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he left man, like the brute, at the longing to man. It is this which, mercy of any thing that chanced to together with conscience, distin. X leave upon his brains the deepest guishes him from the brute creation. impression. He left man no fixed This faculty is a divine, truth-seeing pole-star by which to direct his
Man appears to me in a course, but only the flickering taper new light, belonging to a higher or. y of self-interest, in following which, der of beings, since I have studied he has been wrecked upon every him as he is. He is associated in sand-bar. He granted him reflec. my mind with celestial beings, rather tion, but this was only a kind of than with creeping things. This ruminating upon the gross food fur. view of man affects all his moral nished by the senses. This chew. relations. It sets aside, or rather ing of the cud only aided the diges. rises superior to all that endless cal. tion; it gave no new spiritual aliment culation and argument about God, to the system. Man was to ascertain conscience, religion, which for cen. truth and duty, not from listening turies have occupied the church. to the clear response of the divine Mr. B. I can heartily respond to oracle within him, but from the much which you say. And certainly prompting of the appetite ; that was man needs to have his attention turntruth which was sweet, that a lie ed more to those great facts relating which was bitter to the palate. Duty, to his spiritual nature. But you will virtue, properly speaking, there were pardon me if I call your attention none. If a man, by balancing pains more particularly to some things and pleasures, present or future, which you have stated. This higher could find which end of the steel. faculty of reason which you claim yards would probably preponderate, as so great a discovery in mental scithere lay his duty. Such has been ence, and which you glory in as a the philosophy, for the most part, of distinguishing feature of your systhe civilized world. In opposition tem, I believe to be important, but to this sensual system, we maintain can not see to be new. that man has other faculties than the Mr. A. It is as old as Plato and a bodily senses—a soul distinct from Abraham. But for centuries men the stomach. He is endowed with have lost sight of it. We claim reason and strong religious sentie only that we have found what had ments, which intuitively know and been lost. Practically it is a new spontaneously feel truth and duty, discovery, though the time was when That is true, not because of its great- the great truths which this faculty er profit or pleasure, but true be- reveals animated and inspired the cause it is in agreement with the greatest minds. eternal nature of things. And God Mr. B. But I can see nothing in has gifted man with the faculty to this which has not been recognized, discover this truth. Duty rests upon and which is not now recognized in this discovered truth. Man has no some form by those whom you would arithmetical calculations to make to hesitate to call disciples of your find his duty ; it lies revealed to this school. You have justly laid more faculty. The right is to be follow- stress upon this faculty, I will ad. ed, come pleasure or pain; his ob- mit, than has been usually done; ligation to do right is infinite, having but how can you claim it to be a all the weight of established and un- new discovery, even in the sense changeable truth. We give the soul you have stated ? Has not every a faculty which is wanting, or which enlightened moralist and Christian is certainly overlooked in the com- preacher advocated the idea that mon philosophy of the age. And truth and falsehood, right and wrong, this faculty is the chief quality be. are, in their very nature, eternally
separate? How can this have es. contained in the Bible. Hence in caped you, when, for example, you various forms and relations we have have read the argument in favor of always held to a truth-seeing and the Christian religion drawn from the duty-knowing faculty in man. nature of its doctrines? How re. Mr. A. But you have confounded peatedly has it been asserted that it with the understanding, which can the mind is such a thing that it sees never see either spiritual or univerand knows many of these doctrines sal truths, but has to do only with to be true ? --that man is compelled, the senses. And thus you have subfrom the nature God has given him, jected all classes of ideas to the scruto assent to the rightfulness and the tiny of the logic of the understandrighteousness of the precepts of the ing, which has led to questioning gospel? It has ever been claimed and denying every thing, to throwthat the fundamental precepts of mo- ing religious and sensual truths into ral conduct are so plain that the fool the same category, producing endneed not err, and the heathen are less confusion. without excuse. When the spirit of Mr. B. Why not elucidate this infidelity, coursing up and down the matter of the reason and the underpage of revelation, has sought some standing thus :-Looking upon the weak point at which to commence mind as a unit, and not a medley its sacrilegious work, where has it of separate faculties, we say, the alighted ? Upon the fundamental mind, when acting in one capacity, doctrines and precepts of Christian. judges ; in another, remembers ; in ity? By no means. And why? another, imagines ; in another, wills, Because infidelity itself has been and so on. It is the whole mind, forced to acknowledge this citadel acting in its various directions and impregnable. The leading doctrines capacities, that gives rise to this disof the gospel mankind have felt to tinction of faculties. Now when we be true. They appeal directly to speak of the understanding and reathe soul, conscience, reason, the son as separate faculties, or as headwhole inner man, and, except in a ing two different classes of mental strait of desperation, the infidel has operations, we mean no more than not dared to lay his hands upon that the mind, as one active agent, these truths, but has made his at- occupied with one class of objects, tacks upon some apparent discrep- or in one capacity, is called the unancies in the chronology of Moses, derstanding; in another capacity, or or points alike insignificant, know. acting upon a different class of obing that the common sense and rea. jects, is called reason. Take an exson of the world would cry out ample given by one of your own against him, if he assailed the love, writers to illustrate this distinction : the benevolence, the humility, the We draw a triangle, and by examicharity, the 'forgiveness, the repent nation find its angles equal to two ance, enjoined in the gospel. When right angles. This is a discovery of infidelity has denied the validity of the understanding. Now the underthe evidence in favor of revelation, standing would never see that all and inferred that man is under no ob- triangles must have their angles ligation to practice the virtues there equal to two right angles; but the enjoined, what has been our reply? reason sees this universal truth. Why, that proof or no proof on this very well. It is the mind, dropping point, there was still another ground any particular triangle, which grasps of obligation, one which it could not a fact common to all such figures. gainsay, viz. the testimony of man's It is the understanding, say you, reason and conscience to the truth which is occupied upon the natural fulness of the practical doctrines sciences, in classifying men, aniVol. I.
mals, vegetables, minerals, &c. into mind, the whole mind, or any one genera and species; but it is the of its faculties, in discussing reli. reason which sees those facts com- gious topics. Religion, say you, is mon to all of the same genus or spe. not the province of the understandcies. But the whole mind is occu. ing, but of the reason. Well, if of pied in all this ; and those who never the reason, then of the mind in the heard of the distinction between the exercise of reason. understanding and the reason, re- Mr. A. Yes! but man has a soul, cognize both these powers of the and you would leave him nothing mind.
but a fragment of intellect, to be Mr. A. But what the reason does occupied indifferently, either upon a here is quite an unimportant part of its piece of carpentry, the different official work, compared with what it methods of cookery, or a system of does in the higher sphere of spiritual religion. What faculty, in your truth. The understanding would in- metaphysics, is it, by which a man deed make blundering work any is thrown into raptures by the beauwhere, without some aid from the ties of nature, the inspirations of reason. It is only a kind of intel. the poet, or contemplations of the lectual hopper, which the senses fur- godlike? You would secularize nish with grain, and by means of a every thing, and look cool as an little grinding power of the reason, icicle, upon the face of beauty, or it is enabled to furnish four well the wonders of a wonder-working bolted, bagged, and ready for use. God! Your philosophy has so be
. But while the reason assists the un- numbed your spiritual nature, that derstanding in manufacturing these you can not even talk upon this materials of the senses, its peculiar subject. You remind me of the province is to know God, virtue and clodpole who grunted out—"pshaw! religion, and here it receives no aid, what's the use of those weeds," as but is hindered in its operations by he saw a lovely damsel weaving a the senses and the understanding. bouquet. Standing under the roar You have tried to make the intellec. of Niagara, your only thought would tual mill grind spiritual things as be, whether the position were eligiwell as material. You have set the ble for a sawmill. You must change senses laboriously to work to fill the your whole method of thinking, and hopper with their coarse grains, look with a different eye upon
the arguments for a God, a soul, a Chris- universe, before you can see all tianity, a religion,--then hoisted the that is visible to man's divine reason. gate, and with deafening screakings The reason is a faculty quite dif
. and monotonous scrannel pipings, ferent from the logical power, by you have produced-meal ? the dri- which one gets the better of an op. est unsavory bran, and nothing more, ponent in an argument. It directly say most, and then you fall to dis- sees, and at the same time feels the puting with them whether it is bran truth, and beauty, and goodness, of or meal. Is it wonderful that none all things. True, mind is essen. but dyspeptics will partake of such tially the same in all men; yet a questionable dish? Not only is upon almost every subject how va. there a radical distinction between ried are men's opinions; and upon these two faculties, but it is of the no subject do their speculations difutmost importance to a spiritual re- fer more widely than upon religion. ligion that it be maintained. And not their opinions only, but
Mr. B. I have no objection to their feelings and whole spiritual the distinction ; I deem it import- nature differ entirely. Of the milant; but I can not sympathize with lions who cultivate the earth, or of your objection to employing the the less numerous but more favored
class of mere consumers, few, like siastical discussion. Notwithstand Burns, are alive to the beauty and ing the infallibility of popes and infinity of its forms. He saw more prelates, the orthodox and the het. in the thistle at his door-stone, than erodox have changed places some others would see in traversing the hundred times. And as long as whole of leafy India. The soul of men disregard or overlook the inner one is thrilled with the music of the light of reason, and place religion spheres, while thousands stare at and Christianity among the subjects the heavens with the stupidity of of debate, so long will these shift. the ox. The language of devotion ings of belief continue. is uttered by every tree, flower, and Mr. B. Did it belong to the obrunning brook, but seldom is there ject of our present discussion, I an ear to hear, and a heart to feel. would attempt quite a different soYet the tympanum of all ears is of lution of this change in religious the same construction ; dissect men, belief. You seem to grant that and you will find the heart, ventri- reason has been recognized as a cles, veins, and arteries, the same mental faculty. I claim, that apin all. Why then, you may as well peals have ever been made to it in reason, is there such difference in the search for truth, and particularly the hearing and feeling of living in the examination of scripture docmen? Why this deafness, blinde trines. ness, insensibility, in some-while Mr. A. Why then those volumes others, in the same outward condi. of arguments, a priori and a postion, see, hear, and feel sensitively? teriori, to prove that there is a God, The only answer is, after abating a Christianity, even a religion in much for different natural endow- the universe ? Why have not your ments, most men look at every thing Christian philosophers pointed men through the eye of the understand directly to the facts of a religion ing, rather than through the eye of as they exist, and can be known to
I maintain, that all pos exist in the bosom of every man, sess the godlike faculty of discern- as they would point them to the ing religious truth, but they neglect existence of any objects of vision, to use it. They must argue every and there leave them, taking it for point; call councils and diets to granted that these facts were seen? weigh evidence, and by a majority Instead of this, they have debated of votes, put the matter beyond dis. all these points as problematical ; pute, decide what is orthodox, and God's very existence has been left what men shall believe upon due a peradventure, and all truth and pains and penalties. Hence to-day, duty disputable. So far from turnthis is sound doctrine ; to-morrow, ing the mind in upon itself that it the mail arrives bringing intelli- might see truth, and feel the infinite gence from some such ecclesias- weight of duty, you have only led tical debating club, that if you con- it to question whether they are realtinue to believe it, you shall be ities. I am willing to concede that hung, and no mass said for your some minds have recognized a reasoul. The fact has been entirely son superior to the understanding. overlooked, that the understanding It is too obvious to be overlooked is not adapted to the discovery of by those who think deeply. Still, truth in things spiritual. Men have this distinction has, to the infinite endeavored to settle points in reli. detriment of truth, been disregarded. gion, as they settle questions about Mr. B. These points have been railroads and banks, and thus the discussed that the mind might be faith of the church has changed turned to them. Argument affects with every fresh breeze of eccle. the mind in reference to a thousand things concerning which there is faith, except in things which can really no disbelief. When the scep. be seen and handled, rooted from tic, one starry night, was dealing the heart, and duty reduced to a out his atheistic notions to Napoleon, mere problem in the rule of loss and Napoleon looked up and asked, and gain. Let us stop this low and “ Who made all these then ?" there false argumentation at once; for was an argument, virtually the whole better have no metaphysics, than argument, for the existence of a to continue in this way. Why, only God. Now I ask, where was the reflect! How have you attempted harm of such a reply? Every to convince men that they should thinking mind has seasons of doubt. be religious ? By showing that reing almost every thing which has ligion is useful ! On your system, been considered matter of seuled men are told they had better have belief. As some of your own phi- religion, for reasons like those which losophers have said, no one has induce them to buy an article of thought sufficiently to be a meta. furniture, or a meal of victuals—it physician, who has not thought to will do them good! Really, how doubting. Now the mind rights such motives can consist with viritself at such times by evidence, tue, I can not see. Does not every internal or external, of the reason thief, for the time being, reason that or of the understanding, I care not his theft will profit him? And is which, I approve of both.
this same scoundrel a good man, Mr. A. If men had been rightly when, convinced his gains will be educated, taught to look within rather greater, he ceases to steal and be than without, made acquainted with gins to pray? The possession of their own powers and the proper a Spanish galleon laden with Perumethod of viewing subjects, they vian mines could not offer such rewould escape those doubts.
wards to the pirate, as Paley offers Mr. B. Will you then grant that, him if he will be religious. Strange under existing circumstances, it is that any one should have overbetter to continue the discussion? looked the self-evident truth, that,
Mr. A. By no means. Nothing properly speaking, there can be do is gained, while much is lost. The virtue in acting from such motives. man who needs to be convinced of Self must be annihilated, denied as religious truth by the deductions of the gospel of Christ hath it, and logic, though his language and out. Right, Truth, Goodness, seen, felt, ward conduct may be somewhat and followed for their own sake, in changed by such conviction, still order that we may be holy. Turn remains the same at heart. He is the minds of men in upon them. no more spiritual. He is still des. selves, make them see their divine titute of genuine faith. His relic nature and exercise their divine gion continues a mere matter of reason, and let them act in a mancalculation, embodied in outward ner worthy of happiness. forms, and not in the rapt emotions Mr. B. This is the very thing of a spiritual life. Much is lost, we endeavor to do. We preach for while we continue to argue upon the doctrine-would we could do it those fundamental, intuitive truths, in thunder tones, that men should they will continue to be disputed. obey the truth, and be virtuous beIt is appalling to think to what a cause this is right. That duty depth of spiritual degradation the should be done for duty's sake. sensual philosophy of our age has “ Justitia fiat, ruat cælum”—let jussunk us. We have been led to tice be done, though the heavens question whether we have souls should fall. No danger, nor suffereven; the being of a God denied ; ing, nor glory, nor gain, nor pleas.