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striking is that of Samuel Chilton,ut labourer of Tinsbury, near Bath in England. On one occasion, in the year 1696, he slept froin the ninth of April to the seventh of August, about seventeen weeks, being kept alive by small quantities of wine poured down his throat. He then awoke, dressed himself, and walked about the room,
, being perfectly unconscious that he had slept more than one night. Nothing, indeed, could make him believe that he had slept so long, till, upon going to the fields, he saw crops of barley and oats ready for the sickle, which he remembered were only sown when he last visited them.”—In the proceedings of the French Royal Academy of Sciences in 1719, there is also a statement, illustrative of the subject under consideration, to the following effect. There was in Lausanne a nobleman, who, as he was giving orders to a servant, suddenly lost his speech and all his senses.—Different remedies were tried, but, for a very considerable time, without effect. For six months he appeared to be in a deep sleep, unconscious of everything: At the end of that period, however, resort having been had to certain surgical operations, he was suddenly restored to his speech and the exercise of his understanding. When he recovered, the servant to whom he had been giving orders happening to be in the room, he asked him if he had done what he had ordered him to do, not being sensible that any interval, except perhaps a very short one, had elapsed during his illness.
$ 114. Of time and its measurements, and of eternity. When duration is estimated or measured, then we calı it Time. Such measurements, as every one is aware, are made by means of certain natural or artificial motions. The annual revolution of the sun (using language in accordance with the common apprehensions on the subjeet) marks off the portion of duration which we call a YEAR ; the revolution of the moon marks off another portion, which we call a MONTH ; the diurnal revolution of the sun gives us the period of a day; the movements of the hands over the face of a clock or watch give the diminished durations of hours and minutes. This is TIME, which differs from duration only in the circumstance of its being measured.
What we call Eternity is only a modified or imperfect time, or, rather, time not completed. We look back over the months, and days, and years of our former existence; we look forward and onward, and behold ages crowding on ages, and time springing from time. And in this way we are forcibly led to think of time unfinished, of time progressive but never completed ; and to this complex notion we give the name of Eternity
Ø 115. The idea of space not of external origin. Another of those notions, the origin of which we prupose to consider under the head of Suggestion, is the idea of SFACE.—If this idea were of external origin, if it could properly be said to come into the mind by the way of sensation, we should be able to make such a reference of it. But let us inquire. It will evidently not be pretended that the notion of space is to be ascribed to the senses of taste, of smell, or of hearing. And can it be ascribed to the sense of touch? Is it a matter of feeling? A single consideration will suggest a satisfactory answer. It will certainly be acknowledged, that we can have no knowledge, by the sense of touch, (with the single excep tion, perhaps, of the sensations of heat and cold which are commonly ascribed to it,) of anything which does not present some resistance. The degree of resistance may greatly vary, but there will always be some. But no one will undertake to say that resistance is a quality of space, or enters in any way into his notion of it.
Tor are there less obvious objections to regarding it as a direct object of sight. The sense of sight gives us no direct knowledge of anything but colours; all other visual perceptions are original in the sense of touch, and are made the property of the sight by transference. No one certainly ever speaks of space as red or white, or of any other colour, or conceives of it as such.
There is another consideration, adverse to ascribing the idea of space to the senses, applicable equally to the sight and the touch. Everything coming within the cognizance of those two senses, with the exception already alluded to,) has form, limits, bounds, place, &c. But the idea to which we are now attending is utterly exclusive of everything of this nature; it is not susceptible of circumscription and figure. So far from it, when we escape beyond the succession of circumscribed and insulated objects, we have but just entered within its empire. If we let the mind range forth beyond the forms immediately surrounding us, beyond the world itself, beyond all the systems of worlds in the universe; if we stand in our conception on the verge of the remotest star, and look downward and upward, it is then the idea of space rushes upon the mind with a power before unknown.—These considerations clearly lead to the conclusion, that the notion of space is not susceptible of being ascribed directly to sensation in any of its forms, and is not, in the proper sense of the terms, of external origin.
Ø 116. The idea of space has its origin in suggestion. What, then, shall we say of the origin of the notion of space? When pressed on this point we have but one answer to give; it is the natural offspring of the mind; it is a creation of the soul, wholly inseparable from its elementary constitution and action; an intimation coming from an interior and original impulse.—It remains to be added, that, while we cannot directly refer the notion in question to the senses, but must ascribe its origin to the suggestive principle, we cannot even state with certainty any particular occasion on which it arises, for we have the notion at a period further back than we can remember. On this point, however, it is undoubtedly true, that we may advance opinions more or less probable. It is, for instance, a supposition not altogether worthless, that mos tion may have been the original occasion of the rise of this idea. At an early period we moved the hand, either to grasp something removed at a little distance, or in the mere playful exercise of the muscles, or perhaps we transferred the whole body from one position to another; and it is at least no impossibility, that on such an occasion the idea of space may have been called forth in the soul.
But there is another supposition still more entitled to notice. Our acquaintance with external bodies, by means of the senses, may have been the occasion of its rise, although the senses themselves are not its direct source. It
is certain that we cannot contemplate any bały whatever an apple, a rose, a tree, a house, without always finding the idea of space a ready and necessary concomitant. We cannot conceive of a body which is nowhere. So tliat we may at least date the origin of the idea of space as early as our acquaintance with any external body whatever. In other words, it is a gift of the mind, made simultaneously with its earliest external perceptions.
§ 117. Of the origin of the idea of power. Under the head of Suggestion the idea of POWER properly belongs. Every man has this notion; every one feels, too, that there is a corresponding reality; in other words, power is not only a mere subject of thought, but has, in some important sense, a real existence. And we may add, that every one knows, although there is somewhere a great original fountain of power, independent of all created beings, that he has a portion (small indeed it may be, but yet a portion) of the element of power in his own mind and in his own person. There is indeed a Power, unexplored and invisible, which has reared the mountains, which rolls the ocean, and which propels the sun in his course; but it is nevertheless true, that man, humble as he is in the scale of rational and accountable beings, possesses, as an attribute of his own nature, an amount of real efficiency, suited to the limited sphere which Providence has allotted him. This is
This is a simple statement of the fact. Power goes hand in hand with existence, intelligence, and accountability. There is no existence, either intelligent or unintelligent, without power, either in the thing itself, or in something else which sustains it. There is no accountable existence without power, existing in and participating in such existence, and constituting the basis of its accountability.
0 113. Occasions of the origin of the idea of power. But the principal question here is, not what power is in itself, nor whether man possesses power in fact, but under what circumstances the notion or idea of power arises in the human mind. The occasions of the origin of this idea, so far as we are able to judge, appear to be
threefold -(1.) All cases of antecedence and sequence in the natural world. We are so constituted, that, in connexion with such cases of antecedence and sequence, we are led at a very early period of life to frame the proposition and to receive it as an undeniable truth, that there can be no beginning or change of existence without
This proposition involves the idea of efficiency or power.—(2.) The control of the will over the muscular action. We are so constituted, that, whenever we will to put a part of the body in motion, and the motion fol. lows the volition, we have the idea of power.—(3.) The control of the will over the other mental powers. Within certain limits and to a certain extent, there seems to be ground for supposing that the will is capable of exercising a directing control over the mental as well as over the bodily powers. And whenever we are conscious of such control being exercised, whether it be greater or less, occasion is furnished for the origin of this idea. It is then called forth or SUGGESTED. It is not seen by the material eye, nor reached by the sense of touch; but, emerging of itself from the mind, like a star from the depths of the firmament, it reveals itself distinctly and brightly to the intellectual vision.
9 119. Of the ideas of right and wrong. Right and Wrong also are conceptions of the pure Understanding; that is, of the Understanding operating in virtue of its own interior nature, and not as dependent on the senses. We are constituted intellectually in such a manner, that, whenever occasions of actual right or wrong occur, whenever objects fitted to excite a moral approval ur disapprova. are presented to our notice, the ideas of RIGHT and WRONG naturally and necessarily arise within
In respect to these ideas or intellections, (if we choose to employ an expressive term partially fallen into disuse, Cudworth, Stewart, Cousin, and other writers of acknowledged discernment and weight, appear to agree in placing the origin of them here. And this arrangement of them is understood to be important in connexion with the theory of Morals. If these ideas originate in the pure intellect, and are simple, as they ohviously are, then