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Conscience absolute and individual-Means of fixing the Rule of Right—
IV. Perfection and Invariableness of the Revealed Law-Morality of
Theological view of Human Depravity-Phrenological view of the Fall
Recapitulation-Laws of Propagation - Political views. Mr Combe's
I SHALL shortly state the circumstances which have induced me to come before the public with the present work.
Mr Combe is now well known, not only in this country, but on the Continent, and in America, as the most able, zealous, and active supporter and propagator of the new Science of Phrenology, or the doctrine founded on the discoveries of Doctors Gall and Spurzheim. In the preface to the Essay which we are now about to consider, he says, that Phrenology appears to him "to be the clearest, the most complete, and best supported system of human nature which has hitherto been taught," and that he has "assumed it as the basis of his work."
No one certainly could blame Mr Combe for adopting, in a work on the Constitution of Man, that system of human nature which he believed to be the best, and for making it the basis of his speculations; but, not contented with this, he has attacked our divines as guilty of a gross neglect of duty in not at once adopting the same views,
and following them out in all their consequences, in their instructions to the people.
Against this there appear, even at first sight, several very serious and cogent objections; and one of them is, that even supposing it universally admitted, (which is at present very far from being the case,) that Phrenology is established on a perfectly solid foundation of facts, and that it affords a clear and perfect view of human nature, our divines are not, and cannot be supposed to be, so conversant with its principles and details, as to be able to teach them to their flocks, or to combine them in any satisfactory way with the doctrines of Christianity. It is only a very few years since Mr Combe, the chief living cultivator of this science, has adopted the views he now advocates. They have, since that time, undergone various modifications; and as they are now taught and expounded by him, they are only to be found fully stated in Mr Combe's own writings.
It may farther be mentioned, that not only are our clergy, as a body, necessarily unacquainted with the doctrines of Phrenology, but most of them are even ignorant of the peculiar terms, or technical language, in which these doctrines are conveyed, as generally used by phrenological writers. Taking, then, the most favourable supposition for Mr Combe, and supposing that they had been inclined generally to approve of his doctrines, it is quite impossible that they could