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of the best men, acknowledges the truth of what is so forcibly stated in the Bible, that he is a sinner in the sight of God, and that, if brought before the tribunal of a perfectly righteous Judge, he has no hope of acquittal, except through the merits and intercession of Him who is mighty to save.
ON THE SCRIPTURE DOCTRINE OF HUMAN DEPRAVITY.
IN the first chapter, I examined particularly Mr Combe's assumption, that the world, and especially the moral and intellectual condition of man, is in a state of slow and progressive improvement; and his argument derived from thence against the doctrine of man's original perfection, his fall from that state, and the consequent depravity of his nature. I think it was sufficiently proved, in the course of that investigation, that Mr Combe's views, in regard to these points, are quite destitute of any solid foundation.
I could not in that preliminary chapter enter upon the phrenological view of the question, as it was necessary, before doing so, to state what the phrenological doctrines are, and what are the different powers of intellect, and the different propensities and principles of action, which in that science are stated to be comprehended in the complicated system of the human faculties. Having now in some degree explained what phrenology has revealed to us in regard to these, I shall proceed very shortly to state, 1st, What I understand to be the real scriptural doctrine of the depravity of human nature; and, 2d, What light, if any, is thrown upon
sider these as the only moral faculties. But even taking the matter as he states it, I have yet to learn that a feeling is not a moral one because it is limited in its object to private good. Are the ties which connect us. with our wives, our families, our friends, or our country, less strong and obligatory, or our duties towards them less sacred and binding, than those which have relation to strangers to all mankind? to all mankind? Are they not acknowledged to be more so? Are they not at least moral duties? and can we shake ourselves free from them upon any pretence of preferring the welfare of the whole race to that of a few individuals? Is not the neglect of these duties one of the most grievous crimes we can possibly commit? and is it not declared that he who provides not for those of his own house, is worse than an infidel?
Another principle which he formerly maintained was this that the "animal faculties [meaning the faculties common to man and the lower animals] in themselves are insatiable, and, from the constitution of the world, never can be satisfied; holding satisfaction to be the appeasing of their highest and last impulse of unregulated desire ;" while, on the other hand, "the higher sentiments have a boundless scope for gratification; their least indulgence is delightful, and their highest activity is bliss. They cause no repentance, leave no void, but render life a scene at once of peaceful tranquillity and sustained felicity." To this it was objected, that it was not a fair comparison of the two sets of faculties, but a comparison of the abuses of the one, with the fair, proper, and legitimate exercise of the other; that all the faculties, from the lowest to the highest, were liable to be abused, and that the improper or excessive activity, even of the highest sentiments, led to evil, and consequently, to repentance; that taking the propensities as they are, apart from their abuses, they are not insatiable; that, on
the contrary, they are more easily satisfied than the higher sentiments; that they are soon gratified to their utmost capacity of enjoyment, and when so gratified, their cravings cease; while the sentiments peculiar to man seem to have no limits to their aspirations, but bear upon them the marks of being created for infinity.
Mr Combe seems to have been satisfied that his first statement was incorrect, and accordingly he has now modified it as follows:- :-"All the faculties when in excess are insatiable, and from the constitution of the world, never can be satisfied. They, indeed, may be soon satisfied on any particular occasion: Food will soon fill the stomach, &c.; but after repose they will all renew their solicitations. They must all, therefore, be regulated, particularly the propensities and lower sentiments." It seems to me that this statement is just as inaccurate as the former: but, supposing it admitted, what becomes of the great distinction formerly attempted to be drawn between the lower powers and those peculiar to man?
There is no such distinction as to the possibility of satisfying the faculties. They may all, high and low, be gratified on a particular occasion, but no gratification they can receive at any one time will satisfy them for ever. They all renew their solicitations. It would rather appear that the longings of the higher sentiments are the more difficult to satisfy of the two. Nothing in the present life can ever fully gratify their aspirations, and they can look for entire satisfaction only to another state of existence. This, and the higher value of their objects, are the true causes of their superior dignity.
With all this shifting of his ground, Mr Combe has completely failed in his attempt to establish a philosophical principle, which may serve as the foundation of a new system of morals. There are no discoveries to be made in morals,-every thing relating to the subject that
siderable, when compared with the immense interval that separates all from a state of perfect allegiance to God."
Holding this, then, to be the doctrine, I shall endeavour to illustrate it in different ways. First, in regard to our original state: man was created in the image of God, and while he remained in paradise, enjoyed an intercourse with him far nearer and more perfect than we at present possess. Hence, he had a more accurate knowledge of the will of God, and more constraining motives for its performance. He was formed for intercourse with and an entire dependence upon God, and while he remained in that state, he was perfect. He walked in the sight of God; and having inclinations agreeable to his will, he could not act otherwise than according to it. In this state there could be no imperfection, and no sin.
The phrenological view of such a state would be this: - Having all his faculties and sentiments in perfection, these would always lead him "to seek to God" as their highest object. Veneration would impress him constantly with ideas of the greatness of God and his own dependence upon him, and lead him in all things to inquire after his will, and to obey it. Wonder would be constantly excited by new discoveries of the character of God, and the greatness and variety of his works. Ideality would receive constant delight from the unfading perfection of the one, and the splendour and beauty of the other. Benevolence and conscientiousness would instinctively lead him to that conduct towards his fellow-men, which would conduce most to their happiness, being that which God designed when he implanted such sentiments in his mind; the one making those actions a pleasure, which the other would point out to be a duty. An enlightened self-esteem would lead to the same conduct,
as the best means of promoting his own happiness. Acting constantly under a sense of the presence of God, he would constantly endeavour so to act as to obtain his approbation; while cautiousness would lead him to avoid whatever might offend, and hope would point smiling to the delightful future, which nothing could disturb while he continued in obedience. The social qualities of adhesiveness, and the love of offspring, would of course lead, in private, and with relation to a more confined class of duties, to the same perfect and unblamable conduct, as the other sentiments we have mentioned in relation to their more extended sphere. Thus, all the faculties which could operate in any way as motives upon the conduct, would in this situation lead directly and necessarily to one result, -a perfect submission to the divine will.
But in this state man did not continue. He had his choice of remaining in a state of dependence upon God, or of leaving him and trusting to his own resources. He was induced, by what means we need not here inquire, to prefer the latter. He was seduced from his allegiance. He disobeyed a positive command, and in so doing, was guilty of an overt act of rebellion. He was, in consequence, banished from that intercourse with God which he had hitherto enjoyed, and sent into the world to reap the fruits of the choice he had made.
The change produced by this may be compared to that which the earth would sustain if separated from its connection with the sun,-if it were driven or attracted by any extraneous force from its present orbit. The earth and all its productions remaining the same, they would soon degenerate when deprived of the warmth and light of the solar rays.
In like manner, man, after the Fall, remained the same creature as he was before, but his situation was altered. He retained the same faculties, but the highest of these