will, as a theory, which, as far as it goes, explains a great number of the mental phenomena; and it does not appear that they can reasonably object to it, until they are able to produce a better, or one which shall explain the phenomena more perfectly. To those who wish to study the subject, to examine the evidence, and judge for themselves, I must refer to the original works of the discoverers, Gall and Spurzheim, and to those of Mr Combe himself, so far as they treat of the evidences; but