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Eye of the Mind. This seems to be the power of judgment; we might call it the intuitive faculty. . . . Here seems to be the origin of the suggestive faculty of Genius. This seems to be the true Mind power, or intellect. It seems to split off into the senses, as light divides into colours, or sound into notes, but to contain within itself the power of mind concentrated, when cut off from the ordinary character of sense and reason. Then all time seems to become as of one duration; space seems as nothing; all passions and desires become hushed; truth becomes an insight, or through sight; and life a law.'-p. 76.
Q. Is mind evolved from this true mind power split off into the senses, and cut off from sense and reason; or, as you told me before, from the grey vesicular covering of the brain?
A. I dare say you do not find me very explicit; but I think the less I attempt to define the better.'-p. 76.
Q. It may be so; definitions are often very uninteresting; explain to me, then, the process by which these important discoveries have been made.
A. Mr. Atkinson once had a patient who knew nothing of physiology, and he could excite any part of her head, and under any combination. . . . . She could explain the nature of each faculty, and its precise situation and relation to other parts. She had the power of bringing into action any portion of the brain at will, whether it were among the outer or inner convolutions. . . She could thus see whether any sentiment were a simple power, or the result of a combination; and of what combination. She could see the form and structure of the brain.'-p. 54.
Q. Are there any other means of studying the spirit-body of
the brain ?'
A. Yes. We may look, for example, at that strange little animal, the bat,-that twin oddity with the ornithorhynchus ; for it seems that we shall find most light amidst what is strange, unusual, and eccentric ;-amidst all that deviates from the balance and ordinary form of nature. We shall no longer be entangled by the cobwebs of learning which men spin out from their own thoughts working under the lamp.'—p. 100.
Q. I admire the simplicity of the new philosophy. How much more natural for these discoverers to consult the bats than to lose themselves amidst the reveries of Berkeley, and Locke, and Reid. And now, having explained their discoveries, will you tell me what great moral lesson they teach?
A. I learn, that I am as completely the result of my nature, and impelled to do what I do, as the needle to point to the north, or the puppet to move according as the string is pulled.' -p. 132.
NEW LIGHT CATECHISM.
Q. A singularly pleasing discovery!
But are you quite
satisfied that Mesmerism and the bats teach this?
A. Quite. Drunk or sober, mad or idiot, a man is at all times the result of his material condition, and the influences without. Some men are, as it were, a law unto themselves; while others, by their nature, are disposed to thieve and to murder. Some men are wolves by their nature, and some are lambs and it is vain to talk of responsibility, as if men made themselves what they are. 'Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard its spots?"-p. 131.
Q. How would you state the same conclusion in philosophical
A. Of course, as a part of nature, as a creature of necessity, as governed by law, man is neither selfish nor unselfish, neither good nor evil,-worthy nor unworthy; but simply nature, and what is possible to nature, and could not be otherwise.'-p. 232.
Q. What is your opinion of philosophers, so called?
A. Many who are in high favour and esteem are, in truth, but lying hypocrites, walking through life under a mask, put on according to the fashion of men's prejudices and superstitions in their time. Thus, instead of helping the world on, they only help to obstruct the way. Thus it is with many of our saintly philosophers-wise in their own generation. What the next will think of them, time will show.'-p. 360.
Q. Did nature weave the mask for these hypocrites?
Q. What are your views of the prospects of the human race? A. The knowledge which Mesmerism gives of the influence of body on body, and, consequently, of mind on mind, will bring about a morality we have not yet dreamed of. And who shall disguise his nature and his acts when we cannot be sure at any moment that we are free from the clairvoyant eye of some one who is observing our actions and most secret thoughts, and our whole character and history may be read off at any moment! Few have the faintest idea of the influence these great truths will have upon the morals of men.'-p. 280.
Q. You sometimes use the word God; in what sense do you use it?
God is the substance of law, and the origin of all things.' ~p. 141.
Q. Have you any distinct conception of that which you have defined?
A. No. The notion of a single conscious being outside of nature is baseless: man is far happier to see that we know nothing whatever about the matter."
Q. And yet we are almost compelled to have some notion about it?
A. Yes. We assume a something and a principle, because the form of mind requires it, as a thing essential, though unknown: and it is this which I wrongly enough perhaps termed God.'-p. 170.
Q. What then more distinctly can you give us as the explana. tion of the unfortunate term in question?
A. 'The God of nature is that infinite cause in nature, eternal, omnipresent, and without change; the principle of matter and of the properties of matter, motion, and the mind of matter, but neither matter, nor property, nor mind. What it is, is beyond our comprehension, and folly to suppose. The finite cannot grasp the infinite, nor phenomena a cause.'-p. 343.
Such is the kind of evidence on which our friends of the NewLight school profess themselves devout believers in the new philosophy. Of course, we have nothing to adduce in the form of testimony in support of Christianity, that will admit of comparison with the series of lucid proofs now placed before our readers. Nothing, accordingly, can be more reasonable, than that we should be called upon to sympathize deeply with these ingenuous, these much-suffering inquirers after truth, and that we should give them full credit for sincerity when they profess, as they sometimes do, their painful inability to see any sufficiency or force, in what we call the Christian evidences. Accustomed as they are to subject all evidence to the severest possible scrutiny; to reject everything that does not admit of clear statement, and all but demonstrative proof, we have only to lament that what, as Christians, we believe to be a revelation from heaven, should have come to these intelligent and amiable persons in such a form, that the fault of their not being Christians, is a fault manifestly resting, not at all on them, but wholly elsewhere. So growing is our disposition to do what may be done towards securing the most liberal consideration of all doubt expressed in such circumstances in reference to the claims of Christianity, that we shall probably call attention to another case or two of this sort ere long.
ART. IV. (1.) Wyld's General Atlas. 67 Maps, including all the recent Discoveries. London: Wyld. 1852.
(2.) Notes to accompany Mr. Wyld's Model of the Earth, Leicester Square. London: Wyld. 1852.
THERE certainly has never been a time in the world's history when mankind were so well acquainted as at present with the spot which it is their destiny to inhabit, and never perhaps have such great efforts been made, as within the last two or three years, to increase and disseminate this kind of knowledge. The great progress made of late years in the arts of locomotion and intercommunication has been the immediate stimulus to the spread of geographical knowledge, though, of course, the progress in those arts, itself implies strong impulses acting more remotely. We have yet to find the way of travelling through the air, but in the meanwhile railways, steamboats, and electric telegraphs contribute to give us an impression of the smallness of the earth, and the nearness of its most distant inhabitants. We already look upon a Frenchman as living next door. An American lives but in the next street. Even a Chinese is no longer a stranger, but a country-cousin who has his manners to learn. We pay him and his family a visit without any inconvenience (except sea-sickness), and without much loss of time; and as he has begun to return our civilities, we may soon hope to be on a sociable footing. The commander of the Chinese junk will certainly not be the last distinguished visitor who will come from the celestial empire to look down upon the other side of the globe.
There is no doubt that the placing side by side, in the Industrial Exhibition, of merely the material products of the different parts of the world, has tended to create in us a neighbourly feeling towards their personal representatives. It is true, that long before the Exhibition was thought of, 'tea, coffee, tobacco, pepper, and snuff,' might have been equally efficacious, but the case was not, or at least not generally so; perhaps because the mind had become so used to the little attentions implied under those names, that we had almost forgotten to whom we were indebted. Besides those causes which are tending, more and more, to enlarge our family circle, and which will bring us ultimately to look on nothing less than the whole earth as our home, and even that as a small one, the numerous and excellent works, literary and pictorial, which give us glimpses, every day fuller and more
correct, of foreign places and foreign communities, have a powerful tendency in the same direction. There is no place of importance on the earth's surface of which we cannot learn something by consulting Johnston's Gazetteer, or other geographical cyclopedias. Books of travels, too, abound; and though in quality there is still much to be desired, their quantity makes up, in some measure, for other deficiencies. So familiar may we expect to become with all the ins-and-outs of this old earth of ours, that in course of time, travels in any part of it will be thought of as Travels round my Table' now are, in which all that is new will come out of the writer's own head. Such titles as Adventures in will become extinct. Travellers of an adventurous turn will have no chance of losing their lives (unless it be in the polar regions). The ascent of Mont Blanc has long been a piece of every-day work; and it may be presumed that A Day in the Himalayas will, in time, be no more startling an announcement than a day anywhere else. But if something of excitement and of novelty will be lost, how infinite will be the gain when all the sweet emotions connected with home and social enjoyments shall belong, not to this or that locality or circle of friends, but to the great earth itself, and its numerous tribes of inhabitants. The earth may seem small, physically speaking, when we can go round it in a day, but surely when measured by the enjoyments it will afford, it will seem full and large, compared to what it is at present.
The almost simultaneous publication of Humboldt's Cosmos, Somerville's Physical Geography, and Johnston's Physical Atlas, to which may now be added Wyld's Globe, destined, we hope, to a long sojourn among us, would, in themselves, have formed an epoch in the progress of what Humboldt would call cosmical knowledge; but when these are crowned by the Great Show, and all its accompaniments, among which we do not, of course, omit the hundred and one publications devoted to diffusing all sorts of knowledge about the products of distant countries, we indeed see that there is a strong disposition abroad to draw tighter the bonds of union in our earthly home. Such an idea seems to be peculiarly the thought of the times.
The desire to possess fuller knowledge of the earth than was supplied in the old maps and geographical dictionaries, is only one manifestation of that spirit of sociability alive in Europe at the present moment. We are determined to know everything. Henceforth there shall be no dark spots on the face of the globe. Happy is it when the prying curiosity which lays bare to the world the interior of Africa and the back-slums of our metropolis, is accompanied by an earnest desire to make know