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the higher feelings and intellectual faculties are weak and defective, and the lower propensities greatly predominant. To one so constituted, it would be in vain to point out the pleasures arising from the cultivation of the intellect, or those high and generous feelings which form the chief distinction of our race. He would tell you, that his happiness is not placed in these, but in the gratification of his appetites, and in sensual and epicurean enjoyment-in the destruction of innocent animals in the chase-or in the still more exciting pursuits of war and bloodshed. You can have no answer to this. It is needless to point out the delights of peace and virtue to one who cares nothing about them—or to depict the future pain and misery he is bringing on himself, to one who sets all such considerations at defiance. Speak of death-Mr Combe has argued away, as far as he is able, all the effect which this circumstance is fitted to produce, and he carefully excludes every motive arising from the prospect of a future state. He represents, indeed, the evil which a man who follows such a course will bring upon his children, and upon the human race in general; but he might as well address the winds. What does the selfish man care for his posterity, or for the welfare of his race? If he will not be deterred from a life of vicious pleasure by a prospect of the evils it will bring upon himself, will he be stopped in his career by the consideration that his guilt is to be expiated in the person of another?
Supposing, then, that Christianity, as at present taught, were abolished, and the "Natural Laws" erected in its room, the concerns of life, confined to the present world, would become, as I have said, mere matter of calculation. But men, according to their predominant feelings, would calculate differently. While a few would undoubtedly prefer the enjoyments of sentiment and
intellect to those of sense and passion, some would, as now, prefer a short life of high excitement, and endeavour to crowd into as narrow a compass as they could, all the delights of which their nature was susceptible; while others, like true epicures, would wish to prolong the feast, and while, like Solomon, they "withheld not their heart from any joy," would partake of these so cautiously, as not to bring the course of their delights to a too abrupt conclusion. This last may be thought the more rational and more prudent plan, and would certainly be more consistent with the natural laws; but it is just as far removed as the other from that which is alone worthy of regard, -moral and virtuous conduct. What, then, becomes of the fine drawn speculations of Mr Combe, as to the regeneration of the world by means of the natural laws?
Christianity presents not only the clearest views of duty, but also the most powerful motives to obedience ; and if those, enforced by every consideration that can influence the mind of man, have not been hitherto sufficient to restrain the evils arising from perverse inclination and unbridled passion, will any fact revealed by Phrenology have this effect? If men have not been prevented from crime by the constraining motives of the fear of God, and the love of a Saviour-the prospect of divine wrath on the one hand, and eternal felicity on the other—will their headlong passions be quelled, and their wayward propensities kept in check, by the doctrine of the supremacy of the moral sentiments and intellect? Is there any thing in this doctrine more attractive than the speculations of Plato or Socrates, on the Beauty of Virtue and the happiness of living according to nature? Will the irreligious man be convinced and rendered pious, by being informed that there are in the brain organs of Veneration, Hope, and Wonder? Will the thief be
236 TRUE REMEDY FOR HUMAN DEPRAVITY.
arrested in his designs, by appealing to an organ of Conscientiousness, and the statement that this principle is superior to Acquisitiveness and Secretiveness, for that these organs lie at the base of the brain, while that of the former lies on the coronal surface? There seems to be here so slender a ground to serve as the foundation of so vast an edifice-so immense a distance between the admitted premises and the desired conclusion,- that I am at a loss to conceive how any sane individual can seriously believe for a moment, that upon such a foundation as this he can be able to rear a system for the recovery of a lost world.
But though it were certain, that, by the means proposed, man were capable in some respects of improving his condition, one thing is clear, that if we are right in our account of human depravity, no effort of man can avail to remedy that evil, because it must ever remain impossible for him to remove its cause. That cause, as has been explained, is the alienation of man from God, banishment from his favour and presence, the dissolving of that intercourse and connection with God, in which he was originally placed, in which state only his faculties were furnished with their highest objects, and where only he could use them in unison with the divine will. Created for a state of dependence upon a Being of infinite perfection, nothing can remove the evils caused by his revolt, but restoring him to the same state. It is needless to ask if the means proposed by Mr Combe will effect this. All his pretended remedies are mere palliatives, utterly powerless to effect any important relief while this grand evil remains unredressed. As well might it be attempted, in the case formerly supposed, of the earth being removed from the cheering influence of the sun, to supply the want of that influence by artificial means, as to remove the evils of man's lot, and the defects of his
many cases there is no warning: hence these abuses are the most fatal, and are least likely to be removed or remedied. Repentance or conversion in such cases is. rare; and hence the care that is incumbent upon us to take, before we finally make up our minds to enter upon a course involving such fearful responsibility.
In all cases it is believed the premonitive warning is less strongly and decidedly pronounced than the accusing voice after the act; and the experience of this is just one of the constraining reasons why the previous admonition, when given, ought to be more promptly and implicitly obeyed.
Each individual is the sole custodier of his own conscience. No one can decide for another of what feelings he is conscious, or what is the extent of his knowledge of moral and religious duty. If the sentiments are deficient, the intellect narrow, the education defective, and the knowledge of duty imperfect, we cannot expect from the individual the same correct judgment of right and wrong, or the same correct conduct in society, as we look for in men whose minds are cast in a happier mould, whose sentiments are sound and active, their intellects clear, and who have been trained in the knowledge and practice of good and virtuous principles. But this we may rely on, that the best are conscious of many deficiencies; that all, whatever may be the standard of their moral judgments, come short of that standard which they themselves bear impressed upon their minds. Not only is it so, but those who stand the highest in moral and intellectual attainments, are just, on this very account, the most feelingly conscious of their own imperfections, and are the first to acknowledge how far they have fallen below that standard of perfect right, which they see a little more clearly than others. Thus it is that the conscience of every man, and particularly
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