Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: A Defence of the Inquiry into Mesmerism & Phrenology - chiefly in relation to recent events in Lynn
Author: Armes, William
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Defence of the Inquiry into Mesmerism & Phrenology - chiefly in relation to recent events in Lynn" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

MESMERISM & PHRENOLOGY***


Transcribed from the 1843 J. W. Aikin and J. Thew edition by David Price,
email ccx074@pglaf.org



                                A DEFENCE
                           OF THE INQUIRY INTO
                         MESMERISM & PHRENOLOGY,
                           CHIEFLY IN RELATION
                        TO RECENT EVENTS IN LYNN.


                                    BY

                              WILLIAM ARMES.

                                * * * * *

                                  LYNN:
                  PUBLISHED BY J. W. AIKIN, AND J. THEW,
                               HIGH STREET.

                                  1843.

                                * * * * *



A DEFENCE &c.


In offering this address to the consideration of the candid and sober
minded of my fellow Townsmen, I am guided by no desire to prop, by my
small influence, any new, and possibly false, theory; or to cry down,
without examination, the pretensions of any science (so called) however
adverse to my preconceived ideas.

The subject of Mesmerism and of Mesmeric Phrenology has, for some time
past, occupied the attention of the inhabitants of Lynn, and the various
phenomena exhibited, as might have been expected, have called forth the
credulous wonder of one class, the unworthy ridicule of another, and the
patient and quiet examination of a third.

Two pamphlets have appeared upon the subject, which it is not my
intention to remark upon at any length.  The first (written, I have no
doubt, with the very best intention) is from the pen of an individual who
was associated with a small party, employed in the rigid scrutiny of the
exhibitions of the Lecturer; who did not, in the Meetings held for that
propose, express his doubt or dissent to much of the most novel and
starling phenomena; but, who thought it not inconsistent with his
position, to leave his friends in the midst of their unfinished inquiry;
and, prejudging the question, to placard the Town, with yellow handbills,
after the style of other Pamphleteers, advertizing his proportion.  This
publication, certainly, in the estimation of most intelligent men, is not
remarkable for any thing approaching critical investigation or inquiry;
but may, possibly, amuse the children and the vulgar, by the low
exhibitions of art, imitating wit, by which the author has adorned it.

The last Pamphlet, by Mr. Cotton, published under the ambiguous title of
“Popular delusions applied to Mesmerism,” has just issued from the press;
I have read it very carefully, and am perfectly astonished to find how
very little Mr. C. to say upon the subject.

I can well believe him when he says, “We have gone out of our way to draw
up these lines,” it really appears so, and I feel persuaded, that,
whatever opinion his readers may form of the entire work, this passage,
at least, will be universally received as perfectly clear and veracious.

Mr. C. tells us, at the outset, he is “but a gatherer,” this also is very
evident, and, I only regret that he had not been directed to quarters
where he might have gathered something upon the subject; or, at least,
more relevant than the conglomerated mass of hard names and phrases, with
which he has soiled his pages; which can only induce the head-ache in any
of his readers, who should be induced to follow him, in his mental
meanderings.  And, I have no doubt, this has been the result to the
Author, in his toilsome “gathering” of such mighty material!

These two gentlemen, sheltering themselves under the names of those great
men, who, it is very true, have discarded, or thrown doubt upon the
subject of Mesmerism, have pleased themselves with the idea of their
honourable companionship: they have exulted in the presumption of being
influenced by the same genius; and, looking at the track, marked out by
these larger vessels, they have sung to themselves very innocently,

    “There let my little bark, attendant, sail,
    Pursue the triumph and partake the gale.”

Indeed Mr. Taylor says, “I would not have sent it thus hurriedly to the
press, but, fearing that Mesmerism might die a natural death, before I
had given it one kick, I would not delay.”  Very unkind indeed towards a
falling phantom, which needed not, it appears from our author, a blow so
heavy, as must be the consequence of a kick from so weighty a man as Mr.
Taylor!

Had Mr. Taylor and Mr. Cotton merely exercised their right of publishing
to the Town their own opinions; or, had they only recorded the opinions
of others, I should not have felt it my duty to have taken any special
notice of their labors; but, when Mr. Cotton, at the close of his labored
essay, which, indeed treats of almost every subject save that of
Mesmerism, and to produce which, he must have been very diligent in
poring over the pages of the several books upon his shelves; when, at the
close of his toil, he charges those, who have seen it to be their duty to
enquire into the subject, with “Wonder, Impressibility, and Credulity;”
with affording “partisanship, patronage, and encouragement to their
Mesmeric Protogees,” I may perhaps be excused for offering to my fellow
Townsmen, some remarks upon the subject, which, but for the attempts at
satire of Messrs. Taylor and Cotton, would, possibly, not have appeared.

When Mr. Brookes first lectured in Lynn, I was induced to attend, as I
had been informed that he would experiment on a lad who was my
apprentice.  I went to that Meeting quite as skeptical as any person
could be, having seen nothing in Mesmerism, myself, and, having read only
as much as gave me a most unfavorable opinion of its pretensions.  I saw
the experiments; I endeavoured to account for them, but, was unable.  I
confess, honestly, that I was astonished at what I saw.  I found, that
the Lecturer was applauded by the mass of the audience.  I felt persuaded
that a clever impostor was deluding the people; or, that a power, in
Nature, was, then, brought before me of which I had had no previous
conception.  At the close of his experiments, being desirous that the
intelligence of the Town should be brought to the examination of these
new phenomena, I proposed, to the Lecturer, that I should endeavour to
procure a Meeting at the Town Hall, of a class of persons competent to
the investigation.  To this he readily assented, with the definite
understanding that on his part it would be quite gratuitous; and, that my
only object was a rigid examination of his experiments.  The Meeting was
held; and, I can appeal to those who were present whether there was not,
on the part of the audience, a disposition to debate every inch of the
argument, as the experiments proceeded.

The result of that Meeting was quite what I expected; The Medical and
Scientific Gentlemen present, departed, not satisfied; but, disposed
still farther to investigate.  Many smaller Meetings have been held, at
the houses of the several Gentlemen engaged in the inquiry, and, at those
Meetings, a process of examination and of testing the experiments has
been pursued, which, could not be adopted at a Public Meeting.  I would
here remark, that, at all these Meetings, Mr. Brookes has, cheerfully and
gratuitously, afforded every possible opportunity of testing his
exhibitions; and, I feel assured, that he will not dissent from my
testimony to the courteous, though careful and rigid, character of the
investigation.

I wish the reader to bear in mind that, in any statement or opinion I may
place upon these pages, I particularly disclaim any intention to commit
any Gentleman engaged in the investigation of the subject; whether they
may or not hereafter be disposed to publish the result of the inquiry, I
am not prepared to say; but, all I now write is upon my own exclusive
responsibility.

For myself, I state clearly, that, while I dissent from the extraneous
and ridiculous nonsense by which the subject has been allayed and
encumbered; yet, that I have seen, in the Meetings to which I refer, such
manifestations as were undeniably genuine in their character, and, could
certainly not be accounted for by the power of Imagination, laid down by
Mr. Taylor; or by any of the hard Words by the employment of which Mr.
Cotton has endeavoured to impress the Public with a high idea of his
Wisdom.

Of the facts which have been seen, in the course of the inquiry, I, at
present, state no more than this.  That nothing has been credited upon
doubtful evidence; but, that the Inquirers have trod in the investigation
with the utmost caution, doubting every thing, debating every thing, and
only advancing to a judgment as they were enabled to connect, link by
link, the increasing chain of evidence.

I disclaim for myself, and I feel sure I may for the Gentlemen with whom
I have been connected, any design or desire to promote Mesmerism, or to
advance the interest of the Lecturer.  With the Individual none of us has
had the most remote connection, before his visit to Lynn; and for the
Science we could not be supposed to have any great predelictions or
regard.  Our only object has been, as far as possible, to examine the
facts, and to prevent, if in our power, any imposture being palmed upon
the Town; and I submit that we have been as honorably employed as Messrs.
Taylor and Cotton in their mere attempts at ridicule.  To the latter
Gentleman I would recommend the perusal of Dr. Dickson’s “Fallacies of
the Faculty,” where he would learn that he is not the first
_professional_ person who has employed ridicule, instead of scrutiny, on
the introduction of new theories, some of which, by the way, are now
adopted by Mr. Cotton himself, in common with the profession generally.

With the doubts or convictions, resting upon the minds of those who have
examined the subject, I have nothing to do; each individual has the
power, given him by the Creator, to examine for himself; and he should be
guided by his own convictions, and by those convictions alone; but, when
any person is determined to shut his eyes to evidence, and then tells me
he cannot see, I can only reply, “It would be _Mesmerism_ indeed if you
could;” but, if in addition, he require me to follow his example, and to
blindfold my perception, I entertain for such person feelings bordering
on contempt.

What I have seen has made an impression on my mind; the nature of that
impression is very unimportant to the Public, and I only feel called upon
to justify the course I have pursued in the inquiry; or rather, to
justify the inquiry itself.

In order to this, I shall briefly reply to the arguments _against
inquiry_ into the subject of Mesmerism and Phrenology as I have heard
them advanced.

The first, and certainly the most futile of all the reasons alledged why
we should not inquire into the fact or fallacy of Mesmeric and
Phrenological phenomena is this.  _That the Lecturer is connected with
the Chartists_.  Had I not heard this myself, and had not Mr. Taylor
thrown out in his pamphlet the same insinuation, I confess, I should not
have conjectured there was a single individual who could be, at all,
influenced by such petty, not to say stupid considerations.  Who ever
dreamed of inquiring, except as matters of historic interest, in relation
to the individuals themselves, whether Newton, Harvey, Franklin, and the
various discoverers of the useful Arts and Sciences were Whigs or Tories?
and, I presume, that the individuals making this objection ride very
comfortably in the vehicles of the Country, undisturbed as to whether the
inventors of stage coaches belonged to their own, or to an opposite class
of Politicians.  For myself, in examining the Theory, I conclude I have
as little guarantee for its truth from the Chartism, as I should expect
from the Toryism of its Lecturer.  In all such matters I judge from the
facts, and not the individuals; and am too well assured that no political
party stands so high in virtue as to offer me a complete security against
fraud and imposture.

It is argued, also, _That if there had been any truth in Mesmerism_, _it
would since the days of its discoverer_, _have certainly made more
progress_.  _That_, _it has now been many years before the public_, _and
remains_, _as to any useful purpose_, _in its original position_.

It were sufficient to reply to this argument, that, if no parallel could
be found in the introduction of other discoveries, now held to be useful
to the public; that the presumption is quite illogical, that I must not
credit what I see, and what my senses assure me to be fact, because
similar exhibitions have been before, and often shown to the eyes, and
ears, of other persons and they have discarded them.

I conceive, the more philosophical mode to be to come to the examination
without prejudging it; and to inquire as closely and carefully as if the
subject was being introduced for the first time.

No person, being at all acquainted with History, needs to be informed by
what slow process the most useful discoveries have made way in the world.
Every thing new comes to us clothed with suspicion; and the most
intelligent and best men are reluctant to forego long cherished ideas and
hypothesis in favour of a new doctrine, and too hastily to adopt the
novelty, among such persons, is to lose cast in society, and to incur the
appellation of Enthusiasts in the world.

Farther, when the bare truth of any discovery has been generally allowed,
we find, that the movement has been very slow indeed by which it has
advanced to perfection.

By what tardy steps has Naval Architecture advanced from the time that
the first Savage ventured upon a plank across the brook, until, in our
day, the Navies of the Nations are spreading their canvas up the oceans
of the world?

It is now, in the fulness of our knowledge, difficult to go back, in
idea, from the recent launch of the “Great Britain,” to the remote period
when, the power of Steam was first observed, by some old Lady, when
boiling her kettle on the kitchen fire.

We are told, by Mr. Cotton, of several individuals, deservedly eminent in
literature, who have discarded the new Science; but, if Mr. C. be on that
account entitled to any advantage, might not Mr. Brookes retort upon him,
“You have all the advantage of their researches, and surely, if it be
imposture, they could have discovered it; I now bring my facts before
you, and, after all your experience, challenge your investigation?” and I
cannot but think the labour of the learned has been ill employed, for so
many years, if they have been able, after all, to lay down no plan by
which to detect this presumed imposture.

It is argued also, _That_, _if Mesmerism be true it can be of no real use
in Society_; _and that it may possibly be ill employed_.

The answer to this objection I hold to be, that at present, we have
nothing to do with the use or abuse of the assumed power; our only object
is, to inquire into its existence; that must necessarily be ascertained
before it can, in any way, be employed: I feel assured, that, if the
power, claimed by Mesmerism, do really exist, it, in common with all the
powers of Nature, is capable of producing good; and I would caution
Objectors against the reflection upon Providence obviously implied in the
opposite idea.

If the real use of a discovery were required, before it could be advanced
to the world, it would operate most fatally to the interests of Science.

Had Dr. Franklin been called upon to prove the use of Electricity, before
he was allowed to exhibit his discoveries, he would have been stopped on
the very threshold of his experiments, and much of his ingenious
discovery would have been lost to the world.

I am here speaking of Mesmerism, alone, as I shall hereafter have to
speak of Phrenology.  As to any remedial effect to be expected from the
practice of Mesmerism, in cases of physical or of nervous disease, it
would be quite out of my province, publicly, even to conjecture: I can
only state, that I have heard, on most unquestionable authority, of cases
of cure, of a most important kind; but, that, in the estimation of
Medical men, the result would have been, fairly attributable to the
operation of Mesmerism I presume not to determine.

It is creditable to the Medical Gentlemen of Lynn, that they have, with
few exceptions, applied themselves to the consideration of the subject,
and I have no doubt, would be glad to find in Mesmerism, as in any thing
else, an additional auxiliary in their endeavours to ease the couch of
suffering, and to lessen the amount of human misery.  The curative
properties we may leave to the better information of the Faculty, while
we employ our perceptive powers in endeavouring to ascertain the fact, or
fallacy, of the presumed Science.

_That the discovery may be abused_ is at once admitted, though by no
means, to the extent of the fears of some individuals; but, we do well to
inquire how the same idea applies to other matters.  I incline to the
belief that there are few powers in Nature not capable of being abused.

Who is not aware of the destructive properties of Fire, and how often it
is employed, by the Incendiary, to the damage of the honest and
unsuspecting?  Who has not heard, day after day, of Juries sitting upon
the bodies of unfortunate persons who have been destroyed by this
powerful element of Nature? and yet, who ever heard of any sane person
who would argue, that it had been better for Mankind had Fire not been
known?

Who does not know the mighty power for ill, as well as for good, the
_Materia Medica_ confers upon the professional part of civilized Society?
yet, who would argue, that it would be better for mankind to discontinue
the use and practice of Medicine?

The exhibitions of Mesmerism have been compared to the feats of the
Jugglers of India, and, we have been pressed with the assurance, _that
the Mesmeriser is quite outdone by the Juggler_.  It may be so, but I
submit, that there is a clear line of distinction to be drawn between the
two cases.

The Indian comes before you professing to deceive, he defies you indeed
to discern the process of imposture, and sometimes the observer is so
astonished that he falls back on the only idea that can serve him at the
moment, (so completely are his senses paralyzed) that, there must be some
superhuman agency employed; but, after all, it only professes to be the
feat of a Conjuror, and he offers you no clue to the practice of the same
delusion.

The Mesmeriser exhibits, before your eyes, phenomena very strange and
startling, but he says “I am no Conjuror; I only profess to show you a
latent power in Nature, as yet but imperfectly developed; I believe that
its knowledge may be useful to Society; I profess to do nothing which you
cannot do yourselves; test my experiments in every possible way, _I will
assist you to do so_.”

Who, I ask, does not at once see, that in the one case, we are imposed
upon by a clever Impostor, and cannot help ourselves; while in the other,
we can test almost every experiment by trials of our own, and need draw
no conclusion but from the result of our own individual and absolute
experiment.

The only remaining argument advanced against inquiring into the assumed
sciences, of which we are speaking, is this, that _The establishment of
the truth of Mesmerism_, _and specially of Phrenology_, _would be
destructive to the Christian Religion_, _and would subvert the authority
of the Scriptures upon which that Religion is based_.

To my mind, this is, by far, the gravest argument with which we have to
deal, and I should be sorry indeed to treat it in an improper or
unbecoming manner; yet, I feel that I should be failing in the duty I
have imposed upon myself, were I not to look the presumed difficulty
fairly in the face; and at least endeavour to justify my own conduct in
regard to it; and if possible, to remove the delusion which, I humbly
suggest, hangs upon the mind of those who make this objection.

I am quite aware that it is impossible that I should do complete justice
to this part of my subject; or, offer more than a comparatively very
small part of the argument which might be adduced.  My purpose, in this
publication, would not be served by a long treatise; and I shall
therefore endeavour to compress the argument as much as possible, begging
the reader to judge impartially of what I do advance; and not to condemn
the argument because I have been unable to compress that which would
require a volume, into the pages of a small pamphlet.

Before I proceed farther, I would altogether dismiss the objection, _That
we cannot comprehend the phenomena_, observing, merely, that that remark
applies, with equal force, to a vast variety of subjects and objects,
which we are compelled to believe.

    “Go ask your mother Earth why Oaks are made
    Taller or stouter than the Weeds they shade.”

To the serious, christian man, upon whom this objection has any
influence, I would remark, that he who is disposed to admit the truth of
that only which he can comprehend, confines his faith in a very narrow
circle, within the circumference of which there can be no God!

I here feel it incumbent upon me to state, that I have no sympathy with
those individuals who would foster and encourage any Theory by which they
hope to damage Christianity; and I wonder that any person can be found so
hardy as to endeavour, covertly, to undermine the rock upon which the
hopes of so many have been founded; to put out the light which has, for
ages, served to guide the pious, humble christian in his journey through
life; to take away and to destroy that feeling, with regard to a future
world of happiness, which has been the Hope of the pious in all ages,
which Hope they have cherished in their hearts, in every difficulty and
in every distress, and which has been to them, on the stormy ocean of the
World, as an “anchor to the soul.”

Mine is a far different object, I desire to shew the unlettered Christian
that he has not believed in a “cunningly devised fable,” but, that his
Faith rests upon a sure basis, and that he may take his Bible in his hand
and laugh to scorn the insidious attempts of the learned infidelity and
skepticism of the world. {19}

I believe much harm is done to Religion by the well intentioned but idle
fears of Christians, upon the introduction of any new Science; their
Faith and not their Fears should be called into exercise.  I believe the
Bible to be given by the Author of Nature, and that he never gave any
information to his Creatures which could ever be adverse or inconsistent
to any subsequent development that Nature could afford.

I dare not admit the idea that the testimony of Scripture depends for its
acceptance upon the sufferance of Modern Science.  I take vastly higher
ground, and believe that the Christian man may approach with confidence
to the investigation of any phenomena in Nature, in the assurance that,
so far as it is true, it will not be found inconsonant with what he
rightly considers to be the Word of God.

Much of the difficulty in the minds of well meaning Christians, in all
ages, in relation to discoveries in Nature has doubtless arisen from the
peculiar and poetical language in which the Scriptural Record is
expressed.  In the fact that it was just so expressed as to be understood
by the particular people to whom it was originally given.  That it does
not profess to be a guide to man, in his researches through the arcanum
of Nature; but, incidentally alludes to natural phenomena only so far as
the people of that age were acquainted with such subjects, and in order
only, to give a proper impression as to the greatness and goodness of
God.

Had these propositions been more generally observed, I venture to
suggest, that Religion and Science would not have been found so often in
circumstances of apparent collision.

The best men have, in all ages, been too much disposed to put their Faith
in abeyance, while their Fears have been allowed to proclaim a danger to
Religion; and, alas! too often to persecute those who have made the most
useful and important discoveries.

It is well known that the Copernican System was declared by the Pope, on
its introduction, in a bull, specially issued for the purpose, to be
“false in fact and heretical in religion,” and its author was doomed to
imprisonment for his discovery! and we find that while Plato, Cicero,
Aristotle, Strabo, and other heathen authors allowed the rotundity of the
earth, that Lactantius, _one of the Christian Fathers_, influenced by the
well meaning, but ill employed fear I have described, contended for the
old opinion.  He asks, “Is any one so foolish, as to believe that there
are men whose feet are higher than their heads; trees growing downwards;
rain, snow, and hail, falling upwards?”

Lactantius feared that his Religion and the new theory could not exist
together.  We have become assured of the truth of the theory, and who
_now_ fears for the Scriptures on account of the globular form of the
Earth?

Some few years since Geology was introduced as a science, the Christian
World became alarmed; the pens of divines were busily employed to write
down the supposed delusion; the patient Investigators of the structure of
the Earth continued their labor, and we now find that, as the science
makes way the fear subsides, and Geology, in the present day, numbers
among its supporters and defenders some of the brightest ornaments of the
Christian Church.

It may not be familiar to my readers, that even Navigation, by the
discovery and pursuit of which mankind in our day are always passing in
large numbers upon the Ocean, which we term in modern language, the
“Highway of Nations;” which is quite indispensible to the intercourse and
commerce of the world; which conduces so much, and in so many ways, to
human happiness: by the aid of which the providential bounties of the
Torrid are conveyed to the Inhabitants of the Frigid Zone: and even the
Polar Seas themselves are laid under contribution and made to minister to
the comfort and enjoyment of the Inhabitants of more temperate climes.

It may, possibly, astonish some of my Christian Readers to be informed
that Navigation without which the precept of the Scripture “Preach the
Gospel to every Creature” could never be complied with; and the
abandonment of which would involve the annihilation to a large extent of
Benevolent and Missionary enterprise, it may astonish them to know that
even Navigation has been denounced as impiety, but such is the fact! we
find the accomplished Horace writing thus:—“In vain did a God
_purposely_, cut off the lands from the Ocean, _forbidding all
intercourse_, if, nevertheless, the impious Barks bound contemptuously
over the seas not to be touched.” {23}

The difficulty appears to be, to get mankind to understand that the
wonders of Nature are no less wonderful because we are permitted,
successfully, to explore the various laws and modes of her operations.

Are we at all less indebted to Providence for the “showers that water the
Earth” because we now know that the moisture is exhaled from our planet
before it is dropped from the cloud?

Is the genial influence of the Sun of less importance because we are,
now, aware that the Earth revolves around it, instead of (as our fathers
supposed) the Sun revolving round the Earth?

Is the planetary system at all less interesting to us because the
extension of telescopic vision has shewn us new worlds beyond the ken and
credence of our forefathers?  Surely not!  But, should we not rather be
the more impressed with the greatness and the condescension of God, just
in proportion as we are permitted to advance, cautiously and tremblingly
indeed, in the contemplation and understanding of his work?

Man is a complex being, “fearfully and wonderfully made,” having, besides
his bodily powers, some principle which keeps the machine in motion, and
some unseen, yet evident power of volition by the aid, and at the command
of which his several actions are performed.

In what part of the system that power is deposited was long held to be
doubtful; but, it is now generally allowed that the seat of that power is
the brain, and several industrious and learned men have, of late years,
been carefully engaged in endeavours to understand the anatomy of that
part of the human frame.

The result of their inquiries, as might be supposed, has been variously
stated by different individuals; among other ideas, some have supposed
they were able to trace, with tolerable correctness, the various parts of
the brain which impelled the individual to various actions; and they
endeavoured to assign to each class of human sentiment and faculty its
peculiar portion which they have designated Organs.

They have, in pursuance of their Theory, mapped out the human scull into
compartments, to each of which they have assigned a particular faculty or
sentiment, and they profess to tell, with some degree of accuracy, the
individual character by the peculiar formation of the head.

The reader will bear in mind, that I profess not even to conjecture, in
this argument, the truth or fallacy of the system, that Phrenologists
have laid down; I am only endeavouring to disabuse the mind of the
serious and pious man of any fears for his Religion, on the possibility
that Phrenology should be found true.

No man can have observed human Nature, with even common or ordinary care,
but must have been impressed with the fact, that there is as much
diversity in the development of mind as is apparent, to common
observation, in the structure of the body.  One man is mentally competent
to, and would excel in one department of Art or Science or of ordinary
Business in which another would certainly fail, while the first would be
equally deficient in another department, not by any means requiring more
than common sagacity to insure success.  This is a matter of such common
observation that I need not enlarge upon it.

My position then is this; That allowing, as we must, the great diversity
of mental, human character, it will do no damage to Religion if
Phrenology should succeed in exhibiting that, minutely and in detail,
which we already admit in the mass.

The Milky Way is not the less brilliant because to the Telescopic eye it
exhibits a cluster of beauties, while to common observation, these
minutiæ are concealed.

It can release no man from the common obligations which all owe to God,
who judgeth not according to the sight of the eye: but, who “judgeth
righteous judgment.”

If Phrenology be true, it may indeed teach us lessons of forbearance and
charity to human frailty; but can in no respect affect our duty and
obligations toward God.

In conclusion I observe, that I am, individually, quite unconcerned as to
whether the Sciences, as they are termed, which we have been considering,
should prove, on farther and fuller examination, to be true or to be
false.

Possibly their promoters, in the sanguine pursuit of a new Theory, may
have asked of the Public a too unsuspecting confidence, and may have
pushed their Theory beyond its legitimate position.  This I leave to them
and to the Public to determine.

I sat down to write this address in order to defend myself, and as far as
I may have expressed their sentiments, my friends also, from the
unsparing censure which has been passed upon us _for our efforts to
ascertain for ourselves the truth or falsehood of these phenomena_.

How far I have succeeded the Reader and the Public must determine.  I
have designed offence to no one, and I hope that no one has been
offended.  As to the remarks I felt compelled to make upon the Gentlemen
who have published upon the subject, I think the reader will allow that I
was justified, by the pamphlets themselves, for the course I have
pursued.

I now take leave of the subject, careless as to the success of Mesmerism
or Phrenology; and only solicitous that every facility should be afforded
for the complete exhibition and testing of so important phenomena.

                                                                     W. A.

Market-place, Lynn,
      Aug. 11th, 1843.

                                * * * * *

                                  FINIS.

                                * * * * *

                                  LYNN:
                         PRINTED BY J. W. AIKEN,
                               HIGH STREET.



FOOTNOTES.


{19}  Dr. Chalmers says—“Perhaps the most singular attempt to graft
Infidelity on any thing called a Science, is by those who associate their
denial of the Christian Revelation with the doctrines of Phrenology, as
if there were any earthly connection between the form of the human skull,
or its effects upon the human character upon the one hand, and the truth
or falsehood of our Religion on the other; for, granting them all their
Organs, it no more tells either to the confirmation or disparagement of
our historical evidence for the visitation of this earth by a messenger
from Heaven, than it tells on the historical evidence for the invasion of
Britain by Julius Cæsar.  And we venture to affirm of all the other
Sciences, that no discovery has been made in any of them, which is not in
every way as inconsequential to the point at issue; and that the truths
of all Philosophy put together as little interfere with the truths of the
Gospel as the discoveries of the Astronomer interfere with the
discoveries of the Anatomist.”

                                           _Preface to Modern Philosophy_.

{23}  Horace Car III. Lib. I.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Defence of the Inquiry into Mesmerism & Phrenology - chiefly in relation to recent events in Lynn" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home