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Title: Common Sense Applied to Religion - The Bible and the People
Author: Beecher, Catharine E.
Language: English
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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.

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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight
hundred and fifty-seven, by


in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of
New York.

 Is respectfully Dedicated.



 Introduction                                                         ix

 CHAP. I. The Grand Questions of Life                                  9

 CHAP. II. The Principles of Reason, or Intuitive Truths              14

 CHAP. III. Sources of Human Knowledge                                29

 CHAP. IV. Of the Knowledge gained by Human Experience in regard
 to the Nature of Mind and of the System of which it is a Part        32

 CHAP. V. Knowledge gained by Reason and Experience alone as to a
 Future State                                                         42

 CHAP. VI. Knowledge gained by Reason and Experience alone
 concerning the Existence, Character, and Designs of the Creator      47

 CHAP. VII. Diversities in Systems of Mental Philosophy               52

 CHAP. VIII. Classification and Description of the Mental Powers      59

 CHAP. IX. Sensation and Perception                                   64

 CHAP. X. Conception and Memory                                       79

 CHAP. XI. Attention and Abstraction                                  83

 CHAP. XII. Association                                               93

 CHAP. XIII. Imagination                                             102

 CHAP. XIV. Judgment                                                 106

 CHAP. XV. The Susceptibilities                                      109

 CHAP. XVI. The Susceptibilities. Emotions of Taste                  120

 CHAP. XVII. The Moral Susceptibilities                              139

 CHAP. XVIII. The Will                                               149

 CHAP. XIX. Faith or Belief                                          165

 CHAP. XX. Constitutional Varieties of the Human Mind                175

 CHAP. XXI. Habit                                                    178

 CHAP. XXII. Mind as Proof of its Creator's Designs                  190

 CHAP. XXIII. Social and Material Proofs of the Creator's
 Designs                                                             207

 CHAP. XXIV. Right Mode of securing the Object for which
 Mind was created                                                    212

 CHAP. XXV. Wrong Action of Mind and its Causes                      220

 CHAP. XXVI. Wrong Action of Mind and its Results in this
 Life                                                                224

 CHAP. XXVII. Wrong Action of Mind and its Results in a Future
 State                                                               233

 CHAP. XXVIII. Character of the Creator                              245

 CHAP. XXIX. On Perfect and Imperfect Minds                          250

 CHAP. XXX. On the probable Existence and Character of
 Disembodied Spirits                                                 258

 CHAP. XXXI. Probabilities in regard to a Revelation from the
 Creator                                                             261

 CHAP. XXXII. Interpretation of Language                             265

 Addenda to Vol. I.                                                  281

 Notes                                                               337


This work is the result of thirty years of devotion to the training of
the human mind for the great end for which it was created. Early in that
period it was felt that at the very foundation of such efforts were
opposing _theological theories_, that seemed at war with both the common
sense and the moral sense of mankind.

In the progress of such duties, a work was prepared on _Mental and Moral
Science_, as a text-book for the institution under the care of the
writer, which was printed, but never published. After submitting this
work to the criticism of a number of the leading minds of various
schools and sects, it was found to contain so much that might result in
theological controversy, that it was deemed modest and wise to wait
until age, experience, and farther examination had lent their maturing

After a delay of over a quarter of a century, the conviction above
stated not only remains, but has been strengthened by the discussions
and developments that have intervened in that period.

While the great practical truths both of natural and revealed religion
have seemed constantly to be gaining a more controlling influence over
the intellect and feelings of mankind, the theological dogmas referred
to have been more and more evaded or rejected, even by those who receive
and respect the Bible as containing authentic and authoritative
revelations from God.

At the same time, there is apparent a manifest and strong tendency,
especially among the young and most highly-educated of both sexes, to
_infidelity_; not to that species of a former age which involved a
hatred and contempt for the Bible, nor to the entire rejection of it as
a very respectable and useful collection of most interesting writings,
but to a rejection of it as a _sure and authoritative guide in faith and

Though there may be other assignable causes for this, it is certain that
not the least powerful is the repellency of dogmas claimed to be
contained in the Bible, which are revolting both to the intellect and to
the moral nature of man.

Instead of being able to meet their religious teachers with the
assumption that all which they have felt to be contrary to reason, to
common sense, and to common honesty is not contained in the Sacred
Writings, many have gradually drawn off to the religion of reason and
nature, and left the Bible to theologians and the Church.

At the same time, there has been a new development of philanthropy, in
which those who either repudiate the Bible as of any binding authority,
or disallow its commonly-accepted teachings, are as prominent and
earnest in works of benevolence as the most orthodox of any sect. To
these are added religious teachers, who set forth the morality and
benevolence demanded in the Bible as obligatory, and as satisfactorily
deducible from the light of nature, so that no revelation is needful to
make them more so. Meantime, in popular forms and by popular writers,
all the most plausible and startling difficulties that oppose the claims
of the Bible are widely disseminated, while little is done to counteract
these influences.

Another class of religionists has also arisen, that numbers probably its
hundreds of thousands, the _Spiritualists_, who rest their faith on a
new species of so-called revelations, which ordinarily clash with the
accepted teachings of the Bible, and by vast numbers are received as of
superior authority.

Meantime the press and public lectures are extensively supplanting the
pulpit as organs of moral and religious influence over large portions of
the community, while a large part of the most popular speakers and
writers avowedly reject the Bible as of any binding authority in
deciding moral and religious questions.

At the same time, there has arisen a freedom of investigation, and an
aversion to all traditional or conservative bonds, such as probably
never before was so universal and dominant in this nation, especially
among those religiously educated.

All these influences have combined to place the Bible, and the systems
of theology that claim to be educed from it, in entirely new relations.
Nothing now is safe on the ground of tradition, or of authority, or of
the reverence that belongs to age, learning, genius, or experience.
Every thing in religion, as well as other matters, is to stand on its
own claims, and not by any factitious supports.

In this state of the public mind, the following considerations have had
influence in leading to the presentation of the views contained in this

It is the distinctive maxim of Protestant Christianity that "every
person is to be his own interpreter of the revelations of God contained
in the Bible, responsible only to his Maker." This, of course, implies
the practicability of a proper qualification for this duty in every
individual, so that no person shall necessarily be dependent on other
minds for a correct knowledge of all that relates to his own duty and

It is manifest that the Creator designed that _woman_ should have the
leading position as the _educator of mind_, especially at that period
when the habits and principles of life are formed. This being so, it is
clear that it was designed that _she_ should be qualified to gain by her
own independent powers all that is revealed by God that will aid her in
this great work.

The theological theories referred to, as seemingly opposing the moral
sense and common sense of mankind, are those that relate to the
foundation principle on which the training of mind is to start. They
involve the most practical questions of every-day life, both as to
individual responsibility and to the education of the young.

These theories, then, are to be examined and tested by _the laity_ as
much as by theologians, and especially are they to be examined and
decided on by _woman_, as the heaven-appointed educator of infancy and

In this examination, these theories are to be tested, not by the
decisions of ecclesiastical bodies, nor by the writings of theologians,
but by those principles of _reason and common sense, and those laws of
language_, which guide mankind in all other practical and personal
duties. In order to this, these principles must be evolved and stated in
simple and popular form, for particular application on these questions;
for no man or woman can decide whether a thing agrees with, or is
contrary to the moral sense, or to the principles of reason and common
sense, till they clearly perceive what those principles are, and have
learned to apply them appropriately.

The leading object of this volume is, then, to present these principles
in a popular form, and to make it apparent that they can be practically
employed by the laity in deciding what is truth, both as to the claims
of the Bible as containing authoritative revelations from the Creator,
and also as to the true interpretation of it.

In asking the attention of the laity, including her own sex, to the
discussion of topics which have heretofore been deemed the most
difficult, recondite, and profound, it is with the full conviction that
most of the difficulties that heretofore have opposed such
investigations have belonged, not to the topics themselves, but to the
methods of discussion.

It is believed that, though this small volume embraces most of those
points in metaphysics which have been considered the most difficult,
there is not a page that can not be perfectly comprehended by any man or
woman of only an ordinarily good education, and with less intellectual
effort than is demanded of little girls in acquiring an ability to parse
the English language.

It is true that _close thought and attention_ are requisite for a full
appreciation of all in this volume; but not more of these are required
than the dignity and importance of the great topics involved properly

In attempting what is here proposed, it can be seen that there are great
difficulties to be met. As a general fact, these subjects have not been
presented in popular forms, but have been confined to works of
metaphysics and theology, and there enveloped in scientific techniques
and formulas not interesting or intelligible to the common mind. For
this reason, it has been suggested that, before presenting the abstract
portion, a _practical illustration_ of the subject, embodied in the
history of the opinions of the author, as they have been formed or
modified by these principles, would have far more effect on the class of
readers for whom the work is written than the bare statement of
principles and argument, while it would certainly be more likely to be

It has been still farther urged that, in attempting to controvert
long-established theories, embodied as a part of religious truth in the
popular mind, there will be an opposition of _feeling_ to be overcome,
which needs a counterbalancing appeal to the feelings such as an
individual history can best offer.

As to the propriety of such a measure, it is now so common to offer
autobiographies, and histories of life and opinions by living authors,
that this will be no innovation on the customs of the literary world.

To this, a more weighty consideration should be added, and that is, that
all questions of propriety and of duty are regulated by circumstances of
risk and danger. A woman, suddenly roused from sleep to save her
children from the flames, has a very different rule of propriety in
appearing before the public from that demanded on ordinary occasions. In
this view, a believer in the risks of the _eternal loss of the soul_
must withhold nothing, however sacred and cherished, if there is the
shadow of a probability that it will avail aught in aiding, it may be,
but one struggling, darkened mind in the death-agony of the soul.

From these considerations, the writer has been led to prefix to the
exhibition of principles and arguments of this work, a mental history
that shall particularly illustrate the subjects discussed. The article
was prepared for certain personal and family friends, and is inserted
very nearly in its original form.


I wish, before publishing my forthcoming work, to obtain the views of
some of my theological friends as to certain phases of experience of my
own mind, and, to a certain extent, of other minds known to me.

My _intellectual_ character was a singular compound of the practical and
the imaginative. In youth I had no love for study or for reading even,
excepting works of imagination. Don Quixote, the novel to which I first
had access, was nearly committed to memory, as were a few other novels
found at my grandmother's. The poets, both ancient and modern, were
always in reach, and with these materials I early formed a habit of
reverie and castle-building as my chief internal source of enjoyment.
With this was combined incessant activity in practical matters, such as,
at first, doll-dressing and baby-house building; afterward drawing,
painting, exploits of merriment, practical jokes, snow castles and
forts, summer excursions, school and family drama-acting, and the like.
Till eighteen, I never wrote any thing but a few letters and scraps of
rhyme, and the transforming of some stories into dramas for acting. A
kind teacher, who sympathized in my strong love of the comic, described
me as "the busiest of all creatures in doing nothing."

_Socially_, I was good-natured and sympathizing, so that my jokes and
tricks were never such as to tease or annoy others.

_Morally_, I had a strong sense of justice, but was not naturally so
conscientious as some of the other children. Add to these, persevering
energy, great self-reliance, and such cheerful hopefulness that the idea
of danger or failure never entered my head. Even to this day, perfect
success and no mischances are always anticipated till reason corrects
the calculation.

Thus constituted, my strict religious training made little impression,
for I rarely heard any thing of that which seemed so dull and
unintelligible. Up to the age of sixteen my conceptions on this subject
were about these: that God made me and all things, and was very great,
and wise, and good; that he knew all I thought and did; that because
Adam and Eve disobeyed him _once_ only, he drove them out of Eden, and
then so arranged it that all their descendants would be born with wicked
hearts, and that, though this did not seem either just or good, it was
so; that I had such a wicked heart that I could not feel or act right in
any thing till I had a new one; that God only could give me a new heart;
that, if I died without it, I should go to a lake of fire and brimstone,
and be burned alive in it forever; that Jesus Christ was very good, and
very sorry for us, and came to earth, and suffered and died to save us
from this dreadful doom; that _revivals_ were times when God, the Holy
Spirit, gave people new hearts; that, when revivals came, it was best to
read the Bible, and pray, and go to meetings, but that at other times it
was of little use. This last was not taught, but was my own inference.

My mind turned from all this as very disagreeable. When led by my
parents and Christian friends to it, I tried to do as they told me,
because I saw they were anxious and troubled, and I wished to relieve
them. Two or three times, when I saw my father so troubled, I took
_Doddridge's Rise and Progress of Religion_, and tried to go through the
process there laid down, but with utter failure. Meantime, I rarely
heard any prayers or sermons, and at fifteen I doubt if the whole of my
really serious thoughts and efforts would, except the above, have
occupied a whole hour.

In the earlier periods of my religious training, my parents, in their
instructions, and also my little hymns and catechisms, made the
impression that God loved little children, and, though he was angry when
they did wrong, he was pleased when they did right; and, as parental
government was tender and loving, my impression of the feelings of the
heavenly Parent were conformed to this, my past experience.

But when, in more mature years, I came under the influence of "revival
preaching," all this impression seemed to be reversed. I was taught to
look at God as a great "moral governor," whose chief interest was "to
sustain his law." Then there seemed to be two kinds of right and wrong,
the "common" and the "evangelical." According to this distinction, I
could not feel or do any thing that was right or acceptable _to God_
till my birth-gift of a depraved heart was renewed by a special divine

Meantime, there did not seem to be any direct and practical way of
securing this supernatural interference; for it was to be the result,
not of any efforts of mine, nor were any divine promises or
encouragements offered to secure my efforts. On the contrary, the
selection of the recipients of this favor was regulated by a divine
decree of "election," without reference to any acts of a being who did
nothing but evil, and only evil, till this favor was bestowed. Moreover,
all the exhortations to effort were based simply on the fact that,
ordinarily, those who took a certain course were selected, though I
perceived that sometimes those who did the least were chosen, while
those who did the most were passed by.

It was this view of the case that had the chief influence in leading to
an entire neglect of all religious concerns. It was so nearly like a
matter of mere chance, and there seemed so little adaptation of means to
ends, that, to one so hopeful, and, at the same time, so practical,
there was very little motive of any kind to lead to a religious life.

The first real earnest feeling I ever had on this subject was when my
tender mother died--such a mother as earth has seldom seen; as strong in
intellect as she was modest and gentle in manners, and loving and
sympathizing in heart. She left seven children younger than myself, one
of them a babe, and I only sixteen. I really tried, for some time, to
become a Christian, till the load of grief was alleviated by time, and
then such efforts ceased; but these new responsibilities turned my
practical habits into useful channels.

Once after this, when "a revival" seemed closing, and my father
expressed his distress for my indifference, I told him I was so happy I
could not do any thing but enjoy life, and that _nothing but trials and
sorrow_ would do me any good. Tears came into his eyes as he said, "Dear
child, must I die too?" The responsive tears came to my eyes, but soon
all was forgotten.

At this time my theory of morals was, that to lie, steal, swear,
quarrel, disobey parents, and break the Sabbath, were sins for which I
should feel guilty; but for not becoming a Christian, when I could not
understand how to do it, never rested on my conscience as a sin, but was
felt to be simply a misfortune. And I wondered, if God desired that I
should have a new heart, and he only could give it, why he did not do
so. This was the amount of my "reasoning" so far. Till nearly twenty, I
gained little knowledge except by intercourse with intelligent people,
for still I had no love for solid reading or study. At about that age, I
remember turning over Reid's work on Mental Science, in which my mother
had been deeply interested, and wondering how people could read such

At twenty that betrothal took place, so soon and so tragically ended! It
was the realization of all my favorite dreams of earthly bliss.
Affection, taste, ambition, every thing most desirable to me and to
family friends, seemed secured. In a few months all was ended, and in
the most terrible and heart-rending manner.

After the first stunning effect was over, the next feeling was, "This is
that indispensable sorrow! this is to save me from _eternal death_!" And
so, as soon as I could do any thing, I began a course of religious
reading, prayer, and mental conflict. I tried to remedy that pernicious
mental habit of reverie and castle-building; I tried to do I knew not
what in "becoming a Christian."

Shut up in entire seclusion, all my dearest hopes forever crushed,
without hope or object in life, overwhelmed with grief, horrified less
at his dreadful death than at the awful apprehensions he himself had
imparted that he was unprepared to die, I spent week after week in
reading the stern and powerful writings of President Edwards, Dwight's
System of Theology, and other similar works. I hoped for nothing, cared
for nothing but to become a Christian. Yet no one could tell me
intelligibly how to do it, while it was clear that all expected nothing
from my efforts, and that all was dependent on a divine efflatus that
was to change the birth-gift of a depraved heart.

And yet I was told that the fault was all my own; that it was my
obstinate _unwillingness_ to do what was required that alone made it
needful for God to interfere. This was urged as a doctrine from God, and
so, though it seemed as if I was not only willing, but that I longed for
this change, I submitted my humble intellect to His, and owned that it
must be so. So passed several dark and weary months.

Next, I went to visit the parents of the friend I had lost. Here I read
his private records of _years_ of almost superhuman effort to govern his
mind, and to achieve the very thing I was laboring for, and yet, to his
mind, all ended in entire failure; and this, too, without any murmuring,
or any accusation of any one but himself. It was, as he maintained,
because he was so ungrateful, so hardened, so obstinately "unwilling,"
so averse from God and his service. And yet he was the model of every
domestic, social, and official virtue; so reverent to God, so tender as
a son and brother, so conscientious and faithful as an instructor! In
not a single duty did he fail that the closest intimacy could discover;
and yet, by his own showing, he had no love to God, and was entirely
"unwilling" to love and serve him.

At the same time, I found his intelligent, tender, heart-broken mother
had for years been living just such a conscientious life, without any
hope that she was a Christian, while now her pride and darling son was
lost to her forever on earth, and oh! where was he? and where should she
meet him at last? And thus she died. The only brother, too, so
conscientious and exemplary, was and long continued in the same same
position of mind.

These revelations took away all hope of any good from any farther
efforts of mine. At this period I almost lost my reason. For some days I
thought I should go distracted. The first decided "change of mind" I now
recall was an outburst of indignation and abhorrence. I remember once
rising, as I was about to offer my usual, now hopeless prayer, with a
feeling very like this: that such a God did not deserve to be loved;
that I would not love him if I could, and I was glad I did not! It was
but momentary, and the long training of years resumed its sway.

It was at this period that I framed my first attempt at serious argument
in a letter to my father. I took this position, that our own
_experience_ and _consciousness_ were the highest kind of evidence of
our mental power, and that I had this evidence of my mental inability to
love God as required. My father's reply was published in the _Christian
Spectator_, and was regarded as masterly and unanswerable. Its chief aim
was to lessen confidence in my own consciousness, and to show that, as
God was just and good, and certainly did require supreme love to him, we
had the power to obey. I was unable to meet the argument, and so allowed
that it must be so, and that all that was in my way was my own obstinate

But there was another point about which I attempted to reason that I did
not give up so easily. According to the theory of "obstinate
unwillingness," there was nothing in the Bible by way of promise, or
even encouragement, for any like me. For how could God feel sympathy for
obstinate rebels, or how make promises of hope and encouragement to
those whose only difficulty was an unreasonable dislike to God and his
service? Such texts as I quoted to the contrary (as Prov. 2:1-6; Matth.
7:7; John 4:10) were not for such as I, but for those already converted;
and no prayers, even, were acceptable till offered by a renewed heart.
So it seemed impossible, in any case, to pray acceptably to God for the
greatest of all boons, redemption from the awful doom of eternal death;
for at regeneration the blessing was already given, and before that act
no prayer was acceptable. So there was no place for such a prayer. This
I never accepted, though I did not quite venture to oppose it.

At one time my mind turned with longing and tender emotions toward Jesus
Christ. All he said and did appeared so reasonable and so kind that it
seemed to me he would hear my prayers. I brought, to sustain this idea,
the case of the young man whom "Jesus loved" when he had no religion.
Here I was met by a theory that, till now, had not attracted my notice,
which was, that there was a human soul in Christ joined to the Divine
mind, and that it was this human soul that felt this "human sympathy"
for sinners, and _bore all the suffering_, while the Deity had nothing
but calm, unmingled bliss. This made me feel that I could love the human
soul, but could not love God. Indeed, the sufferings of this innocent
Savior, _unshared by God_, was the most revolting of all.

At the close of a long year of such darkness and suffering, I went to my
friends in Boston, where "a _revival_" was in progress, and where I met
my father. Here I received the most tender sympathy, was taken to
prayer-meetings, and every thing was said and done that piety and love
could devise for my relief, but all in vain.

Finally, I came to this attitude of mind: "I will not try any more to
understand any thing about these doctrines. I will not try any more to
'be convinced of sin' in this inability to love God. Something is the
matter: it does not seem like obstinate 'unwillingness;' but if God says
so, I will take his word for it. I will assume that He is just, and
wise, and good, in spite of all that seems to contrary. I will try to do
all He commands the best I can. _There must be a dreadful mistake
somewhere_, but I will trust and obey, and wait quietly for light." At
this time my father gave me some little hope. I knew not why, for I did
not "love God" according to any of the ordinary tests. But I was
encouraged to hope that my heart was "renewed," and I shortly after made
a public profession of religion in my father's church.

During my residence with the friends referred to, I attempted the duties
of a teacher to two young daughters of the family, and, to prepare
myself, for the first time set my mind to real hard study. In five weeks
I went through a large Arithmetic, of which I knew almost nothing; in
seven weeks I completed Day's Algebra. Two schoolbooks on Chemistry and
Natural Philosophy were also mastered that gloomy winter. I had no other
resource within or without for so active a mind. Then my father urged
me, for the sake of a sister, as my own pecuniary wants had been
provided for, to commence a school in Hartford. As I taught only half a
day, and "the higher branches" were but just entering female schools, I
found no difficulty in keeping sufficiently ahead of my pupils. Thus
commenced my career as a teacher.

I went on several years with no other evidence of "love to God," which
was the main test of "regeneration," but perseverance in the
determination to assume that He was wise, just, and good, and to do all
I could to obey him. My great aim in life was to find out what He
required from the Bible, and then to try to do it as well as I could.
Besides this, I imitated the methods of Christian worthies. I kept a
religious diary--read religious books--went to religious meetings--prayed
in my school, and taught religion to my pupils as it had been taught to
me. Often, when I found suffering young minds embarrassed by my own
difficulties, willing and anxious to do all in their power, and yet
unable to feel as required, I almost lived over past anguish of spirit,
and could scarcely nerve myself to instruct them that all the wrong was
their own "obstinate unwillingness." There was a constant conflict
between the theories to which I had bowed my intellect, and thought I
really believed, and the impulses of my moral nature and common sense.

Sometimes these questions were intolerably imperative. What evidence is
there that what God says is _true_, when He claims to be wise, and just,
and good, when He has done such contradictory things? For a single act,
done six thousand years ago, the _first_ act of disobedience too, He has
so constituted things that all the human minds that might be made right
are formed so "_depraved_" as that not one of them will ever be
"willing" to love and obey the Creator till He "_renews_" their minds.
If I were to act thus, I should think it right for every one to believe
I was cruel and unjust until I showed good reasons for it. And if I saw
any one ruining the minds of young children, or permitting Adam or any
one else to do it, when I had power to prevent it, I should say it was
right to consider him an abominable and hateful being till he showed
good reasons for such a course.

Such thoughts were banished by the force of a strong will, and I
continued to hold on to the Bible as a revelation from God, and to His
claims as being wise, and just, and good. My renewed decision was,
"There is some _dreadful mistake somewhere_; but I will take God's word
and trust it, do the best I can, and wait till all is made clear."

In the later periods of life, a mode of religious training has come
repeatedly under my observation, to which a brief reference will here be
made. I have known children, no more favorably endowed than myself, and
some of them less so, whose parents were no more earnest and faithful
than mine, though on a different theory.

These children were first trained to prompt, unquestioning, and
universal obedience to their parents' commands, almost such as is
required by their Creator to his fixed and unalterable laws. At the same
time they were treated with the greatest tenderness and sympathy, and as
soon as they could understand the reasons for parental requirements,
these reasons were given, but always with the understanding that
implicit obedience must often be rendered without understanding the
reasons. When these habits of confiding and affectionate obedience were
formed, then they were taught that Jesus Christ was the Maker, Friend,
and Father of all, who loved all his children as these parents loved
their little ones, only more and better; that He created them to be
happy, rejoiced to see them so, and was always sorry for them in every

They were taught that there are _right_ ways and _wrong_ ways of seeking
to be happy; that Jesus Christ came into this world to teach us what are
these right and wrong ways, and that His instructions are written in the
Bible; that it is very difficult to feel and act right in all things;
that, when children _try_ to do so, the Savior is pleased with them,
and, though they see him not, is present with them to help them; that,
when they fail, and feel or act wrong, he is grieved, as their parents
are, and as ready to forgive and help them, when they too are sorry, and
continue to try to do right in all things; that _they are Christians
just so far as they succeed in obeying Christ_, and that, the more they
try, the more help they will have, and the better they will succeed.

Thus these children grew up with the feeling that whenever they did any
thing that was kind, honest, honorable, just, and self-denying, they
were pleasing, not only their parents, but their best and ever-present
Friend. Under such a course, the varied duties of religion and of social
and domestic life were gradually not only explained, but _enforced_,
both by parental authority and example, till a character and habits were
formed that were far more consistent with the New Testament exhibitions
of Christian life than is often seen among mature Christians.

Without at present expressing any other opinion in regard to this
method, I am strong in the belief that if this course had been pursued
with me in childhood, very different mental habits would have been the
result, and that the Christian life would have begun and progressed
probably before the severe discipline of sorrow came, and certainly
after it had been experienced.

At the same time, there is a deep conviction that many of my young
pupils, who turned away from religion as uninviting, severe, and
unintelligible, would, by another method, have been easily led into the
true paths of pleasantness and peace.

I wish now to exhibit the influence of one doctrine (which I claim to be
that of reason as truly as of revelation) on a mind like mine. I have
stated something of that hopeful, elastic, and happy temperament that
seemed to make sorrow so indispensable to the development of my noblest
powers. But the earthly sorrow, time and new interests would have
remedied ere youth had passed. But that awful doctrine of THE ETERNAL,
IRREMEDIABLE LOSS OF THE SOUL, so ground into my spirit by years of
effort, of which this was the mainspring, has been the grand motive
power of my whole life ever since. If I could in any way have satisfied
myself that a time would come, however distant, when all sufferers would
be repaid by eternal ages of bliss, and all the guilty, however long
their period of purgation, would at last be pure and happy _forever_, I
should have returned to life and its enjoyments with fresh zest after
such a period of privation. But I could not gain any such assurance
without the Bible, but rather the reverse; while all the life and
teachings of Christ and the Apostles seemed entirely based on the
assumption that our whole race were in awful danger, that some were to
be saved and some were to be _lost_ _forever_, and that the great end
for which Christ lived, and for which his followers are to live, is to
SAVE AS MANY AS POSSIBLE from this awful doom.

Indeed, I could not see how any one could feel any respect for the
teachings of Christ when such terrible things were uttered by him, if
there was no just reason thus to terrify and alarm mankind. Times
without number, I went over the New Testament to see if I could find any
_honest_ way of escaping that doctrine, and always ending with a deeper
and more awful conviction of its reality. The result was, that while,
for the first year, I was driven to such mental effort and suffering to
save myself, as soon as the least hope dawned that I was safe, all that
was kindly and sympathizing in my nature led me to renewed efforts to
save others.

After such a lesson of inability, both in my own case and that of such
dear friends, no words can express the ineffable pity, sympathy, and
almost horror with which I looked on the world around me. And when young
and happy minds, such as once was my own, came under my training, I
never felt any need of being "waked up," as some Christian people seemed
to do. It only seemed to me I could never sleep. There never has been an
hour for thirty years when a moment's consideration of this awful
doctrine would not drive away every temptation to earthly ambition, or
any longings for earthly good of any sort for myself. Many times, when,
by the presentation of such an awful theme, I have brought the young to
me with tears and willing docility, and when, to the question "What can
we do to be saved?" my shut-up heart was ready to exclaim "Nothing," I
have been so burdened and worn as to be obliged to pray to forget, and
to take every lawful mode to turn my thoughts to other less exciting
themes. It was at such times I understood for what the love of the comic
was implanted, and if all Christians should feel as I do, what might be
the legitimate use of works of fiction, the drama, and the dance. In
such a case, and properly regulated, they would be needful and only
beneficial alteratives.

I wish now to ask my theological friends to consider the character of my
inner life. In all outward manifestations I took the theory of religion
trained into me, and did my best to believe it, and talked, and wrote,
and prayed, and acted before others on the assumption of its truth. But
my inner life was after this fashion: as to prayer in private, I found
great comfort in the preface to the Lord's prayer, "_After this manner_
pray ye." It was a short, comprehensive prayer, which amounted to this,
that God's will might be done on earth as in heaven; that our temporal
wants might be supplied; that we might do right and escape evil. This I
could sincerely feel and pray when all _details_ distressed me. But,
still better, this prayer began, "Our _Father_." Now to me, through my
whole life, this word "father" had been associated with unparalleled
tenderness, sympathy, and love; with truth, justice, and all that was
lovable. I could not apply it to God without such associations, and so
it comforted me--and that was all. But the prayers, hymns, and sermons
conformed to the _theory_ of religion were occasions when I had to
struggle with feelings of disgust and abhorrence. Especially, at times,
was this so in reference to the _atoning_ _sacrifice of Jesus Christ_,
until I formed a curious mental habit of letting these things pass
through my mind as something I did not understand, and then there seemed
to flow in a vague impression of something better, I knew not what.

In the progress of years I came to instruct some of the most vigorous
and active minds I ever saw, both in mental science and in the
interpretation of the Bible, and thus gradually evolved and applied "the
principles of reason and rules of interpretation" in this work. The
results will mainly appear in what follows.

Up to this time, my feelings toward God (except sometimes when praying,
as above described) were that, as He has said he was wise, and just, and
good, I would take his word for it, in spite of all the evidence to the
contrary, and feel and act as he required as far as I had power. My
service, however, was much like that of a slave to a hard master. If
"the _fear_ of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," I certainly began

But the whole force of my being was turned, not toward Him, but toward
my lost, and suffering, and darkened fellow-beings. And when all my
darkness was removed, and by a simple intellectual process of
argumentation I drew from His Holy Word all my soul had longed for, my
chief joy was, not that I was safe, not that I could feel emotions of
love to Him, but that _He felt as I did_ for this all-absorbing purpose
and end of my existence--to save my fellow-men.

Some minds seem to begin religious life with such emotions of love to
the Creator as makes it easy to carry out the purpose to obey him. In my
case, I began with the cool intellectual purpose to obey him, while it
was _love_, not to Him, but to my fellow-men, that made it easy to carry
out this purpose of obedience. But, in both cases, was it not the
_spirit of obedience_ that was the grand requisite? The _all-controlling
purpose of acting right_, by obeying all the laws of the Creator as
discovered by the light of Nature, or by His revealed Word--is not
_this_ the distinctive feature that marks the "_regenerated_" soul?

It is theological _theories_, forced on mankind through popes, emperors,
and church councils, by pains and penalties, which has mystified that
grand question of life, "What must we do to be saved?" so that the
answer to almost every other practical question is more clear than this.
What do the great masses of men suppose that _they themselves_ are to do
if ever they become "regenerated?" Multitudes imagine that, by going to
camp-meetings, or conference meetings, or in "revivals," some Divine
efflux will come over them, of which the chief evidence is that the mind
is filled with joy, or other delightful emotions. Others deem it a
mysterious change, that takes place sometimes in sleep, without any
voluntary act of the individual. Others suppose it to consist in certain
emotions or mental acts, in reference to Jesus Christ, that come by
divine influence. Others consider it an act of the intellect and will,
of which emotions may be the preceding state, or may follow as a result.
Probably the vast majority regard it as a mysterious indescribable
event, that no one can understand till it is experienced, and which can
not be made intelligible to an "unrenewed mind."

Thousands of excellent, conscientious persons are moving about with dark
minds and heavy hearts, who would instantly become happy and consistent
followers of Christ if these theories could be removed from their minds,
and they were sure that an earnest spirit of obedience to Jesus Christ
is what is required; to which the promises of hope and encouragement are
made; which is the highest evidence of regeneration, and the chief
feature of that "love to God" required; while all emotions, frames, and
feelings are nothing without it. Thousands of children and young
persons, religiously trained, are held back from a religious life
because it is conceived of as so mysterious, uninviting, and painful
that they can neither understand or desire it. At the same time, it is
true that, _after children have been trained wrong_, so that bad habits
of mind are dominant, the clear understanding of this subject will not,
in many cases, make it easy for them to commence a religious life, or
make it look desirable.

The fearful sanctions of eternity can not very directly be brought to
bear on the minds of young children without great risk of entirely false
impressions. We see, in the Old Testament, that when God was training _a
race_, in the infancy of its development He made visible appearances,
used temporal motives, and made no appeals to the sanctions of the
invisible world. Like the parents just referred to, his first aim seemed
to be to teach _habits of obedience_ to God's temporal laws, while, at
the same time, He displayed his sympathy, mercy, and love. And among his
ancient people men became his obedient children by just such training as
is now best fitted to young children.

But when the race was farther advanced, so as to be able to act more by
reason and on _general principles_, and when His religion, by new
motives and forces, was to be extended from one nation to all the world,
_then the Creator came himself_; and while disclosing those most
terrific sanctions of the invisible world, at the same time exhibited
such a manifestation of His pity, sympathy, and _self-sacrificing love_
as renders these terrors safe and effective in such a conjuncture, as
they would not be without.

With these two classes of motives thus intensified, such a moral power
has been generated, leading to self-denying efforts to educate and save
mankind, as never existed before. In the case of the writer, the power
of these terrible sanctions _alone_ has been illustrated. In other
cases, the power of Christ's love and example have been the leading
motives. It is the _union of both_, clearly appreciated, and especially
brought to bear on those who form the character of childhood and youth,
that eventually is to renew the whole race, and bring every human being
to perfect obedience to _all_ the laws of the Creator.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the investigation which originated at the time the writer commenced
teaching mental philosophy in connection with the Bible, this was the
first point to which attention was led, "What is that '_reason_' or
'_common sense_' which is so often appealed to as the umpire in
religion, morals, and interpretation?" All the works of mental science
within reach were examined, but it was long before any clear conceptions
on this question were gained, and still longer before any _test_ was
evolved that seemed a _practical_ one, as it is presented in this work.
Not that these principles and the test are not indicated by
metaphysicians in various forms of language, but that there is such a
confusing variety of expression, and all is so presented as a
_speculative_ instead of a _practical_ question, that years elapsed
before that use of these principles which this work illustrates was

This is here referred to in explanation of future passages that
otherwise might seem to imply that the author assumes to have discovered
something not before known or recognized by metaphysicians. The very
writings of Dr. Reid, which, in early life, were turned over with wonder
that any one could be interested in them, probably contain the most
complete and clear exhibition of these principles, and also recognize
the _test_ by which they are to be established. The writings of Sir
William Hamilton exhibit other, but less practical tests of these

Until the printing of this volume was nearly complete, it was the plan
of the author to have the whole work issued at once; and, with reference
to this whole, its title was THE BIBLE AND THE PEOPLE, OR COMMON SENSE
APPLIED TO RELIGION. But, after submitting this portion of the work to
criticism, it was concluded to issue only one volume, and to wait until
it was seen what reception the _principles_ it offered would meet. In
consequence of this, it seemed proper to transpose the title, as the
latter portion of it best describes the contents of the first volume.
This accounts for what is unusual in paging and in the running title on
the left-hand pages.





We are now living through the period of demolition. In morals, in social
life, in politics, in medicine, and in religion, there is a universal
upturning of foundations.

But the day of reconstruction seems to be looming in the orient, and now
the grand question is, Are there any sure and universal principles that
will evolve a harmonious system in which all shall agree? Or, is the
only unity to be anticipated that which results from the unsatisfactory
conclusion that all must "agree to disagree?"

The first alternative is believed to be in our future; and it is hoped
that this volume will contribute something toward evolving such
principles of reconstruction.

In some happily constituted minds and singularly favorable
circumstances, the passages of this life are almost uniformly happy, and
no clouds ever shut out the sunshine of a cheerful existence.

But, as a general rule, the farther we advance in life, the more solemn
become our convictions that its experiences are stormy, sad,
disappointing, and unsatisfactory. And the nobler the mind and the more
exalted its aspirations, the more surely are these lessons read and

If we turn aside from the lower haunts of poverty, vice, and crime, and
look only at the more favored classes, we find men toiling for years and
years to build up schemes which, in some sudden shock, crumble and pass
away; or, are their high hopes accomplished, some bitter ingredient
mingles with the cup of success, that turns it to gall.

And so, in heart-histories, the tenderest ties are formed, as it would
seem, only to be wrenched and torn. The young heart gives its fresh
impassioned love to its appropriate object, and, just at the happy
consummation, death or desertion forever ends life's brightest

The young parents receive their first-born with untold rapture, and then
some disease or accident turns it to a hopeless idiot or ceaseless

The young husband lays at once his first love and his first born in the
same grave. The tender parents spend years and years of care and effort
to rear a darling child, and at the culmination of their hopes the
flower is cut down.

Business or misfortune severs those whose chief happiness would be to
live together. The long-tried friends of early life are thrown into
painful antagonisms that end their friendship. The conflicts of interest
and party develop conduct and character that shatter confidence in men
and tempt to misanthropy.

In short, there are seasons when a thoughtful and tender spirit is
tempted to feel as if some malignant power were commissioned to seek out
all that is most beautiful, harmonious, and delightful in the experience
of our race, only to imbitter, confound, and destroy.

And even where the experience of life has been the most favorable, as
its closing years come on early friends pass away, the capacities and
resources of enjoyment diminish, and the dim cloud that shrouds the
closing vista awakens solemn and anxious meditations on the untried and
silent future. Such experiences bring forth the heart-yearning questions
that come, as it were, from the united voice of sad and suffering

"Is there a God that controls the destinies of man? If so, what are his
character and designs? Is this sad life our only portion, or shall we
live beyond the grave? If there is another life before us, what
influence has our conduct and character here on its solemn destinies?

Are we left to our own unaided faculties to reason out from the nature
of things around us the replies to these momentous questions, or has the
Author of our being given some direct revelation to guide us?

If such a revelation exists, is it made accessible to all, or must one
portion of our race necessarily depend on fallible and interested

Does this revelation agree with reason and experience, and does it
contain all that we need both for safe guidance and for peace of mind?"

It is believed that, in the following pages, it will be seen that every
mind, of even only ordinary capacity, is furnished with the means of
answering all these questions, and with as much certainty as appertains
to the ordinary practical questions of this life.

At the same time, it will appear that most of the difficulties and
diversities of opinions in religious matters have mainly resulted from
neglecting these means of obtaining truth and peace, and that the "good
times coming" are all depending on the proper use of these means.

As introductory to the first main topic, it is important to refer to the
fact that, in all languages, man is recognized as possessing what is
called _reason_. He is called a _reasonable_ being and a _reasoning_
being, and it is claimed that it is his reason that places him at the
head of creation in this world.

Again, in discussions on truth and duty, all men seem to agree that
there is such a thing as _reason_, and that it is, more or less, to be
made the umpire in settling all disputed points. It is true that very
few seem to have a clear and definite idea of what this reason is, or
how it is to be made an umpire. But all allow that there is such a
thing, and that it has a very important office in deciding questions of
truth and duty.

Then, again, among more scientific men, we hear constant reference made
to our "intuitions" and our "intuitive knowledge," as if there were some
fixed truths which are superior to all others. It is true, that when we
come to inquire specifically as to what are these intuitions, we often
find them to be acquired notions, and sometimes such as are unsupported
by any evidence, or even contrary to the best kind of evidence.
Nevertheless, those who use these terms all agree in the fact that there
are "intuitions" and "intuitive knowledge," which are superior to any
other kinds of knowledge, and involve a certainty of conviction which no
reasoning can overthrow.

Then, as we advance still higher in the world of letters, we find
metaphysicians and philosophers assuming that a belief in certain truths
is implanted in all rational minds by the Creator as a necessary part of
their constitution, and that these truths are the foundation of most of
our acquired knowledge. The truths or principles of mind thus recognized
are called by various names, such as _reason_, the _principles of
reason_, the _primary truths_, the _intuitions_, the _intuitive truths_,
the _fundamental truths_, the _principles of common sense_, the
_categories_, etc.

The grand difficulty on this subject has been, that while all agree in
the existence of such implanted truths, there has never been any _test_
for deciding which are these truths, in distinction from our acquired

It is the object of the succeeding chapter to present the most important
of these truths, and also to set forth an infallible test by which they
may be distinguished from every other kind of knowledge.

And this attempt is made with a full conviction that success in such an
effort is to be the foundation of that harmony of reconstruction which
has been indicated as provided for the future.



It is maintained that the Author of mind has implanted, as a part of its
constitution, the belief in certain truths, so that it is impossible to
disbelieve them without losing that which distinguishes man as a
rational being.

It is also assumed that there is an _infallible test_, by which we can
distinguish these truths from all those acquired notions which men often
falsely call intuitions, or principles of reason, etc.

Before proceeding, it will be premised that the attempt will not be to
set forth _all_ those truths that may properly be called intuitive, but
it will be limited to those which are immediately connected with the
subjects to be discussed.

To proceed, then, the first principle of reason, or intuitive truth, is
that by which we arrive at the idea of a great _First Cause, who was
without a beginning_. In briefest form, this truth is usually thus


The position here maintained is that the human mind is so made that,
whenever any kind of change (or effect) takes place, there inevitably
follows a belief that there is some antecedent which is _the cause_ of
this change, or, in other words, that there is _something that produced
this change_.

Now the question is not how this conviction first finds entrance to the
mind, nor whether it is consequent on experience.

It is simply a question of fact. Men always do, whenever they see any
new form of existence, or any change take place, believe that there is
some antecedent cause that produced this change.

Moreover, if a man should be found who was destitute of this belief, so
that in his daily pursuits he assumed that things would spring into
existence without any cause, and that there were no causes of any kind
that produced the changes around him, he would be pronounced insane--a
man who had "lost his reason."

Here, then, we have an example of an intuitive truth, and also an
illustration of the _test_ by which we are to distinguish such truths
from all others, viz.:

_Any truth is a principle of reason, or an intuitive truth, when all men
talk and act as if they believed it in the practical affairs of life,
and when talking and acting as if it were not believed, would
universally be regarded as evidence that a man had "lost his reason."_

It will now be shown how a belief in this truth involves a belief in
some great First Cause who himself had no beginning.

The atheist says thus: Somewhere, far back in other ages, there were no
existences at all, either of matter or mind; but at a given period,
without any cause at all, the vast and wonderful contrivances of matter
and mind began to exist.

The first reply to this is, that it is an assertion without evidence,
either intuitive or otherwise. No being ever was known to testify of
such an event, and there is no proof of it of any kind.

Next, it is replied that placing such an event at distant ages does not
render it any more credible than the assertion that worlds and
intelligent beings are coming into existence at the present time without
any cause. God has so constituted our minds that we can not believe that
any curious and wonderful contrivance springs into being without a
cause, either now or at any past period of time.

If the atheist, in the common affairs of life, should talk and act as if
he believed there were no causes for all the existences and changes
around him, he would be regarded as having "lost his reason." And thus
Holy Writ sanctions the decision: "The fool hath said in his heart,
There is no God."

We find, then, that our minds are made so that we can not help believing
that whatever begins to be has an antecedent cause that produces it, and
every change in any kind of existence has a cause. We find, also, the
universe around us to be a succession of changes, and these we trace
back and back again to antecedent causes.

But at last we come to the grand question, "Who first started this vast
system of endless and wonderful contrivances?"

Only two replies are possible. The first is that of the atheist, that
the whole started into existence without a cause, which we have shown
that no sane mind can really believe.

The only remaining reply is, there is _some great_ _self-existent Cause,
who never began to be, and who is the author of the universe of matter
and mind_.[1]

It must, however, be conceded that this intuitive truth does not aid us
in deciding what is the nature and character of this First Cause. We are
obliged to resort to other intuitive truths to settle this question.

Neither does this principle aid us in deciding whether there may not be
_more than one_ self-existent cause; for several minds can be supposed
to have united in will and action to bring forth this "universal frame,"
each one of which might have existed without beginning.

The second intuitive truth is this:


Some metaphysicians maintain that every thing is matter, and that mind
or spirit is only one particular species of matter. Others teach that
every thing is mind, and that all which we suppose to be material things
are merely ideas in the mind of what really has no existence.

Now we have no mode of proving that we have a soul or that we have a
body, or that there are any real things existing around us. But God has
so formed our minds that we can not help believing that our minds are
distinct from matter, and that they are causes of changes in our body
and in the things around us. Nor can we help believing that we have
bodies, and that the things around us are realities. And no man could
talk or act, in practical matters, with a contrary belief, without being
regarded as having "lost his reason."

The third intuitive truth is, that THE MIND OF MAN IS A FREE AGENT.

By this is signified that mind is an independent cause of its own
volitions, and capable, in appropriate circumstances, of choosing in
_either_ of two or more ways, not being, like matter, forced to a fixed
and necessary mode of action.

Some changes in mind are necessary effects produced by causes out of the
mind. And some mental action is the necessary result of its
constitution, and can not be otherwise. But _choice_ or _volition_ is an
act of the mind itself, when it has power to choose in either of two or
more ways without any change of circumstances.

The fatalist denies this, and maintains that choice is a necessary act,
the same as the changes in matter, and that at each act of choice the
mind had no power to choose otherwise than as it does choose.

In reply to this, nothing is needed but to show that all men believe,
and show it by their words and actions, that they always have power to
choose more ways than one. And after they have chosen a particular way,
they still believe that they had the power to have chosen another way.
And though metaphysicians may deny this in words, if any one of them, in
practical every-day life, should talk and act as if he believed that he
had no power to choose otherwise than as he does, he would be regarded
as having "lost his reason."

This subject has often been so treated as to embarrass some of the most
acute minds. Yet the ordinary mind is as perfectly qualified to settle
this question as the most astute philosopher. Do men believe that they
have no power to choose any other way than as they do choose? Do they
talk and act in common life as if they believed it? Would not a man who
talked and acted on the assumption that he had no power to choose
otherwise than as he does choose be regarded as having "lost his

All men of common sense must answer these questions alike, and thus
decide that this is one of the intuitive truths.

The fourth intuitive truth is, that DESIGN IS EVIDENCE OF AN INTELLIGENT

It is by the aid of this principle of reason that we gain a knowledge of
the character and designs of our Creator. All minds are so constituted
that when they find a contrivance fitted to accomplish some end, they
can not help believing that the author of it is an _intelligent_ cause,
and that he _intended_ to secure that end.

This position is finely illustrated by Paley. He describes a savage
finding a watch in a desert, who is made to comprehend all its curious
contrivances for marking time. This savage, he claims, would inevitably
conclude that some intelligent person made the watch, and that it was
his design to have it keep time.

In like manner, should the residence of a person be inspected, and be
found filled with contrivances for producing mischief and for torturing
men and animals, the result would be a belief that the author of these
things was cruel and malignant. On the other hand, were these
contrivances calculated to produce only comfort and happiness, the
inevitable belief would follow that the contriver was benevolent.

Again, if these designs were found to involve powerful and magnificent
results, the immediate belief would follow that the author was wise and
powerful as well as benevolent.

This illustrates the method by which this implanted principle of reason
enables us to learn the design and character of the Author of the
universe by the works of creation.

The fifth intuitive truth is, that NO RATIONAL MIND WILL CHOOSE EVIL

The fact that any person was seeking pain and evil without hope of
compensating good would prove to all that "reason was lost." No sane
mind ever acts thus.

It is by the aid of this intuitive truth that we rely on human
testimony. The surest mode of establishing the reliability of a witness
is to show that by false testimony he would knowingly incur evil and
gain no good. In such circumstances no one would believe that a witness
would be false.

The sixth intuitive truth is, that THINGS WILL CONTINUE AS THEY ARE AND

All the business of this life rests on a belief in this implanted truth,
and equally so do our inferences in regard to the immortality of the
soul and a future state.

The belief that the sun will continue to rise, or that the seasons will
return, rests solely on the fact that these events have been uniform in
past time, and that we know of no cause for a change from this
uniformity. And were any person to talk and act as if destitute of this
belief, he would be deemed insane.

Bishop Butler's celebrated argument on the immortality of the soul is
founded entirely on this principle. It is briefly this:

Things will continue as they are and have been unless there is some
evidence of some change or cause for a change. At death the soul exists.
The dissolution of the body is no evidence of the destruction of the
soul, and there is no kind of evidence that it is destroyed. Therefore
we infer that the soul continues to exist after the dissolution of the

The main point in this argument is to show that there is no evidence
that the act of death involves the destruction of the soul. If this can
be established, then the belief must follow that the soul exists after
death. By the same method Butler establishes several other doctrines of
the Bible.

It is by the aid of this principle that what are called the laws of
nature are established. By means of human testimony we learn what has
been the uniform course of nature. And then men conclude that what has
been will continue to be until some new cause intervenes to change this

The seventh intuitive truth is, that the NEEDLESS DESTRUCTION OF

The terms right and wrong, as used by mankind, always have reference to
some _plan_ or _design_. Any thing is called right when it fulfills the
design for which it is made, and it is called wrong when it does not.
Thus a watch is right when it fulfills its design in keeping time. A
compass is right when it points to the north. And so of all

Of course, then, the question as to the right and wrong action of mind
involves a reference to the _object_ or _design_ of the Author of mind.
At this time it will be assumed (the proof being reserved for future
pages) that the design or object for which God made mind was _to produce
the greatest possible happiness with the least possible evil_.

It is also assumed, without here exhibiting the proof, that the
impression of this design is so inwrought into the mental constitution
that whatever is perceived to be destructive to happiness is felt to be
_wrong_--that is, _unfitted_ to the design of the Author of all things,
which the mind _feels_ often when it can not logically set forth the
reason. So, also, whatever is seen to promote the greatest amount of
happiness is felt to be right.

The mind is so constituted that, without any act of reasoning as to the
tendencies of things, there are certain feelings and actions that the
mind turns from as _unfit_ and to be abhorred.

Thus, when plighted faith is violated, or a great benefactor treated
with cruelty and indignity by those he has benefited, a feeling of
unfitness and abhorrence is awakened, independent of all considerations
of the tendency of such conduct to destroy happiness.

In like manner, there are certain acts of gratitude and benevolence that
always awaken approval and admiration as suitable and right, without any
reference to future tendencies or results.

At the same time, it is true that when, by a process of reasoning, it is
seen that the _tendency_ of any course of conduct is to diminish
happiness or inflict evil without compensating good, there arises the
same feeling of disapproval of it as wrong, and unfitted to the end for
which all things are made. This is often the case when there is no
definite, distinct idea of what the great design of the Creator may be.

This belief and feeling of unfitness and wrongfulness is common to all
sane minds. It is true that there are different views of what actions
are destructive to happiness, but when there is a clear perception that
a given act will do great harm and no good, every mind will feel that it
is wrong; and when it is seen that any act will do good without any
evil, it is felt to be right. And this is so universal, that if any one
should be found to talk and act with a contrary belief, he would be
regarded as having lost a part of that which constitutes him a rational

The eighth intuitive truth is, that THE EVIDENCE OF OUR SENSES IS

This statement needs some qualification. It often requires time to learn
accurately what our senses do testify, and sometimes the apparent
experience of the senses proves incorrect. For example, to one just
restored to sight, every object seems to touch the eye, and distances
are learned only by experience. So the sun and stars seem to move, when
it is the earth that is turning. So, also, the senses are sometimes
diseased or disordered, and make false reports.

The true meaning, then, of the above intuitive truth is, that when men
know that they have had all requisite experience, and understand
properly all the circumstances of the case, they can not help believing
the evidence of their senses, and when this belief is lost, a person is
regarded as insane.

The ninth intuitive truth is, that WHENEVER THERE IS A CHANGE IN THE

The conviction of the wisdom and power of the Author of this vast and
wonderful frame around us is such that whatever changes may occur in its
established order must be felt to be by his permission.

To illustrate this, suppose a man appeared claiming to be a teacher sent
from God. In proof of this, he commands a mountain to be uptorn and
thrown into the sea. Now, if this phenomenon should follow his command,
it would be impossible for any who witnessed it to refrain from
believing that the Author of Nature performed this miracle to attest the
authority of his messenger.

In order to insure this belief in the interference of Deity, there must
be full evidence that there can be no deception, and that the miraculous
performance is entirely beyond human power and skill. Men always talk
and act on the assumption that _such_ miracles are from God, and that
all rational minds so regard them.

The tenth intuitive truth is, that IN ALL PRACTICAL CONCERNS WE ARE TO

There are few practical questions where we can have perfect certainty as
to the right course. In almost all the concerns of life men are guided
by _probabilities_. It is not certain that seed will spring up, or that
a ship will return, or that a given medicine will cure, or that any
future project will succeed; but men go forward in their pursuits with
exactly the same decision as if the probabilities that guide them were
certainties. They find which course has _the most_ evidence in its
favor, and then act as if it was certain that this was the right course
to attain their designs.

And if any person should habitually act as if he believed the reverse,
he would be regarded as having lost his reason.

The eleventh intuitive truth is, that NOTHING IS TO BE ASSUMED AS TRUE

This principle is always assumed in all practical affairs. If a man were
to send a cargo abroad without _any_ evidence that it was wanted, he
would be called a fool; and so in all other concerns, every sane man
takes this for his rule of conduct.

The preceding include the principles which it is believed are the grand
foundation on which rest most of the practical knowledge of life, as
well as the doctrines and duties both of natural and revealed religion.

There are some other intuitive truths which are not introduced here, and
there are some principles that others have placed in this honorable
position which could not stand the _test_ here introduced, and claimed
to be the only true and reliable one.

The intuitive truths have been called "fundamental truths," because they
are the ultimate basis of all knowledge secured or established by the
process of _reasoning_.

This process consists in assuming a certain proposition to be true as
the _basis_ of an argument. If this proposition is granted, or supposed
to be granted, then the reasoner proceeds to show that the point in
dispute is in reality _included_ in the truth already granted, so that
believing the first proposition, or basis, necessarily involves a belief
in the one to be proved.

For example, if a man wishes to prove that a certain person is a
benevolent man, he proceeds thus:

Let it be granted that all persons who are habitually contriving and
laboring to promote the happiness of all around them are benevolent
persons. This basis proposition being conceded to be true, the reasoner
proceeds to present evidence that the person in question habitually is
laboring for the good of others. This being done, he draws the
conclusion that this person is _included_ in the class which have been
granted to be benevolent.

_Reasoning_, then, is a process for exhibiting evidence that a point
which is disputed is included in a proposition already believed and

But suppose the disputant denies the truth of the basis or foundation
proposition, then it becomes necessary to establish that proposition by
another act of reasoning. In order to do this, still another proposition
is assumed which is allowed to be true, and which the reasoner then
attempts to show includes his former basis proposition.

This process may thus be continued till, finally, it comes to pass that
the basis proposition assumed is an intuitive truth. In this case the
victory is secure; for whatever can be shown to be embraced in an
intuitive truth must be conceded to be true, and whatever is
contradictory to an intuitive truth must be allowed to be false.

Now it can be shown that all the reliable practical knowledge of this
life can be thus traced back till it is seen to rest on some intuitive
truth as its basis.

So, also, all the doctrines and duties, both of natural and revealed
religion, can be shown to rest on these intuitive truths. This indicates
the propriety of the name given to these first principles as _principles
of reason_ and _fundamental truths_.

Here, then, is presented the foundation of the hope so confidently
expressed, that a time is coming when, in all the great questions which
now agitate humanity with doubts, discussions, and conflict, there shall
result universal harmony and unity of opinion. If such intuitive
principles are implanted in all human minds; if there is a _certain
test_ by which these principles can be eliminated and established; and
if, by a sure process of reasoning, every correct practical and
religious opinion can be shown to rest on these principles, and every
false one to contradict them, then we can plainly perceive the true path
to this golden age.

It is to cultivate the powers of the human intellect, to train every
mind, from early life, to detect the true laws of reason, and to
practice accurately the process of reasoning. Not that this alone will
suffice without the attending cultivation of the moral powers, and the
promised blessing of heavenly aid. But the first would powerfully tend
to secure the second, and then the third would inevitably be bestowed.

Before proceeding farther, it is desirable to recognize the fact that
the word _reason_ is used in several ways. Sometimes it signifies simply
the intuitive truths. Sometimes it includes all those principles and
powers of mind which are employed in the act of reasoning. Sometimes it
refers to the intellect in distinction from the feelings. In all cases,
however, the connection will determine in which of these uses it is

[1] Note A.



We have seen that there are certain intuitive truths, the belief of
which is implanted as a part of our mental constitution, and that there
is a _test_ by which we can distinguish them from all other kinds of

We have seen, also, that we are dependent on these truths for a large
portion of our acquired knowledge, inasmuch as they are the basis of
_reasoning_, which is that process by which we gain new truths by the
aid of those already believed.

It has been intimated, also, that it is chiefly by the aid of these
principles that a harmonious system of truth is to be anticipated, in
which all minds will eventually agree, at least in all great questions
involving the eternal interests of our race.

We will now proceed in an inquiry as to what are _the sources of human
knowledge_ in addition to these first implanted truths.

In the first place, then, we have our own personal experience of the
nature and action of our own minds, and of the qualities and powers of
the persons and things around us. Next we have the experience of other
minds as to their own mental history and the properties and powers of
all that has surrounded them. This knowledge is communicated by them to
us either directly by word of mouth, or indirectly by writings and

The experience of a single mind is very limited both as to space and
time, and it is only by the united experience of many persons, in
different periods and places, that we arrive at what are called the laws
of nature and experience. The laws of day and night, summer and winter,
the tides, and all the other phenomena of nature, are simply a uniform
succession and regularity of events, from which men infer a future
regularity of the same experience. Much of this knowledge of past
uniformity is transmitted from others to us, and rests on our confidence
in human testimony, and it has been shown that this confidence is based
on one of the intuitive truths.

Next, we have the knowledge gained by the process of reasoning, and for
this we are dependent on the intuitive truths which are the foundation
of all reliable deductions.

Lastly, we have the resource of _revelations_ from the Creator of all,
who can communicate to us knowledge that we can not gain either by
intuition, or experience, or reasoning.

In regard to the kinds of knowledge to be gained from each of these
sources, it is clear that the experience of ourselves and others
furnishes us with nothing but facts, as it regards matter and mind, as
they are developed in _this_ world only. As it respects the Creator, his
character and designs, the immortality of the soul, and the future
destiny of our race, we gain nothing by our own personal observation or
experience. "No man hath seen God at any time." No one has gone to "the
silent land" to learn by inspection the secrets of that dim shore, or
the destiny of the soul when it passes from earth.

Neither have we any resource in the experience of others who can go to
the invisible world and transmit to us the knowledge there gained. There
is not a man upon earth that can furnish any reliable information on
these subjects from any personal knowledge.

It becomes, then, a most interesting inquiry as to the amount and kind
of knowledge to be gained by means of the intuitive truths, experience,
and reasoning, independently of revelation. In what follows this inquiry
will be pursued.



We have seen that there are only these sources of human knowledge, viz.,
the _intuitive truths_, _human experience_, _reasoning_, and
_revelation_. We have alluded to the nature of intuitive knowledge; we
will now inquire as to the nature of the knowledge gained by human
experience, firstly, in regard to the _constitution of mind and the laws
of that system in which it is placed_. We restrict our inquiries to
those points which have the most direct bearing on the great questions
to be discussed.

As it respects the nature of mind, then, as exhibited by experience, we
learn, in the first place, that it is constituted with desires and
propensities for various kinds of enjoyment. These are the
gratifications secured by the senses, the pleasures of taste, the
happiness of giving and receiving affection, the various intellectual
pleasures, and the still higher enjoyment resulting from our moral
nature. All these are common to the race, though in varied degrees and
combinations. The mind is also constituted with susceptibilities to pain
and suffering from all the sources from which enjoyment may spring.

With these susceptibilities are combined an all-pervading and constant
_desire_ to gain enjoyment and to escape suffering. This desire is the
grand _motive_ power to the mind, as the main-spring is to a watch. For
this reason, awakened desires to gain any particular enjoyment or escape
any pain are called _motives_. And so, also, all those things that cause
these desires are called motives.

Next, it is seen that the mind is endowed with intellect, or the
intellectual powers, by which it can perceive the nature and relative
value of various kinds of enjoyment, compare the present with the
future, and judge both of what is most valuable and of the proper modes
of securing it.

To this add the power of choice or volition, by which, in view of any
two or more kinds of enjoyment, the mind decides which shall be secured
and which be denied.

Thus constituted, the mind comes into action in a _system of law_.

By this is signified that in every direction in which man can seek
enjoyment there is a right course, or one that secures the good sought
in such proper degrees and at such times as that the enjoyment designed
is the result. At the same time there is a wrong course, or one in which
the enjoyment sought is not secured, or, if gained, is combined with
pain and disappointment.

Thus there are right and wrong modes of seeking all the multiplied kinds
of enjoyment, while to the right course is attached the reward of
pleasure, and with the wrong course is connected the penalty of pain,
either immediate or remote.

Again, our minds come into existence in a _social_ _system_ so
constituted that the rewards and penalties of law extend, not merely to
the good and evil doer, but to those connected with him. Thus each mind
is made dependent for happiness on the well-doing of those around almost
as much as on its own obedience to law. The penalties for the sins of
parents fall on their children, and the sins of children are visited on
their parents, and thus in all the other relations of life. Equally so
are the rewards of obedience shared by all who are connected with the

Thus it appears that in this life _happiness_ is the joint product of
the obedience of each individual and the obedience of all connected with
him to the laws of the vast system in which we are placed.

Again, each mind comes into this system of law in perfect ignorance of
the right and wrong courses to be pursued. At the commencement of being
there has been no knowledge of good or of evil to call forth desire or
fear, while the only conceivable way in which such a being can be taught
law, and its penalties and rewards, is by _experience_. Good must be
tasted before the desire for it can come, and evil must be felt before
the fear of it can arise.

After there has been some experience of pleasure and pain, and such
advance in knowledge as that others around can teach the new-comer what
are the right and wrong courses, then _faith_ or _belief_ becomes the
leading mode of safety. From this time happiness or suffering will be
proportioned to the _truth_ of the instructions given, to the _faith_
accorded, and to the _obedience_ rendered.

In this complicated system of law, it is found that the great Author of
all is never moved to modify or suspend the penalties of wrong-doing by
commiseration for the inevitable ignorance of inexperienced beings, nor
by pity when wrong instructions are given, nor by sympathy for the pain
inflicted. _Obedience_, exact, constant, persevering--this is the only
mode of securing the enjoyment and escaping the pain that are the
sanctions of law.

And not only so, but it is often the case that disobedience to some law
in only one instance will destroy the comfort and usefulness of a whole
life. Nay, more, the neglect or the mistake of a parent sometimes will
bring the penalty of violated law on some innocent child, whose whole
life will thus be made miserable.

Again, it is found that the sources of enjoyment are of different
relative value.

In the commencement of existence pleasure is secured mainly through the
senses. Next come the higher social and domestic pleasures; then follow
the intellectual enjoyments, the various gratifications of taste, and
all the multitudinous resources open to a highly-cultivated, virtuous,
and religious man.

The greater the number of these sources, and the more elevated the
nature of each, the greater the degree of happiness gained.

Such, also, is the nature of things, that the lower kinds of happiness
are placed first within our reach, and then, as the higher modes of
enjoyment come, we often find them incompatible with the others, so that
to obtain these we must, to some extent, relinquish the humbler classes.
Thus, when a child begins to find the value of intellectual attainments,
he sees they can not be gained without a sacrifice of many indulgences
that are of an inferior value.

We now come to the _grand law_ of the system in which we are placed, as
it has been developed by the experience of our race, and that, in one
word, is


Each mind finds that it has conflicting desires, so that one class must
constantly be sacrificed to another of superior value. And the rule in
reference to individual enjoyment is "_always to sacrifice the lesser
for the greater good, having reference to the future as much as to the

This is the lesson of self-denial and self-control first taught to
infancy and childhood, and just as fast as the reasoning powers are
developed, the extent of this far-reaching rule is impressed on the
mind. At first this rule is applied to the young child himself, and he
is trained chiefly to understand what will injure or benefit himself.

But gradually a new and higher law begins to appear. As soon as the
child can be made to understand that he is surrounded by other minds,
who can suffer and enjoy by the same rules that regulate his happiness,
he begins to learn the other and still higher law of _sacrifice_; and
that is, that "_the lesser good of the individual is always to be
sacrificed to the greater good of the many, having reference always to
the future as much as to the present_."

Thus life commences with desires that are to be _controlled_ and
_denied_, first by parental power and influence, and next by the
intellect and will of the child. And the farther life advances, the more
numerous and complicated are the occasions where intellect must judge
what is best for self, and what is best for the commonwealth, whose
interests must have precedence.

And as self-denial always involves more or less pain, it becomes a fact
that happiness is to be gained only by more or less _suffering_.

Moreover, the greater the good to be gained, the greater is the
self-denial and suffering involved in its attainment. Though there are
exceptions, this certainly is the general rule.

The history of an individual is a history of self-conquest. It is a
history of the self-denial and suffering involved in subjecting the
physical to the intellectual, and both to the moral nature.

In like manner, the history of the race, from infancy through its stages
of barbarism, heathenism, civilization, and Christianity, is a process
of _suffering_, as the lower principles of humanity are gradually
subjected to the higher, while men learn to give up lower gratifications
for the more elevated, and to sacrifice the lesser good of the minority
to the well-being of the majority.

But the cheering aspect of the case is that the effects of suffering are
salutary and tonic. The child who is trained to bear cold bravely, to
undergo toil, and to meet crosses, becomes strong in body, and
enterprising and energetic in spirit; while a course of ease and
indulgence debilitates both mind and body. This is true most decidedly
when such a course is cheerfully and voluntarily assumed, and is not
forced merely by fear of penalties.

The same is true of communities. Those people who live in a cold climate
and on a hard soil become vigorous, industrious, and enterprising; while
a soft climate, and such abundance as requires no self-denial and toil,
tend to national debility and decay.

Another fact is still more cheering, and that is, that the more a habit
of self-control and self-denial is formed, the easier they become, so
that what at first was severe and painful may become a pleasure. Such
may be the progress of a virtuous mind, that, ultimately, acting right,
or conscious rectitude, may become more desirable and agreeable than any
other mode of enjoyment.

The history of mankind thus far shows that as a race we are progressing
to higher and higher happiness. As we take the history of each nation
from its origin, we find it a development of progress from lower to
higher degrees of enjoyment. Then we find periods of retrocession and
decay. Still, the experience of one age is transmitted more or less to
another, so that, on the whole, the race has been gaining, both as to
the number of sources of enjoyment received and as to the relative value
of the enjoyments sought. The proportion of persons who secure the
higher class of enjoyments is certainly greater now than at any former
period of the world's history.

Again, the history of the world teaches us that while the race gains in
knowledge of the laws of the system and in obedience to them, there are
vast multitudes to whom, as individuals, this life is a _total failure_.
Their career has involved such frequent and fatal violations of the laws
of the system, that their progress is constantly downward; and, so far
as past experience gives any data, we must infer that continued
existence would prove a continued downward progress. The glutton, the
drunkard, the miser, the sluggard, the licentious, the selfish,
malignant, and cruel--all these are binding their spirits with the
_chains of habit_, rendering obedience to the laws they are violating
more difficult and improbable.

But then, as a counterbalancing result, it is seen that these losses to
individuals are made available to the protection and improvement of the
race, and seem indispensable to it; for it is the example of the evils
suffered by wrong-doers that is constantly exercising a preservative
influence to deter others from similar courses. Thus good is constantly
educed from ill, even in the most melancholy cases.

We have seen that it is the desire of good and fear of evil that is the
motive power in causing all mental action, and we have the history of
man to teach us also what kinds of motives prove the most effective in
securing that obedience to law which is the only way to true and perfect

Our only mode of learning the nature of a thing is to observe how it
acts and is acted upon. This is as true of mind as it is of material
things. What, then, has the experience of our race taught as to the
nature of mind in reference to the kinds and relative influence of
motive that secure obedience to law?

In the first place, then, we learn that _fear of evil is indispensable_.
As soon as children in the family, or adults in society, find that no
harm comes from gratifying their desires, all restraint is removed. So
strong is this necessity, that when natural penalties seem uncertain or
far off, parents and civil rulers find it imperative to add those which
are more immediate and discernible.

But with this we learn that fear alone is not a healthful stimulus.
Children and slaves who have no motives to action but fear of penalties
are never so successfully led to obedience as when other more agreeable
influences are combined. A mind that is constantly goaded to action by
fear of evil becomes torpid, or irritable, or despairing, or all
together. The hope of good, or rewards, then, are as indispensable to
secure obedience to law as penalties. The proper balancing of the
motives of fear of evil and hope of good is the grand art of controlling
mind, both as it respects individuals and communities.

In reference to those motives that are pleasurable, there are two
classes which it is very important to recognize. The first class are
those sources of enjoyment which are sought for the gratification of
self without any reference to another. Of this class are the pleasures
of the senses, the enjoyment of acquiring knowledge, the exercise of
power, the pleasures of taste, and others that need not here be

The second class are those in which the enjoyment is secured by
producing happiness for others, and is sought solely in reference to the
enjoyment of another. The most decided illustration of this kind is that
of a mother who is providing for her offspring. This and all true love
has, as its distinctive feature, the pleasure found in conferring
happiness on the beloved object. Gratitude, also, has for its main
element the desire to make some returns of enjoyment to one who has
conferred a favor.

Experience has shown that the most powerful of all motives in securing
obedience to law is that of _love_.

When love is awakened toward a superior mind--when this superior mind
knows what are the true rules of right and wrong, and is deeply
interested to guide and aid the inferior mind--when this interest is
expressed by all winning and attractive methods, nothing has ever yet
been found so successful in securing obedience to the rules of right and

The power of this principle is greatly enhanced when the superior mind
is a benefactor. The bestowal of kindness excites a desire to make some
returns of good, and when it is seen that such a benefactor is gratified
by leading a dependent mind to right action, it proves a most powerful
motive to obedience.

Still more is the power of this principle increased when the favors
bestowed are purchased by self-denial and suffering on the part of the
benefactor. The more noble the benefactor, and the greater the good thus
purchased or the evils thus averted, the stronger is the principle of
gratitude leading to such returns of obedience.

Again, experience has shown that the advance of the race has been by the
agency of teachers and confessors who secured light and elevation to
their fellows at the expense of labor, toil, and self-denial of the
severest kind.

These are the leading points in the results of human experience as to
the nature of mind and the laws of the system of which it is a part.



We have shown that, independently of a revelation, we have no sources of
knowledge except the intuitions reasoning and experience. Hereafter we
will, as is often done, include the two first in the term reason.

We have seen what knowledge has been furnished by human experience as to
the nature of mind and the laws of the present system in which it is
placed. We will now inquire as to the teachings of reason and experience
in regard to the future.

As to the question of the existence of the soul after the dissolution of
the body, we have only one of the intuitive truths for our guide, viz.,
"things will continue as they are and have been till there is evidence
of a cause for change," or, in other words, things will continue
according to past experience till there is some evidence to the

It has been the uniform experience of mankind that the human mind passes
through various states of existence extremely different in nature and
continuance. The first state is that in which the mind seems to have no
susceptibilities but of sensation, and to be utterly destitute of all
the properties of a rational intellect. By a slow and gradual process,
new and successive powers seem to be called into existence, and what
seemed among the lowest grades of animal existence becomes the glory and
lord of this lower world. Yet, in the full exercise of all the faculties
of a rational and moral nature, there is a perpetual recurrence of
periods in which all evidences of the existence of such faculties cease.
In a profound sleep, or in a deep swoon, no proof of rational existence
remains either to the being thus affected or to the observers of this
phenomenon. As the extreme of old age approaches, the glories of the
mind begin to fade away, until man sometimes passes into a state of
second childhood. There are times, also, when changes in the material
system derange all the power of intellect, and sometimes reduce what was
once a rational mind to a state of entire fatuity, and then, again, the
mental powers are restored.

The experience of mankind, then, on this subject is this: that the mind
is an existence which passes through multiplied and very great changes
without being destroyed. The soul continues to exist after changes as
great as death, and in many respects similar to it, such, for example,
as the event of birth, and of sleep, and we have never known a mind
destroyed by such changes. The argument, then, is, that as things will
be in agreement with past experience, the soul will continue to go
through other changes without being destroyed, unless there is some
reason to the contrary.

There can be no reason found to the contrary, for there is no evidence
that the event called death is any thing more than a separation of the
spirit from its material envelope, nor is there any evidence against the
supposition that it may be an event which introduces the mind into a
more perfect state of existence.

It appears that losing various parts of the body does not at all affect
the operations of mind; that by the perpetual changes that are taking
place in the body, every particle of it, after a course of years, is
dissevered from its connection with the spirit, and is supplied by other
matter. The soul is thus proved to be so connected with a material body
that it may lose the whole of it by a slow process without being the
least injured, and therefore we have the evidence of experience that it
may be _separated_ from the body without any detriment to its powers and

Analogy also leads to the supposition that death is only a change which
introduces the intellectual being into a more perfect mode of existence;
for, in past experience, those changes most resembling death, which are
not accidental, but according to the ordinary course of nature, are
means of renewing and invigorating mental powers. Thus sleep, the emblem
of death, is succeeded by renewed powers of activity and consciousness.

The changes of other animals which most resemble death furnish another
analogy. The humble worm rolls itself up in its temporary tomb, and,
after a short slumber, bursts forth to new life, clothed in more
brilliant dyes, endued with more active capacities, and prepared to
secure enjoyments before unknown. Reasoning from past experience, then,
we should infer the continued existence of the mind after death.

By the same method we arrive at the doctrine of the immortality of the
soul. We know that the soul does now exist. We know of no cause that
will destroy it. Therefore we infer that it will _forever_ continue to

Whether this argument is satisfactory or not, without a revelation this
is _all_ the evidence we have of the soul's continued existence after
death, and of the immortality of the soul.

It is the same intuitive truth which (without a revelation) alone
furnishes aid in regard to the future destiny of man.

We assume that things are to be in agreement with past experience unless
there is evidence to the contrary. No such evidence can be found. What,
then, does the past history of our race teach us to expect from the
future? These are the most important deductions:

We are to continue under the same laws of the system already
established. We are to have the same susceptibilities to pleasure and
pain, the same intellect to guide us, the same power of volition to
decide our own courses.

We are to be parts of a social system in which every member suffers not
only for his own violations of law, but for the sins of others.

The great law of this system is to be forever sustained--the _law of_
SACRIFICE. Every being is to sacrifice the lesser for the greater good
in all his individual concerns, and, in regard to the commonwealth, the
lesser good of the individual is to be sacrificed to the greater good of
the many. In all this, also, reference is to be had to the interests of
the future as much as to those of the present, and all violations of
this great law are to involve the established penalties.

This system of law is to be administered as it has been in the past. No
pity for ignorance, no sympathy for the suffering, will ever suspend the
natural penalties for wrong-doing. _Obedience_, exact, constant, and
persevering, is to be the only mode of securing the rewards and escaping
the penalties of this system.

Again, mankind, as a race, are to continue to progress, until at some
period a certain portion will arrive at the entire and perfect obedience
to law which, at the present stage of being, no one has ever yet

But, on the other hand, this progress will be attended with the hopeless
and perpetual ruin of multitudes who, as individuals, take a retrograde
course, and grow more and more guilty and miserable, while continued
existence will serve only to render obedience to law more improbable.

But from this loss to individuals will result protective and purifying
influences to the commonwealth, so that thus good will constantly be
educed from evil.

Again, the influences that are to secure the advance of the race to
perfect obedience are to be, knowledge of laws, fear of penalties, hope
of rewards, and love and gratitude toward those who may prove teachers,
benefactors, and self-sacrificing friends. These have been the modes in
past experience in this world, and therefore we infer them for the



We have shown that, in regard to our Creator, his character and designs,
without a revelation, we have nothing to guide us but the intuitive
truths, and the deductions obtained by their aid from human experience.

We will now inquire as to the amount of knowledge to be secured from
these sources.

By the aid of the first intuitive truth, we arrive at the knowledge of
some great First Cause or causes, existing without beginning, who
created the universe of matter and mind; yet, as has been shown, we are
not, by this first principle, enabled to infer any thing as to the
_unity_ or _plurality_ of such cause or causes. For aught that this
intuitive truth indicates, there may have been a plurality of eternal
and self-existent minds, who acted in unity at the creation of all
things. Neither can we, by the aid of this truth, arrive at any
conclusion as to the character and designs of the author or authors of
all created things.

It is by the aid of the fourth intuitive truth that we deduce whatever
can be known of the character and designs of the Creator.

This truth teaches us that "design is evidence of an intelligent cause,
and that the nature of a design proves the intention and character of
the author."

The works of Nature, both of mind and matter, are full of evidence of
design, and from this we infer that the Creator is an _intelligent_

The infinite variety and extent of creation are evidences of the
wonderful _power_ of their Author. The fact that all the contrivances of
matter and mind are clearly designed to produce enjoyment, while pain is
merely the result of a violation of laws which, if obeyed, would secure
only happiness--this is evidence of the _benevolence_ of the Creator.

The skill with which all things are formed and combined to secure the
ends designed are proofs of the _wisdom_ of the Creator.

Thus, by aid of the fourth intuitive truth, and the world of mind and
matter around us, we obtain the result that the Author of Nature is
_powerful, benevolent, and wise_.

But in regard to the use of the word _power_, as applied to the Creator,
one distinction is important. There are things which are contradictory
and impossible in the nature of things, so that no one can conceive of
them as possible. Thus, to create and not to create at the same time, or
to make a mind that is a free agent and at the same time not a free
agent, but controlled in volitions by fixed causation as matter
is--these and many other things are contradictions or impossibilities.

Now when we say that the Creator can not do these things, we do not
limit his power, for almighty power signifies simply and only a power to
do all things that are not contradictions and thus absurdities.

This being premised, we are obliged to infer from the history of our
race that the Creator, in regard to the existence of evil, is limited
either in power, or in benevolence, or in the nature of things.

We arrive at this conclusion thus: We see that evils and suffering,
multitudinous and terrific, do exist, and have existed in all ages. In
reference to this, only these suppositions are conceivable: the first
is, that the Creator is perfectly benevolent, and that a better system,
with all the existing good and none of the evil, is conceivable and
possible in the nature of things, yet that he _had not the power_ to
produce and sustain it.

The second supposition is, that the Creator has the power to produce and
sustain a wiser and better system, in which there shall be all the good
and none of the evil in the existing one, and yet that he _would not_ do
it. This either involves the supposition of a purely malignant being,
who enjoys witnessing needless and awful suffering, and prefers it to
happiness, or of one who is, like human beings, of a mixed character,
and allows evil to exist when self-denying efforts might prevent it.

All the minds of whom we have had any knowledge, although, where their
own ease and pleasure are not to be sacrificed, they prefer to make
others around them happy, yet ever exhibit a selfish spirit. They all
show that they think and plan more for their own private enjoyment than
for the general happiness, and thus, to a greater or less extent, are
selfish. Reasoning from experience, then, we should infer that the
Creator might be of the same character.

The third supposition is, that the Creator has instituted the _best
system possible in the nature of things_, so that there is and will be

We come, then, to the inquiry as to the _end_ or _design_ of the Creator
in forming the universe of mind and matter.

To answer this, we must again refer to the fourth intuitive truth, viz.,
"the nature of a contrivance is proof of the intention or design of the

This position is illustrated in many cases in common life. If we find a
contrivance which moves the air toward a fire and thus increases the
flame, we infer that the author intended to produce this result. If we
find a contrivance to show the time of day, such as a sun-dial or clock,
we can not help believing that the author intended to secure this end.

Moreover, when we find a curious machine, where every part is arranged
on a given design, we naturally inquire _how it must be worked_ to
produce the intended result. It may have wheels that, if turned one way,
produce the end designed, but, if turned another way, produce exactly
the opposite effect.

For example, if the wheels of a mill are arranged aright, or as the
author designed, they will grind flour or weave cotton; but if arranged
and worked contrary to the design of the author, they will break
themselves to pieces and destroy all things around them.

Two inquiries, then, are to be made in reference to the design of the
Creator. The first is, What was the end or design for which he made all
things? and the second is, What is the right and true method by which
this design can be secured?

We shall assume, and attempt to prove in what follows, that the design
and ultimate end of the Creator in all his works is _to produce the
greatest possible happiness with the least possible evil_.

Afterward will be exhibited the _true and right method_ for securing
this end, so far as we can learn it by reason and experience _without a

In pursuing this plan, the first step will be to exhibit the
constitution and laws of mind, as the chief and most wonderful
exhibition of the grand design of its Author.



We are now to commence an examination of the various powers and
operations of the human mind, for the purpose of illustrating the grand
aim of the Author in the creation of all things.

In pursuing this course, it is needful, first, to refer to the apparent
diversities in systems of mental philosophy, for the purpose of
justifying the classification and the terms to be employed hereafter.

There is nothing more hackneyed than the complaints against metaphysics
as abstruse, difficult of comprehension, and unpractical, while the
various writers on this science seem more or less divided into opposing
schools. Notwithstanding this, there are reasons for maintaining a real
agreement in all systems of mental philosophy, at least in essentials,
and the following considerations lead to such a conclusion:

In the first place, the nature of the subject investigated would
necessarily tend to such a result; for that subject is the human mind,
not in its specific peculiarities, but in those generic phenomena which
are common to all minds; just as the natural philosopher investigates
those properties of matter which are common to a class, and not the
specific peculiarities that distinguish individual masses or particles.
Now, as those who direct their investigations to mental phenomena are
all drawing a picture from the same pattern, it is properly inferred
that in the main outlines there must be a general resemblance.

Another reason for this conclusion is the mode of investigation pursued.
It is simply observing, first, the phenomena of our own minds, and then
comparing them with those of other minds as exhibited in looks, words,
and actions, and thus educing generic resemblances and specific
differences. It is the generic resemblances only that constitute the
faculties and laws of mind which are to be described, classified, and

Another reason for inferring such an agreement of systems is the fact,
not only that all human minds have common phenomena, but that they have
provided themselves with terms to express them, so that they succeed in
so far understanding each other as to make comparisons of their mental

The same agreement may be inferred, also, when we consider that mental
philosophy treats, not of new ideas, or new combinations of ideas, but
of knowledge which is already in the mind. The process to be pursued,
then, involves a reference to what we have ourselves experienced; it is
an examination of our own feelings, thoughts, and volitions. These are
subjects of which we are competent judges, and in regard to which we can
be certain as to what is correct or incorrect, more than we can be in
reference to any other kind of knowledge.

From these considerations, it is inferred that all systems of mental
philosophy will resemble each other just so far as they are true, and
that the difference must be mainly in modes of presenting the subject.
Inasmuch as writers on mental science are drawing a picture of those
experiences of their own minds which are common to the whole race, they
must in the main resemble each other, though some may be more imperfect,
vague, and disconnected than others.

It may be useful to indicate the causes which have combined to produce
perplexity and apparent diversities among writers on mental science.

The first cause is the want of an accurate medium of communication by
which one mind can compare its experience with the experience of other
minds. In natural science, when the philosopher instructs in reference
to the properties of matter, all the terms employed can be made definite
by appeals to the senses. For example, if it is not understood what is
meant by a _pungent_ smell, such a smell can be produced, and then there
is a perfectly clear idea of what is meant by the term. But in mental
science, when the term _reason_ or the term _understanding_ is employed,
no such perfect and definite mode is at command to illustrate the

On the contrary, in this science, a single term is often used with
various meanings, each use, however, including some common idea, while
the extent or limitation in every case is to be determined by the
connection. For example, the term _heart_ is used sometimes to signify
the chief organ of physical life, sometimes it signifies the mind
itself. In a more limited use it denotes the feelings, and in a still
more restricted sense it expresses the leading interest of the mind.
This involves a constant process of reasoning to decide the meaning of
the term.

Another perplexity in mental science has arisen from an unwarrantable
use of terms by writers. In some instances new distinctions in mental
analysis have been originated, and then terms have been used to express
these distinctions which never before were employed in this limited
sense. Of course, in reading their works, the mind is confused by
meeting terms that in common use recall one signification, when the
writer employs them in another.

In other cases, such writers have formed new classifications of mental
phenomena, and employed new terms to express them, and thus an
impression is made that something new has been discovered, or a new
system evolved. For example, Brown arranges the intellectual operations
of mind in but two general classes, and calls them _simple suggestion_
and _relative suggestion_. But his work, in this respect, presents only
a new classification and new terms, but no new ideas.

Another difficulty in mental science has arisen from the fact that many
writers on this subject have failed in accurate analysis of the
phenomena of mind, and, of course, have not succeeded in conveying clear
and distinct ideas to their readers. For example, some metaphysicians
have never discriminated between _desire_ and _choice_, but have written
as if they were the same thing. Thus they have affirmed things which
were true in reference to one of these mental acts, and false in regard
to the other. This has produced mistiness of apprehension or false
conceptions in their readers. Some understand the writer one way and
dispute his positions, others understand him another way and defend
them, because what he says is true of one act and false of the other,
while both acts are spoken of as one and the same.

Meantime the great mass of readers have never been accustomed to any
accurate analysis, or even to any fixed observation of their own mental
states. They are, therefore, unprepared to detect these defects in the
writers on mental science, and are easily confused and perplexed.

Another difficulty has arisen from false ideas as to the origin and
proper use of words. In most minds an impression has been generated that
there is an inherent meaning belonging to the words of a language. They
do not consider that in the formation of language the ideas come first,
and that the words are only conventional signs which men agree in using
to express these ideas. Writers often speak of words which by long usage
have been connected with certain ideas, as if they ought not to be so
employed. They do not consider that the fact that men have used a word
for a given idea, and understand each other, is the very thing which
establishes its proper use and meaning.

If, then, in all time and in all nations, mankind have classified and
given names to their mental states, the classification and the names are
true and proper, and no philosopher should claim that these are
incorrect. The object of language is to enable men to communicate their
ideas, and that language is best which enables them to do it the most
extensively and the most accurately.

It is maintained, then, that there is a _system_ of mental philosophy
which is understood by all mankind; that there are words in common use
by which it can be clearly and definitely described and expressed,
either by single terms or by circumlocution; that it is recognized in
the Bible; and that, substantially, it is the system taught by all
writers on mental science, some teaching one portion and some another.
It is maintained, also, that no such writer has taught any thing of any
importance _that is true_ which can not be translated into the language
of common life, so as to be readily comprehended even by persons of
ordinary capacity and education.

There is no difficulty in leading any mind of ordinary capacity to
notice the several classes of mental operations introduced in this work,
and in all nations and languages these facts are recognized and terms
are provided to express them.

Some persons object to speaking of any mental phenomena as _states_ of
mind, because it is claimed that the mind is _active_ in all. Thus
sensations are claimed to be acts of mind instead of passive states
caused by material objects. In regard to this and various other
objections urged against this mode of classification and nomenclature,
it may be remarked that the thing aimed at is simply, by means of a
description, to point out what is meant. When this is understood, it
does not change our idea to give it a name. We know by our own
experience what it is to have a sensation, and calling it a _state_ or
an _act_ does not alter our idea of the fact.

In using words, all we have to do is to _convey our meaning_, either by
description or illustration, and when we have done this, to select a
word to express it; and that word is best for this purpose which would
recall this meaning to the greatest number of persons who have
previously used it in this sense.

For this reason, it is most proper to use terms employed in common life
to express the phenomena treated of in mental science, instead of
instituting new terms, which, to most persons, have never had the
intended ideas connected with them.

This method is adopted in the following pages; but it is important to
remember that, while these words are used both in common life and by
metaphysical writers with the meaning here indicated, they are often
used with other significations. Thus the word _to perceive_ is used not
only to signify the act of gaining ideas by the senses, but any act of
mind in noticing truths of any kind, either mental or external. So _to
conceive_ and _to perceive_ are often used interchangeably as meaning
the same thing.

But this does not render it necessary to seek any new terms to express
these ideas. All that is needful is to indicate that in classing and
describing mental phenomena we restrict ourselves to one exact and
uniform use of these terms, and this use is indicated in the description
or definition given.



We now proceed to the classification and description of the mental

Not only all writers on mental science, but the most common writers and
speakers, recognize a general division of mental operations, which is
expressed by the terms _intellect_, _feeling_, and _choice_. We _think_,
we _feel_, and we _choose_. Even the young child learns to comprehend
these three grand divisions of the mental phenomena.

To this most general division, in this work, are applied the terms _the
intellectual powers, the susceptibilities_, and _the will_. These terms
are selected because they are the most common ones.


Under the general class of intellectual powers are arranged the
following specific powers of mind:

Sensation, Perception, Conception, Memory, Imagination, Judgment,
Abstraction, Attention, and Association.

_Sensation_ is a state of mind produced by material objects acting on
the senses.

Thus, when light, which is considered as one kind of matter, affects the
eye, the sensation of _sight_ is produced. When the perfume of a rose,
which is another species of matter, affects the nostrils, the sensation
of _smell_ is produced. When a bell or some musical instrument causes
the air to vibrate on the drum of the ear, it causes the sensation of
_sound_. When any sapid body is applied to the tongue, the sensation of
_taste_ is caused. When the hand, or any part of the body, comes in
contact with another body, the sensation of _touch_ is produced.

Thus it appears that the five senses are the organs of sensation, and
that through their instrumentality material things operate upon the

_Perception_ is a _sensation_ attended by the _belief of a cause_, and
it is this additional circumstance alone which distinguishes perception
from sensation.

If a person were asleep, and should suffer from the prick of a pin, or
be disturbed by an unpleasant sound, these would be mere sensations,
because the mind would not ascribe them to any cause. But if the person
should waken, these sensations would immediately become perceptions,
because they would be attended by the belief of some cause.

_Conception_ is a state of mind similar to perception, and differs from
it in being less vivid, and in not being produced through the medium of
the senses.

When we look at a tree, we have a _perception_ of this object. But the
mind can also have an idea of this tree when removed from the sight,
though the idea is not so vivid and distinct, nor have the senses any
agency in producing it. The perfume of a rose, also, occasions another
sensation; but when the rose is removed, so as not to affect the senses,
we can still have a _conception_ of its perfume. The conception differs
from the perception only in being less vivid, and in not being caused by
a material object acting on the senses.

_Memory_ is either a conception or a perception, which is attended with
a feeling of its resemblance to a past state of mind. It is this feeling
of resemblance that is the only circumstance which distinguishes memory
from conception.

Thus we may conceive of a tree without recognizing it as the particular
idea of any tree we may have seen before; but if this is accompanied by
a feeling of the resemblance of this idea to the one we always have when
we see the tree that shadows the paternal roof, this conception becomes
_memory_. If we conceive the form of a man without recognizing the
resemblance of this idea to the perceptions we have when we see any
particular man, this is a simple act of conception; but if we recognize
in this object of conception the features of a dear friend, this act
then becomes memory. Again, if we conceive of certain events and
circumstances attending them without recognizing this combination as
ever having existed in past experience, they are mere conceptions; but
if we recognize in them the events and circumstances of past experience,
conception becomes memory.

_Imagination_ is the power which the mind possesses of arranging our
conceptions in new combinations. We can conceive objects as united
together of which we never conceived before as thus united.

Thus, when we read the description of some picturesque scene in nature,
the mind immediately groups together mountains, trees, brooks, cottages,
and glens, forming a new combination of conceptions different from any
scene we ever witnessed or conceived before. All the objects thus
combined are conceptions; the act of arranging them is an act of the

_Judgment_ is the power which the mind possesses of _noticing
relations_. A _relation_ is an idea obtained by observing one thing in
connection with another. Thus, when we perceive one thing to be _longer_
than another, one thing to be _on_ another, or one thing to _belong_ to
another--in all these cases the mind _notices relations_, or exercises
the faculty of judgment. Thus, also, when we compare any action with the
rule of duty in order to decide whether it is right or wrong, we
exercise the same faculty. This act always is necessarily preceded by
the comparison of one thing with another, in order to notice the

_Abstraction_ is the power of noticing certain parts or qualities of any
object, as distinct from other parts or qualities. Thus, when we notice
the length of a bridge without attending to the breadth or color, or
when we notice the height of a man without thinking of his character, we
exercise the faculty of abstraction.

_Attention_ is the direction of the mind to any particular object or
quality, from the interest which is felt in it, or in something
connected with it. The degree of attention is always proportioned to the
degree of interest felt in the object.

_Association_ is the power possessed by the mind of recalling ideas in
the connections and relations in which they have existed in past
experience. For example, when any two objects, such as a house and a
tree, have often been observed together, the idea of one will ordinarily
be attended by that of the other. If two events have often been united
together in regard to the _time_ of their occurrence, such, for example,
as thunder and lightning, the idea of one will usually be attended by
the other.

In this work, the aim is to introduce no more of mental analysis than is
needed for its main object. What is here introduced is not claimed as a
complete presentation of all the mental phenomena.



As there is no distinction between sensation and perception except in
the fact that one is attended with the belief of a cause and the other
is not, they will be treated of together.

The mind of man is an immaterial existence, confined in its operations
by the body it inhabits, and depending upon the construction and
modifications of this envelope for much of its happiness or suffering.

The exercise of the imagination, when the eyes are closed and the body
at rest, will probably give us the best idea of what is the nature of
spiritual existence when disconnected with matter. It is one of the
offices of our bodily system to retain the spirit in its operations in
one particular place, so that ordinarily it can have direct communion
with no other mind which is not in the same place. Whether this is the
case with mere spiritual existence is a question for conjecture, and not
for any rational decision.

While the spirit of man is resident in its material frame, it is
furnished with facilities of communication with other minds, and with
organs which fit it to receive suffering or enjoyment from the material
objects by which it is surrounded. These organs of communication are the
several senses. They consist of expansions of the substance of which the
brain is formed, which, descending to the body through the spinal bone
of the back, are thence sent out in thousands of ramifications over the
whole system. Those branches which enter the eyes, and are spread over
the interior back part of this organ, are called the _optic nerve_.
Whenever the particles of light enter the eye, they strike the optic
nerve, and produce the sensation which is called _sight_. Those branches
which are spread over the tongue are the organ of _taste_. Those that
are extended through the cavities of the nostrils are called the
_olfactory_ nerves. When the small particles of matter that escape from
odoriferous bodies come in contact with these nerves, they produce the
sensation of _smell_.

The nerves that constitute the organ of _hearing_ are extended over the
cavity of the ear behind the _tympanum_, or _ear-drum_. This cavity is
filled with a liquid, and when the drum of the ear is caused to vibrate
by the air which is set in motion by sonorous bodies, it produces
undulations of this liquid upon these nerves, and thus the sensation of
_sound_ is produced. By the expansion of other nerves, the sense of
_feeling_ is extended all over the body, excepting the nails and the
hair. It is by the action of matter, in its different forms, on these
several senses, that the mind obtains ideas, and that ideas are imparted
from one mind to another.

_Perception_ never takes place unless some material object makes an
impression upon one of the senses. In the case of the eye, the ear, and
the nostrils, the object which is regarded as the cause of the sensation
does not come immediately in contact with the organs of sense. When we
see a body, we consider it as the cause of that perception; but it is
not the body that comes in contact with the organ of sight, but merely
the particles of light reflected from that body. In the case of smell,
the fragrant body is regarded as the cause of the sensation; but that
which acts on the sense is the material particles of perfume which flow
from that body.

Thus, also, with hearing. We consider the sonorous body as the cause;
but the sensation is produced through the medium of the air, which
affects the drum of the ear. But in the case of taste and touch, the
body which is regarded by the mind as the cause must come in contact
with the nerves of the tongue or the body to produce the sensation.


The sense of smell is one which greatly conduces to the preservation,
the comfort, and the happiness of man. It is a continual aid to him in
detecting polluted atmosphere or unhealthy food. The direct enjoyment it
affords is probably less in amount than that derived from any of the
other senses; yet, were we deprived of all the enjoyment gained through
this source, we should probably find the privation much greater than we
at first might imagine. When we walk forth among the beauties of nature,
the fresh perfumes that send forth their incense are sources both of
immediate and succeeding gratification. The beautiful images of nature
which rise to the mind in our imaginative hours, would lose many of
their obscure but charming associations were the fields stripped of the
fragrance of their greens and the flowers of their sweet perfumes.
Nature would appear to have lost that moving spirit of life which now
ever rides upon the evening zephyrs and the summer breeze. As it is, as
we walk abroad, all nature seems to send forth its welcome, while to its
Maker's praise

                      "Each odorous leaf,
  Each opening blossom, freely breathes abroad
  Its gratitude, and thanks Him with its sweets."


When a sapid body is applied to the organ of taste, two sensations are
produced, one of _touch_ and one of _taste_. We are conscious of the
difference of these sensations when we apply a body to the tongue which
has taste, and then immediately one which has not. It is probable,
however, that the same set of nerves serve both purposes.

It is one of the numberless evidences of the benevolence of our Creator
that the process which is necessary for the preservation of life, and
which depends upon the voluntary activity of every human being, should
be connected with a sense which affords such gratification that the duty
is sought as a pleasure. Were mankind led to seek food merely in the
exercise of reason for the purpose of preserving life, multitudes,
through carelessness and forgetfulness, would be perpetually neglecting
that regular supply without which the animal system would become
deranged and enfeebled. By the present constitution of the body, the
gratification of this sense is an object of desire, and thus we are
continually reminded of our duty, and led to it as a source of

Nor is it the gratification of this sense which is the only source of
enjoyment connected with it. The regular periods for repast bring around
the social board those united to each other by the tenderest ties of
kindred and affection. These become seasons of cheerful hilarity and
relaxation, seasons of cessation from daily cares, seasons for the
interchange of kind feelings and intellectual stores; and while the mere
gratification of sense is one source of pleasure, to this is often added
the "feast of reason and the flow of soul."

The effect on the best feelings in thus assembling to participate in
common blessings is scarcely ever appreciated. Did every individual of
our race retire to secrecy and solitude to satisfy the cravings of
nature, how much would the sum of human happiness be diminished! But
thus has our benevolent Creator contrived that one source of enjoyment
should serve as an occasion for introducing many more.


The sense of hearing is one more connected with the intellectual and
moral powers of man than either taste or smell, as it is through the
medium of this organ that both music and speech operate on the human
mind. We can form some imperfect estimate of the amount of happiness
derived from this sense by imagining the condition of mankind were they
at once and forever deprived of this source of improvement and
enjoyment. The voice of sympathy, friendship, and love would be hushed.
The eloquence of the forum, the debates of the Legislature, the
instructions of the pulpit, would cease. The music of nature--its
sighing winds and dashing waters--would be stilled, and the warbling of
the groves would charm no more. The sound of pipe, and harp, and solemn
harmonies of voice would never again waken the soul to thrilling and
nameless emotions. Where now ten thousand sounds of active life, or
cheerful hum of business, or music of language and song charm and
animate the soul, man would walk forth in silence and solitude.

The operation of mere sound, disconnected with the ideas which are often
conveyed by it, is a subject of curious speculation. Sounds differ from
each other in _quality_, _pitch_, _force_, and in _length_. The
difference in _tone_ may be illustrated by the sounds of a clarionet
compared with the sound of a bell or of the human voice. Every
instrument and every human voice has each a peculiar tone by which it is
distinguished from all others. The difference in _pitch_ is shown by
sounding a low and a high note in succession on an instrument. The
difference in _force_ is exhibited by singing or speaking loud or soft.

There are certain sounds that in themselves are either agreeable or
disagreeable from their tone alone. Thus the sound of a flute is
agreeable, and that of the filing of a saw is disagreeable. Sounds also
are agreeable according as they succeed each other.

_Melody_ is a succession of agreeable tones arranged in some regular
order as it respects their duration and succession. Some melodies are
much more agreeable to the ear than others. Some melodies produce a
plaintive state of mind, others exhilarate, and this without regard to
any thing except the nature of the sounds and their succession. Thus a
very young infant, by a certain succession of musical tones, can be made
either to weep in sorrow or smile with joy.

_Harmony_ is a certain _combination_ of sounds which are agreeable to
the ear; and it is found that the mind can be much more powerfully
affected by a combination of harmonious sounds than by any melody. The
effect of music on certain minds is very powerful, often awakening
strange and indescribable emotions. It has been, therefore, much
employed both to heighten social, patriotic, and devotional feeling.

There is probably nothing which produces stronger and more abiding
associations in the mind than musical sounds. As an example of this may
be mentioned the national air which is sung by the Swiss in their native
valleys. It is said that when they become wanderers in foreign lands, so
strongly will this wild music recall the scenes of their childhood and
youth, their native skies, their towering mountains and romantic glens,
with all the strong local attachments that gather around such objects,
that their heart sickens with longing desires to return. And so much was
this the case with the Swiss of the French armies, that Bonaparte
forbade this air being played among his troops. The Marseilles Hymn,
which was chanted in the scenes of the French Revolution, was said to
have been perfectly electrifying, and to have produced more effect than
all the eloquence of orators or machinations of statesmen.

The mind seems to acquire by experience only the power of determining
the place whence sounds originate. It is probable that, at first, sounds
seem to originate within the ear of the person who hears; and, even
after long experience, cases have been known, when a person suddenly
waked from sleep imagined the throbbing of his own heart was a knocking
at the door. But observation and experience soon teach us the direction
and the distance of sounds. The art of the ventriloquist consists in
nothing but the power which a nice and accurate ear gives him of
distinguishing the difference between sounds when near or far off, and
of imitating them.


The sense of touch is not confined to one particular organ, but is
extended over the whole system, both externally and internally. It is in
the hands, however, especially at the ends of the fingers, that this
sense is most acute and most employed. We acquire many more ideas by the
aid of this sense than by either hearing, smell, or taste. By these last
we become acquainted with only one particular quality in a body, either
of taste, smell, or sound; but by means of the touch we learn such
qualities as heat and cold, roughness and smoothness, hardness and
softness, figure, solidity, and extension.

It is supposed that it is by this sense that we gain the idea of
something _external_, or without ourselves. The sensation of smell would
seem to be within, as an act or emotion of the soul itself. Thus also
with hearing, which, being produced within the ear by the undulating
air, would seem to originate within. Thus also with sensations within
the eye. But when the limbs begin to move and to come in contact with
outward objects, and also in contact with various parts of the body, the
mind gains an idea of the existence of some outward object. This is
probably the first sense by which any idea of existence is wakened in
the mind. As one sense after another is called into action, the mind
continually gains new ideas, and then begins its operations of
comparing, abstracting, reasoning, and willing.

It is by the sense of touch that we gain our ideas of _resistance_ and
_extension_. In the class of ideas included under the head of ideas of
resistance may be placed those of solidity, liquidity, hardness,
softness, viscidity, roughness, and smoothness; these all being
different names for different modes of resistance to the muscles of the
hands, arms, or fingers, when applied to the bodies which have these
qualities. These ideas are not gained by simple contact; their existence
depends upon the contraction or expansion of the muscles, which are the
organs of motion and resistance in the human body.

We may suppose the infant to gain these ideas by a process somewhat
similar to this: He first moves his arms by instinct, without any
knowledge of the effects to follow. By this movement he gains certain
ideas of the simple contractions and extension of his muscles, and
learns also that by his own will he can exercise his muscles in this
manner. At length he attempts to move his arm in a manner to which he
has become familiar, and some object intervenes, and motion is
prevented, while all his wonted muscular efforts are vain. Thus arises
in his mind a new idea, of resistance, in addition to the sensations of
touch and of motion, which had before been experienced.

The ideas of _different degrees_ of this resistance are gained by
repeated experience, and when age furnishes the ability to understand
language, the names of hardness, softness, roughness, and the like, are
given to these ideas. In the use of his muscles, also, the infant must
first acquire its ideas of _extension_ and _figure_; for it must be
where resistance to muscular effort ceases that he must feel that the
cause ceases to exist. The little being extends his hand--an object
intervenes which interrupts his muscular motions; he grasps this object,
and wherever this feeling of resistance exists, there he feels that the
cause of it exists, and that after he has passed certain limits it does
not exist.

_Figure_ is defined as the _limits of extension_, and, of course, it can
be seen that ideas of figure can only be gained by thus finding the
limits of extension. It has formerly been supposed that ideas of
_extension_ and _figure_ were gained by the eye, but later experiments
and discussions show that the sense of feeling, including muscular
motion, is the medium by which these ideas are first gained, and that
afterward the eye, by the principle of association, acquires the power
of distinguishing figure and distance.

There is much enjoyment resulting from the sense of touch in many ways,
a large portion of which is almost unnoticed. Much also included under
the term _comfort_ results from this sense. Much of that which is
agreeable in clothing and in objects around us is of this nature.
Besides this, there are many endearments of friendship and affection
that gain expression only through this medium.


The organ of vision is the eye, which is one of the most curious and
wonderful parts of the human frame, and displays in astonishing variety
the wisdom and skill of its Designer.

The eye consists of a round ball, formed externally of various
coverings, and within of humors of different degrees of consistency. The
front part of the eye, which is exposed to view, has a small opening in
it, which admits the rays of light within this ball, while it is by the
operation of light on the nerves, which are spread in fine net-work over
the interior, that _sight_ is produced.

In examining the mechanism of the eye, a great variety of contrivances
appear, all aiding in accomplishing the object of vision. In the first
place, we may observe its modes of protection and defense. The lid is a
soft, moist wiper, which, with a motion quick as lightning, protects the
eye from outward violence, cleanses it from dust, veils it from
overpowering radiance, and in hours of repose entirely excludes the
light. On its edge is the fringing lash, which intercepts floating
matter that might otherwise intrude, while above is spread the eyebrow,
which, like a thatch, obstructs the drops that heat or toil accumulate
on the brow.

We next observe the organs of motion with which the eye is furnished,
and which, with complicated strings and pulleys, can turn it every way
at the will of the intelligent agent. The _pupil_ or _opening_ of the
eye, also, is so constructed, with its minute and multiplied circular
and crossing muscles, that it can contract or expand in size just in
proportion as the light varies in intensity.

The ball of the eye is filled with three substances of different degrees
of density. One is a watery humor, near the front of the eye; back of
this, and suspended by two muscles, is the solid lens of the eye, or the
_crystalline humor_; and the remainder of the eye, in which this lens is
imbedded, consists of the _vitreous humor_, which is of the consistence
of jelly. These all have different degrees of transparency, and are so
nicely adjusted that the rays of light, which start from every point in
all bodies in _diverging_ lines, are by these humors made to _converge_
and meet in points on the _retina_, or the nerve of the eye, forming
there a small picture, exactly of the same proportions, though not the
same size, as the scene which is spread before the eye.

When the outer covering of the back part of the eye is removed, the
objects which are in front of the eye may be discerned, delicately
portrayed in all their perfect colors and proportions, on the retina
which lines the interior. It is this impression of light on the optic
nerve which gives our ideas of light and colors.

The eye is also formed in such a way that it can alter its shape and
become somewhat oblong, while at the same time its lens is projected
forward or drawn back. The object of this contrivance is to obtain an
equally perfect picture of distant and of near objects.

Our ideas of _shape_ and _size_ at first are not gained by the eye, but
by the sense of touch. After considerable experience we learn to
determine shape and size by the eye. Experiments made upon persons born
blind and restored to sight furnish many curious facts to support this

When the eye first admits the light, all objects appear to _touch_ the
eye, and are all a confused mass of different colors. But by continual
observation, and by the aid of the sense of touch, objects gradually are
separated from each other, and are then regarded as separate and
distinct existences.

The eye is so formed that the picture of any object on the retina varies
in size according to its _distance_. Two objects of equal size will make
a different picture on the back of the eye, according to the distance at
which they are held. The ideas of size at first are regulated by the
proportions of this picture in the eye, until by experience it is found
that this is an incorrect mode, and that it is necessary to judge of the
_distance_ of a body before we can determine its _size_. This accounts
for the fact that objects appear to us so different according as we
conceive of their distance, and that we are often deceived in the size
of bodies because we have no mode of determining their distance.

But it appears also that our ideas of distance are gained, not by the
eye alone, but by the eye and the sense of feeling united. A child by
the sense of feeling learns the size of his cup or his playthings. He
sees them removed, and that their apparent size diminishes. They are
returned to him, and he finds them unaltered in size. When attempting to
recover them, he finds that when they look very small he is obliged to
pass over a much greater distance to gain them than when they appear
large, and that the distance is always in exact proportion to their
apparent size. In this way, by oft-repeated experiments, the infant
reasoner learns to judge both of the size and distance of objects. From
this it appears that, in determining the size of an object, we
previously form some judgment of its distance, and likewise that, in
finding the distance, we first determine the size.

The _shape_ of objects is learned altogether by the sense of _feeling_.
It has before been stated that at the first exercise of vision every
thing is a confused mass of different colors, and all appearing to touch
the eye. By the aid of the hands the separate existence of different
bodies is detected, and the feeling of touch, which once was the sole
mode of determining shape, is now associated with a certain form or
picture on the eye, so that, in process of time, the eye becomes the
principal judge of shape.

But, in determining the shape of a thing, an act of judgment is
necessary. This may be illustrated by the example of a hoop, which in
one position will make a picture in the eye which is circular, in
another position the picture of it will be oval, and in another only a
straight line. If a person will observe a hoop in these different
positions, and then attempt to draw a picture of it, he will be
conscious of this varying picture in the eye. Of course, in order to
decide the shape of a thing, we must decide its distance, its relative
position, and various circumstances which would alter the form of the
picture in the eye. It is only by long experience that the infant child
gradually acquires the power of determining the shape, size, and
distance of objects.

The painter's art consists in laying on to canvas an enlarged picture of
the scene which is painted in the interior of his own eye. In this
minute picture of the eye, the more distant an object the smaller its
size, the more indistinct its outline, and the fainter its colors. These
same are transferred to canvas in an enlarged form; the distant objects
are made small in size, faint in colors, and indistinct in outline, just
in proportion to their distance.

The organ of vision is the inlet of more enjoyment to the mind than any
of the other senses. Through this small loop-hole the spirit looks forth
on the rich landscape of nature, and the charms both of the natural and
moral world. The fresh colors, the beauty of motion, the grace of
figures, the fitness of proportion, and all the charms of taste, are
discovered through this medium. By the eye, also, we learn to read the
speaking face of man, we greet the smile of friendship and love, and all
those varying charms that glance across the human face divine. By the
aid of this little organ, too, we climb not only the summits of earth's
domains, but wander forth to planets, stars, and suns, traverse the vast
ethereal expanse, and gather faint images and flitting visions of the
spirit's future home.



There has been much speculation on the question as to whether the mind
possesses any ideas entirely independent of the senses, which were
gained without any aid or influence from them. Many have maintained the
existence of some ideas, which they denominate _innate ideas_, which
they suppose were originally implanted in the mind, and not at all
dependent on sensation.

On this subject it may be sufficient to remark that there is no _proof_
of the existence of any such ideas. All ideas, so far as we can trace
them, seem to have been originally gained by the senses, though the mind
has the power of making new arrangements and combinations of such
materials as are thus furnished.

The intuitive truths seem to exist as a part of the original
constitution of the mind, but there is no evidence that they would ever
have been called into exercise except through the instrumentality of the

There is nothing to prove that the positive exercise of thought,
feeling, and volition is necessary to the existence of mind, and no
proof that the mind might not have existed forever without thought or
feeling of any kind, were it not for the aid of the senses. We know that
there are periods of sleep and of swooning, when the mind is in
existence, and yet when there is no evidence that either thoughts,
feelings, or volitions are in exercise.

Speculations on this subject seem to be profitless, because there are no
data for determining them. The _facts_ in the case are not of a
character to enable us to pronounce positively either that these
operations are or are not essential to its existence. It may be that in
sleep and in a swoon these phenomena exist, and no memory is retained of
them, and it is equally probable that at such intervals all mental
operations entirely cease.

But, now that the mind has been furnished by the senses with its
splendid acquisitions, upon which its reflective powers can act, it is
easy to believe that it might continue to exist and to be in active
exercise if all its bodily senses, and even its material envelope, were
destroyed. Should we never again behold the light of heaven, nor be
charmed with the profusion of varied color and form, still the mind
could busy itself with pleasing visions of brilliant dyes, of graceful
outline, and fair proportion, as bright and as beautiful as any objects
of sense could awaken. Should we never again inhale the freshness of
morning or the perfumes of spring, the mind itself could furnish from
its stores some treasured incense, never to be entirely exhaled. Should
the palate never again be cooled by the freshening water of spring, or
be refreshed by the viands of the luxuriant year, yet fancy could spread
forth her golden fruits and sparkling juices in banquets as varied and
profuse as ever greeted the most fastidious taste. Should the melodies
of speech and of music be heard no more, and the sweet harmonies of
nature and of art forever be hushed, yet the exulting spirit could
warble its own songs, and melt in ecstasies with imagined harmonies. And
should the grasp of friendship rejoice us no more, nor the embrace of
affection send joy to the heart, yet still the spirit would not be
desolate, for it could gather around it the beings most loved, and still
feel the embraces of affection.

Conceptions are distinguished into two classes with reference to this
one fact, that some of our conceptions are attended with a consciousness
that they have existed before, and others are not. Those conceptions
which are thus attended with the feeling of their resemblance to past
perceptions or conceptions are called ideas of _memory_; those of our
_perceptions_ also which are attended with this recognition are called

How important to our happiness and improvement is this recognition of
past ideas, few are wont to imagine. If all our knowledge of external
things were forever lost to us after sensation is past, our existence
would be one of mere sensitive enjoyment, and all the honor and dignity
of mind would be destroyed. No past experience could be of any avail,
nor could any act of judgment or of reasoning be performed. Even the
most common wants of animal nature could not be supplied; for, were the
cooling water and sustaining food presented to the sight, no memory of
the past comfort secured by them would lead the mind to seek it again.
Or, had nature, by some implanted instinct, provided for these
necessities, yet life in this case would have consisted of a mere
succession of sensations, without even the amount of intellect of which
the lower animals give proof.

It is the capacity of retrospection, too, which gives us the power of
foreseeing the future, and thus of looking both before and behind for
sources of enjoyment in delightful reminiscences and joyful
anticipations. It is this power of remembrance and foresight which
raises man to be the image of his Creator, the miniature of Him who sees
the end from the beginning, who looks back on never commencing ages, and
forward through eternal years.

It is true the mind of man can foresee only by the process of reasoning,
by which it is inferred that the future will, in given circumstances,
resemble the past. And how the Eternal Mind can foresee by intuition all
the events which hang upon the volitions of the myriads of acting minds
which he has formed is what no human intellect can grasp. The _foresight
of intuition_ has not been bestowed upon man, but is reserved as one
distinctive prerogative of Deity.



To understand clearly the nature of the mental phenomena called
_attention_ and _abstraction_, two facts in our mental history need
definitely to be understood--facts which have a decided bearing on the
nature and character of almost all the operations of mind.

The first is, that the objects of our conceptions are seldom, if ever,
isolated, disconnected objects. On the contrary, there is an extended
and complex picture before the mind, including often a great variety of
objects, with their several qualities, relations, and changes. In this
mental picture some objects are clear and distinct, while others seem to
float along in shadowy vagueness.

This fact must be evident to any mind that will closely examine its own
mental operations. It is also equally evident when we consider the mode
in which our ideas are gained by perception. We never acquire our ideas
in single disconnected lineaments. We are continually viewing complex
objects with numerous qualities and surrounded by a great variety of
circumstances, which unitedly form a _whole_ in one act of perception.

Indeed, there are few objects, either of perception or conception,
which, however close the process of abstraction, do not remain complex
in their nature. The simplest forms of matter are _combined_ ideas of
extension, figure, color, and relation. These different ideas we gain by
the aid of the different senses. Of course, our conceptions are
combinations of different qualities in an object which the mind
considers as _one_, and as distinct from other objects.

Each item, then, in any mental picture is itself a complex object, and
each mental picture is formed by a combination of such complex objects.
It will be found very difficult, if not impossible, to mention a name
which recalls any object of sense in which the conception recalled by
the word is a single disconnected thing, without any idea of place or
any attendant circumstances, and, as before remarked, almost all objects
of sense are complex objects, combining several ideas, which were gained
through the instrumentality of different senses. The idea of color is
gained by one sense, of position, shape, and consistency by another, and
other qualities and powers which the mind associates with it by other

The other fact necessary to the correct understanding of the subject is
the influence which the _desires_ and _emotions_ have upon the character
both of the perceptions and conceptions with which they coexist.

It will be found that our _sensations_ vary in vividness and
distinctness according to the strength and permanency of certain
feelings of desire which coexist with them. For example, we are
continually hearing a multitude of sounds, but in respect to many of
them, as we feel no desire to know the cause or nature of them, these
sensations are so feeble and indistinct as scarcely ever to be recalled
to the mind or recognized by any act of memory; but should we hear some
strange wailing sound, immediately the desire would arise to ascertain
its nature and cause. It would immediately become an object of distinct
and vivid perception, and continue so as long as the desire lasted.

While one sensation becomes thus clear and prominent, it will be found
that other sensations which were coexisting with it will become feebler
and seem to die away. The same impressions may still be made upon the
eye as before, the same sounds that had previously been regarded may
still strike upon the ear, but while the desire continues to learn the
cause of that strange wailing sound, the other sensations would all be
faint and indistinct. When this desire is gratified, then other
sensations would resume their former distinctness and prominency.

Our _conceptions_, in like manner, are affected by the coexistence of
emotion or desire. If, for example, we are employing ourselves in study
or mental speculations, the vividness of our conceptions will vary in
exact proportion to the interest we feel in securing the object about
which our conceptions are employed. If we feel but little interest in
the subject of our speculations, every conception connected with them
will be undefined and indistinct; but if the desire of approbation, or
the admonitions of conscience, or the hope of securing some future good
stimulate desire, immediately our conceptions grow more vivid and clear,
and the object at which we aim is more readily and speedily secured. The
great art, then, of quickening mental vigor and activity, and of gaining
clear and quick conceptions, is to awaken interest and excite desire.
When this is secured, conceptions will immediately become bright and
clear, and all mental operations will be carried forward with facility
and speed.

The distinction between _attention_ and _abstraction_ is not great, but,
as it is recognized in language, it needs to be definitely understood.
_Attention_ has been defined as "the direction of the mind to some
particular object, from the interest which is felt in that object." It
consists simply in a feeling of desire coexisting with our sensations
and conceptions, and thus rendering them vivid and distinct; while, in
consequence of this fact, all other sensations and conceptions seem to
fade and grow indistinct.

Attention seems to be the generic exercise, and abstraction one species
of the same thing. Attention is used to express the interest which
attends our perceptions or conceptions as _whole objects_, thus
rendering them clear and distinct from other surrounding objects.
Abstraction is that particular act of attention which makes _one part_
or _one quality_ of a complex object become vivid and distinct, while
other parts and qualities grow faint and indistinct. Thus, in viewing a
landscape, we should be said to exercise the power of attention if we
noticed some object, such as a stream or a bridge, while other objects
were more slightly regarded; and we should exercise the power of
abstraction if we noticed the _color_ of the bridge or the _width_ of
the stream, while their other qualities were not equally regarded.

It is the power of abstraction which is the foundation of _language_ in
its present use. Were it not for the power which the mind has of
abstracting certain qualities and circumstances of things, and
considering them as separate and distinct from all other parts and
qualities, no words could be used except such as specify particular
individuals. Every object that meets our eye would demand a separate and
peculiar name, thus making the acquisition of language the labor of a

But now the mind possesses the power of abstracting a greater or fewer
number of qualities, and to these _qualities_ a name is given, and
whenever these qualities are found combined in any object, this name can
be applied. Thus the name _animal_ is given to any thing which has the
qualities of existence and animal life, and the name _quadruped_ is
given to any object which has the qualities of animal life and of four

Every thing which is regarded by the mind as a separate existence must
have some peculiar quality, or action, or circumstance of time or place,
to distinguish it from every other existence. Were there not something,
either in the qualities or circumstances, which made each object in some
respects peculiar, there would be no way to distinguish one thing from

A _proper name_ is one which is used to recall the properties and
circumstances which distinguish one individual existence from every
other. Such is the word Mount Blanc, which recalls certain qualities and
circumstances that distinguish one particular thing from all others, and
the name Julius Cæsar, which recalls the character, qualities, and
circumstances which distinguish one being from every other.

Some words, then, are used to recall the peculiar qualities and
circumstances of individual existences, and are called _proper names_;
other words are used to recall a combination of certain qualities and
circumstances, which unitedly are an object of conception, but are not
considered by the mind as belonging to any real particular existence.
These last words are called _general terms_ or _common names_.

A great variety of names may be applied to the same object of conception
or perception, according to the number of qualities and circumstances
which are abstracted by the mind. Thus an object may be called a
_thing_, and, in this case, the simple circumstance of existence is what
is recalled by the word. The same object may be called an _animal_, and
then the qualities of existence and animal life are made the objects of
conception. It can also be called a _man_, and then, in addition to the
qualities recalled by the word animal, are recalled those qualities
which distinguish man from all other animals. It can also be called a
_father_, and then to the qualities recalled by the term man is added
the circumstance of his relation to some other being. The same object
can be called _La Fayette_, and then, to all the preceding qualities,
would be added in our conceptions all those peculiar qualities and
circumstances which distinguish the hero of France from all other

The following will probably illustrate the mode by which the human mind
first acquires the proper use of these general terms. The infant child
learns to distinguish one existence from another probably long before he
acquires the use of any names by which to designate them. We may suppose
that a little dog is an inmate of his nursery, and that with the _sight_
of this animal has often been associated the _sound_ of the word _dog_.
This is so often repeated, that, by the principle of association, the
sight of the object and the sound of the word invariably recur together.
He observes that this sound is used by those around him in order to
direct his attention to the animal, and he himself soon uses the word to
direct the attention of others in the same way.

But soon it happens that another animal is introduced into his
apartment, which in many respects resembles the object he has learned to
call a dog. To this new object he would apply the same term, but he
finds that others use the sound _cat_ in connection with the sight of
this new animal. He soon learns the difference between the two objects,
the particulars in which they agree, and those in which they differ. He
afterward notices other animals of these species, and observes that some
have the qualities to which the term _dog_ is applied, and others those
to which the term _cat_ is applied.

He continues to notice animals of other kinds, and, after long
experience in this way, he learns to apply names to designate a
particular _combination of qualities_, and, whenever these qualities are
found combined, he has a term ready to apply to them. He learns that
some words are used to point out the peculiar qualities which
distinguish one thing from all others, and, at the same time, other
words are used which simply recall _qualities_, but do not designate any
particular existence to which they belong. Thus the term _boy_ he uses
for the purpose of designating qualities without conceiving of any
particular existence in which they are found, while the term _Mary_ is
used to designate the qualities and circumstances of the particular
existence he finds as the companion of his sports.

All objects of our perceptions are arranged into classes, according to
the peculiar combination of qualities which are recalled by the names
employed to designate them. For example, all objects that have the
qualities of existence and of animal life are arranged in one class, and
are called _animals_. All those which have the qualities recalled by the
term animal, and the additional qualities of wings and feathers, are
arranged in another class called _birds_. All those objects which have
the qualities included in the term _bird_, together with several
additional qualities, are arranged in another class, and called

To these various classes the terms _genera_ and _species_ are applied.
These terms imply a _relation_, or the comparison of one class with
another, in reference to the _number of qualities_ to be recalled by the
terms employed. Thus the class _bird_ is called a _species_ of the class
_animal_, because it includes all the qualities that are combined in the
conception recalled by the word animal, and others in addition; but the
class _bird_ is called a _genus_ in relation to the class _eagle_,
because it contains only a part of the qualities which are recalled by
the term eagle.

A _genus_ may be defined as a class of things the name of which recalls
_fewer_ particulars than the name of another class or species with which
it is compared. _Bird_ is a _genus_ when compared with the class

A _species_ is a class of things the name of which recalls more
particulars than the name of another class or genus with which it is
compared. _Bird_ is a _species_ when compared with the class _animal_.

In examining language, it will be found that the larger portion of words
in common use are names of _genera_ and _species_--that is, they are
words employed to recall ideas as they are arranged in genera and
species. It is only those words that are _proper names_ which recall
conceptions of the particular existences by which we are surrounded.
Some of these surrounding existences are furnished with these particular
names, and others can be designated and distinguished from each other
only by a description. Thus we see some hills around our horizon, some
of which have a peculiar name, and others can be designated only by
describing the circumstances which distinguish them from all other

A _definition_ of a word is an enumeration of the several qualities or
circumstances which distinguish certain things from all others, and
which are recalled to the mind when the word is used. Thus, if the word
animal is to be defined, we do it by mentioning the circumstances of its
_existence_ and _animal life_, as the ideas recalled by the word.
Generally, a word is defined by mentioning the name of some _genus_ of
which the thing intended is a _species_, and then adding those
particular qualities which the species has, in addition to those
included under the genus. Thus, if we are to define the word _man_, we
mention the genus _animal_, and then the qualities which man has in
addition to those possessed by other animals. Thus: "_Man_ is an
_animal_, having the human form, and a spirit endowed with intellect,
susceptibility, and will."

There are some words which recall only _one_ quality or circumstance,
and which, therefore, can not be defined like the words which recall
various qualities and circumstances, as joy, sorrow, color, and the
like. Such words as these are defined by mentioning the times or
circumstances when the mind is conscious of the existence of the idea to
be recalled by the word. Thus _joy_ is "a state of mind which exists
when any ardent desire is gratified." _Color_ is "a quality of objects
which is perceived when light enters the eye."

Those conceptions which can be defined by enumerating the several
qualities and circumstances which compose them are called _complex
ideas_, and the words used to designate them are called _complex terms_.
Such words as landscape, wrestler, giant, and philosopher, are complex
terms. The word landscape recalls a complex idea of various material
things. The word wrestler recalls an idea of a material object and one
of its actions. The word giant recalls an idea of a thing and its
relation as to size. The word philosopher recalls the idea of a thing
and one of its qualities.

Those conceptions which are not composed of several qualities and
circumstances, but are themselves a single quality or circumstance, are
called _simple ideas_, and the words used to recall them are called
_simple terms_. Such words as sweetness, loudness, depth, pain, and joy,
are simple terms. Some terms which express emotions of the mind are
entirely simple, such as sorrow, joy, and happiness. Others are words
which recall an idea of a simple emotion and of its _cause_, such, for
example, as _gratitude_, which expresses the idea of an emotion of mind
and also that it was caused by some benefit conferred. Words that
express simple ideas can be defined only by some description of the
circumstances in which these ideas exist, or by a reference to their
causes or effects.



The causes of the particular succession of our ideas, and the control
which the mind has in regulating this succession, is a subject no less
interesting than important; for if by any act of choice the mind has the
power of regulating its own thoughts and feelings, then man is a free
agent and an accountable being; but if the conceptions and the emotions
depend entirely upon the constitution of things, and thus, either
directly or indirectly, on the will of the Creator, then man can not be
accountable for that over which he can have no control.

In the preceding chapter has been illustrated the effect which the
co-existence of desire has in regard both to our sensations and our
conceptions, tending to make those which are fitted to accomplish the
object desired very vivid and prominent, while others, to a greater or
less extent, disappear.

The mind is continually under the influence of some desire. It
constantly has some plan to accomplish, some cause to search out, or
some gratification to secure. The present wish or desire of the mind
imparts an interest to whatever conception seems calculated to forward
this object. Thus, if the mathematician has a problem to solve, and this
is the leading desire of the mind, among the various conceptions that
arise, those are the most interesting which are fitted to his object,
and such immediately become vivid and distinct. If the painter or the
poet is laboring to effect some new creation of his art, and has this as
the leading object of desire, whatever conceptions seem best fitted to
his purpose are immediately invested with interest, and become distinct
and clear. If the merchant, or the capitalist, or the statesman has some
project which he is toiling to accomplish, whatever conceptions appear
adapted to his purpose soon are glowing and defined, in consequence of
the interest with which desire thus invests them.

From this it appears that the nature of the desire, or governing purpose
of the mind, will in a great measure determine the nature and the
succession of its conceptions. If a man has chosen to find his chief
happiness in securing power and honor, then those conceptions will be
the most interesting to his mind that best fall in with his object. If
he has chosen to find happiness in securing the various gratifications
of sense, then those conceptions that most coincide with this desire
will become prominent. If a man has chosen to find his chief enjoyment
in doing the will of God, then his conceptions will, to a great extent,
be conformed to this object of desire. The current of a man's thoughts,
therefore, becomes the surest mode of determining what is the governing
purpose or leading desire of the mind.

But there are seasons in our mental history when the mind does not seem
to be under the influence of any governing desire; when it seems to
relax, and its thoughts appear to flow on without any regulating
principle. At such times the vividness of leading conceptions, which
otherwise is determined by _desire_, seems to depend upon our past
experience. Those objects which, in past experience, have been
associated with emotion, are those which the mind selects, and which
thus begin to glow in the distinct lineaments with which emotion at
first invested them.

In past experience, all conceptions which were attended with emotion
were most distinct and clear, and therefore, when such conceptions
return united with others, they are the ones which are most interesting,
and thus most vivid and distinct. Thus, in our musing hours of idle
reverie, as one picture after another glides before the mind, if some
object occurs, such as the home of our youth, or the friend of our early
days, the emotions which have so often been united with these objects in
past experience cause them to appear in clear and glowing lineaments,
and the stronger have been the past emotions connected with them, the
more clearly will they be defined. It appears, then, that there are two
circumstances that account for the apparent _selection_ which the mind
makes in its objects of conception. The first is the feeling that
_certain conceptions are fitted to accomplish the leading desire of the
mind_; and the second is, that _certain objects in past experience have
been attended with emotion_.

But there is another phenomenon in our mental history which has a direct
bearing on the nature and succession of our conceptions. When any
conception, through the influence of desire or emotion, becomes the
prominent object, immediately other objects with which this has been
associated in past experience begin to return and gather around it in
new combinations. Thus a new picture is presented before the mind, from
which it again selects an object according as desire or emotion
regulates, which, under this influence, grows vivid and distinct. Around
this new object immediately begin to cluster its past associates, till
still another scene is fresh arrayed before the mind.

In these new combinations, those objects which are least interesting
continually disappear, while those most interesting are retained to form
a part of the succeeding picture. Thus, in every mental picture, desire
or emotion seems to call forth objects which start out, as it were, in
bold relief from all others, and call from the shade of obscurity the
companions of their former existence, which gather around them in new
and varied combinations.

Almost every object of thought in past experience has been connected
with a great number of other objects, and so great has been the variety
of its former combinations, that it would be impossible to predict, with
any degree of certainty, _which_ of its past associates will be summoned
to aid in forming the new mental scenes which are destined to arise. Yet
experience has enabled us to detect some _general laws_, which appear to
regulate these combinations.

The _first_ is, that those objects are most likely to attend each other
which in past experience were united, while some strong emotion was
existing with them. If, for example, a retired lake had been the scene
of death to a beloved friend, the conception of this object would be
almost invariably associated with the image of the friend that had
perished beneath its waters, and also with the scene of his death. In
like manner, if some friend had expired at a certain hour of the day, or
on a particular day of the year, the return of these seasons would
probably be associated with the sorrowful scenes connected with them in
past experience.

The _second_ law of association is, that _long continued_ or _frequently
repeated_ attention to objects that are connected at the time of this
attention will secure the connected return of these objects.
_Attention_, it may be recollected, is desire united with our
conceptions, thus rendering them more vivid.

It seems to produce the same effect if this attention is long continued
or if it is frequently repeated. Thus, if the mind has dwelt for a long
time on a beautiful picture, has noticed all its proportions, its
shading, its outline, and its colors with minute attention, one object
in this picture can not recur to the mind without bringing with it the
other objects that were associated at the time of this close attention.
The frequent repetition of a sentence is a case where _oft repeated_
though short attention to certain words has the effect of recalling them
to the mind in the connection in which they were placed during this
repeated attention.

The _third_ law of association is, that objects which have _recently_
been associated in experience are, on this account, more likely to
recall each other than to recall those which were connected with them at
a more remote period of time. The passage of time, as a general fact,
seems to weaken the vividness of our conceptions, and to destroy the
probability of their associate recurrence. Thus a line of poetry may be
repeated, and the listener may be able, the moment after, to recall each
word, but the next day the whole may be lost.

The _fourth_ law of association is, that the recurrence of associated
objects depends, in a great measure, upon the _number_ of objects with
which it may have been connected in past experience. If it has existed
in combination with only _one_ object, that object will return
associated with it; but in proportion as the number of its associates
increases, the power of determining which will be its next companion
diminishes. As an example of this fact may be mentioned the first
hearing of a beautiful air by some particular person. The next time it
is heard, the idea of this performer will be associated with the sounds;
but after it has been sung by a great variety of persons, other
circumstances would determine what conceptions this air would recall. It
is very probable, in this case, that its notes would recall from among
the associated scenes the friend most beloved, or some interesting
circumstance that awakened emotion at the time the air was performed.

The principal circumstances which operate in recalling associated ideas
have now been pointed out. The next inquiry is, What are those objects
and events which ordinarily are most frequently united in our
_perceptions_, and therefore are most likely to return together in our

The most common connection of our ideas of perception are made by
contiguity in _place_. Objects are continually passing before the eye,
and they are not in single distinct objects, but in connected groups. Of
course, when we perceive any object, we must necessarily observe its
several relations to the things by which it is surrounded. If it is a
building which meets the eye, it is impossible to observe it without at
the same time perceiving the trees around it, the sky above it, and any
other objects which are parts of the picture of which this is the
prominent object. Of course, objects that are united in one complex
picture before the eye when we gain our knowledge of them by perception,
will ordinarily return together in our conceptions.

Our ideas, also, are very much connected by contiguity as it respects
_time_. When any two events occur at the same moment of time, or in such
near connection that the conception of one remains until the other
occurs, they ordinarily will recur together in our after conceptions of
them. As an example of this may be mentioned the associations of a
family who have been accustomed to close each Sabbath with music. As the
still hour of this sacred evening drew on, wherever any wanderer might
roam, it is probable that the notes of praise, so often connected with
this season, would perpetually steal over the mind, bringing many
another image of friends, and kindred, and home.

The mind of man is so constituted that no change can take place in any
material object without awakening the idea of some _cause_. An _effect_
is defined as "some change of state or mode of existence in matter or
mind." A _cause_ is defined as "that without which no change would take
place in matter or mind, and with which it will take place." As the
ideas of cause and effect are so constantly conjoined in all our acts of
perception, these ideas will return together in our conceptions. Thus,
if we see an instrument which has been the cause of pain, the idea of
this effect will be recalled by a conception of the cause; or if the
mind is dwelling on the memory of some beautiful painting or poetry, the
author of these works will probably recur to the mind in connection with
these conceptions.

We sometimes meet with persons of such peculiar habits and dispositions,
that, whenever they are encountered, the feelings are wounded or the
temper crossed by their ill-timed or ill-natured remarks. The
conceptions of such persons will ordinarily be attended by the memory of
some pains of which they have been the cause, and the mind will
involuntarily shrink from contact with them, as from the points and
thorns of a bramble-bush. Those events, therefore, or those objects
which have the relation of _cause_ and _effect_ existing between them,
will ordinarily be united as objects of conception.

The mind of man is continually noticing the _relations_ which exist
between the different objects of its conceptions. As no idea of relation
can be gained without comparing two or more things together, those
objects which are most frequently _compared_ will naturally be most
frequently associated together in our conceptions. It has been shown
that language is founded on that principle of the mind which enables us
to notice certain qualities in things abstracted from other qualities,
and to apply names to objects according as we find certain qualities
united in them. Of course, in the use of language, the mind is
continually led to notice the particulars in which objects resemble each
other, and also the particulars in which they differ; consequently the
mind, in learning and in applying names, is continually comparing
objects, both to discover the particulars in which they are alike and
those in which they differ, so that two objects are thus brought
together before the mind.

It is owing to this fact, therefore, that objects which resemble each
other, or which are very much contrasted in their qualities, are very
commonly united in our conceptions. If, for example, we see the
countenance of a stranger, some feature will be recognized as familiar.
Desire will be awakened to know where and in what other countenance we
have seen such a feature or such an expression. This particular feature
will thus become abstracted and vivid, and will soon recall that other
combination of features for which we are seeking, and of which this has
formed a part in our past experience. Thus two objects will be brought
before the mind at once, the person who is the stranger, and a
conception of another person whom this stranger resembles.

All our ideas of contrast are relative. One thing can not be conceived
of as very high or very low, as very large or very small, without a
previous comparison with some object to determine this relation. Our
ideas of poverty and riches, or of happiness and misery, are also
_relative_. A person is always considered poor or rich, happy or
miserable, by comparing his lot with that of others by whom he is
surrounded. As, therefore, all ideas of resemblance or of contrast are
gained by comparing two objects together, our conceptions often unite
objects that _resemble_ each other or that are _contrasted_ with each



All operations of mind which are not produced by material things acting
upon the senses consist of a continual succession of conceptions. Some
of these conceptions are exact pictures of past perceptions, and are
attended by the consciousness that such things have existed before, and
such are called ideas of memory. Others are conceptions which, by the
process of association, are continually recurring, and arranging
themselves in new combinations, according to certain laws or principles
of association. Imagination has been defined as "that power which the
mind possesses of arranging conceptions in new combinations," and it can
readily be seen that this includes all the ordinary successions of
thought except those of perception and memory. The term imagination has
been used in rather a vague manner by writers on the subject. Sometimes
it is used to signify all that succession of conceptions which recur
according to the laws of association, and sometimes it is used in a more
restricted sense. The more limited meaning is the one to which the term
is most commonly applied, and it seems to be the one which precision and
accuracy in the use of terms demand, and therefore it will now be
pointed out.

The mind is susceptible of certain emotions, which are called emotions
of taste. These, more specifically, are called emotions of beauty,
sublimity, and novelty. Such emotions are awakened by certain objects in
nature, by certain works of art, and by the use of language which
recalls conceptions of these objects. Those objects which awaken such
emotions are called objects of taste, and those arts which enable us to
produce combinations that will awaken such emotions are called the _fine

Among the fine arts are ordinarily classed painting, music, sculpture,
architecture, ornamental gardening, and poetry. The art of the painter
consists in combining, according to certain rules of proportion and
fitness of outline and color, certain objects, which, either from their
peculiar character, or from the fitness of their combination in
effecting a given design, awaken emotions of beauty or sublimity. The
highest perfection of this art consists not so much in close imitation
as in the nature of the combinations, and their unity and fitness in
producing the effect designed by the artist.

The art of the sculptor is similar in its nature, and differs chiefly in
the materials employed, and in being limited to a much more restricted
number of objects for combination.

The art of the architect consists in planning and constructing edifices,
intended either for use or ornament, and in so arranging the different
parts as to awaken emotions of beauty or sublimity from the display of
utility, fitness, grandeur of extent, or order of proportion.

The art of the musician consists in combining sounds so as to produce
such melodies or harmonies as will awaken varied emotions in the mind.
The power of this art over the human mind is much superior to that of
the others enumerated, because it can call forth both a greater variety
and more powerful emotions.

The art of the poet consists in such a use of language as will recall
objects of beauty or sublimity in combinations that are pleasing to the
mind, or as will, by the description and expression of varied emotion in
other minds, awaken similar feelings in the breast of the reader.

The art of ornamental gardening consists in such an arrangement of the
varied objects which compose a landscape as will awaken emotions of
beauty from a display of unity of design, order, fitness, and utility.

The term imagination, then, in its most frequent use, signifies _those
new combinations of conceptions which will awaken the emotions of

The painter or the poet, when he attempts the exercise of his art, has
some leading desire of an object to be secured. Under the influence of
this desire, all those conceptions, recurring by the principle of
association, which appear fitted to accomplish this object, immediately
become vivid and distinct, and are clearly retained in the mind. As
other conceptions succeed, other objects are found which will forward
the general design, and these also are retained, and thus the process
continues till the object aimed at is accomplished, and by the pen or
pencil retained in durable characters.

The action of mind to which the term _imagination_ is thus restricted
differs in no respect from other acts of conception when the mind is
under the influence of desire, except in the _nature of the objects of_
_desire_. If it is the desire of the mind to establish a proposition by
mathematical reasoning, the mind is engaged in the same process of
conception as when it is engrossed with the desire to form some
combination of taste. In both cases some object of desire stimulates the
mind, and whatever conceptions appear fitted to accomplish this object
immediately become vivid and distinct.



The term _judgment_, as a mental faculty, signifies "that power of the
mind by which it notices _relations_." It is often used to signify all
the intellectual powers, among which it is the most important one. Thus
we hear it said that, in certain cases, the _feelings_ and the
_judgment_ are in opposition, or that the _heart_ and the _judgment_ are
not in agreement.

It is also used often to signify any act of the mind when a comparison
is made between two things, or between the truths asserted in any
proposition and a truth already believed. The act called _memory_ is a
conception attended with one specific act of judgment, by which a
present state of mind is compared with a past, and the relation of
resemblance perceived.

The nature of our ideas of relation are very different, according to the
object or purpose for which the comparison is made. If objects are
compared in reference to _time_, we learn some one of the relations of
past, present, or future. No idea of time can be gained except by
comparing one period of time with another, and thus noticing their
relations. All _dates_ are gained by comparing one point of time with
some specified event, such as the birth of the Savior, or some
particular period in the revolution of the earth around the sun.

If objects are compared in reference to the _succession_ of our
conceptions or perceptions, we gain the ideas of such relations as are
expressed by the terms _firstly_, _secondly_, and _thirdly_. If objects
are compared in reference to the _degree_ of any quality, we gain an
idea of such relations as are expressed by the terms _brighter_,
_sweeter_, _harder_, _louder_. If objects are compared in reference to
_proportion_, we gain ideas of such relations as are expressed by the
terms _an eighth_, _a half_. If objects are compared in reference to the
relation of parts to a whole, we gain such ideas as are expressed by the
terms _part_, _whole_, _remainder_.

The process of classifying objects and the use of language depend upon
the power of judgment; for if we see an object possessing certain
qualities, in order to apply the name we must compare and observe their
resemblance to the qualities to which such a name has been applied in
past experience, and this feeling of resemblance is an act of judgment.
The application of a name, then, always implies the exercise of the
power of judgment, by which a comparison is made between the present
qualities observed in an object and the same qualities which affected
the mind when the name has formerly been employed. It also implies the
act of association, by which the perception of certain qualities recalls
the idea of the sound or object with which they have been repeatedly

The mental process called _reasoning_ is nothing but a connected
succession of acts of judgment. It is a comparison of what is asserted
in a given proposition with some truth which is believed, or which has
been established by evidence, and then observing the agreement or
disagreement. Thus the truth that "things will be in agreement with past
experience unless there is some reason for the contrary," is a truth
which every mind believes. Whenever, therefore, any event has been
repeatedly an object of past experience, it is compared with this truth
already believed, and found to be included under it, and therefore
entitled to the same credit.

Thus, also, the truth that "things which equal the same thing equal one
another," is one which every mind believes. When any object by
examination is found to be included under that class of objects which
are thus equal to the same thing, it is an act of reasoning when we
infer that they are equal to one another.



Having examined the intellectual powers, we will now attend to the next
general class, denominated _the susceptibilities_.

When the mind is in a state of emotion, this state is always either
pleasurable or painful. _Desire_ relates to the attainment of some
object which will be the cause of pleasurable emotions, or else to the
avoidance of something which will cause painful emotions. This desire
for pleasure and for the avoidance of pain is the mainspring of all
mental activity; for when it is not in existence, neither the powers of
the mind or of the body are called into exercise.

There are various sources of enjoyment or causes of pleasurable emotion
to the mind of man, the most important of which will now be pointed out.

The _first_ cause of enjoyment at the commencement of existence is that
of _sensation_.[2] This, at first, is small in amount compared with what
it becomes when association lends its aid to heighten sensitive
enjoyment. The light of day, the brilliancy of color, the sweetness of
perfume, the gratification of taste and touch, the magic influence of
sound, and the pleasure resulting from muscular activity, are probably
the chief sources of enjoyment to the infant mind. As life advances, all
these modes of sensitive gratification become connected with others of
an intellectual and moral nature, so that at mature years it is
difficult to determine how much of the enjoyment we derive from the
senses is the result of association, and how much is simply that of

Another source of happiness to the human mind is the simple exercise of
its intellectual powers. This includes all the pleasures derived from
the exercise of taste and the imagination; all the more profitless
exercises of reverie and castle-building; all the activity of mind
employed in contriving, inventing, and bringing to pass the various
projects for securing good to ourselves and others; and all those
charming illusions which so often give transient delight, but burst like
bubbles in the grasp.

Another source of enjoyment is the exercise of physical and moral power.
This love of power is one of the earliest principles which is developed
in the human mind. The exercise of the muscles in producing changes in
its own material frame or in surrounding objects is a source of constant
pleasure to the infant mind. There are few who have reared a child
through the period of infancy but can recollect the times that this new
species of delight was manifested, as, with his hand raised before his
eyes, he watched its various motions, and learned his own power to
control them.

This love of power continually displays itself in the sports and
pursuits of childhood. To project the pebble through the air; to drive
the hoop; to turn the windmill; to conduct some light stream from its
channel; to roll the rock from the mountain cliff--these and many others
are the varied modes by which childhood exhibits its love of physical

But when man begins to learn the influence which mind can exert over
mind, a new desire is awakened of _moral power_. All the different modes
are then sought by which one mind can bend the will of others to yield
to its controlling influence. It is this desire which is gratified when
the conqueror of nations beholds millions of minds yielding to the
slightest word of his command. It is this which inspires the orator, as
he pours forth that eloquence which charms the delighted throng, and
bends them to his will. It is this desire, which often becomes the
master passion, to which is sacrificed all that is just, lovely, and

Another cause of enjoyment is that of sympathy in the happiness of
others. This susceptibility is a source of constant enjoyment when those
around us are contented and happy. None can be ignorant of the change
produced in passing from the society of a sprightly, cheerful, and happy
group to a circle soured by discontent or overwhelmed with melancholy.
In early childhood, the effect of this principle is clearly developed.
Even the infant child is affected and disturbed with flowing tears, and
steals away from the chamber of sorrow, while the sight of smiling faces
and the sound of cheerful voices sends through his heart the glow of

Another source of enjoyment is a feeling of conscious rectitude. Man is
so constituted that, when he knowingly violates the principles of
rectitude, a painful feeling is the inevitable consequence, while a
habit of constant conformity to them brings a peaceful and happy state
of mind.

Another source of happiness is the consciousness of being the cause of
happiness to others. This is an enjoyment entirely distinct from that of
sympathy in the happiness of others; for we may see happiness conferred
by another and rejoice in it, but the pleasure of being ourselves the
cause of this enjoyment is one altogether peculiar. It can readily be
seen that the more benevolent a mind is, the more happiness it will
derive from this source; while in exact proportion as the mind is
selfishly engrossed by its own exclusive interests will this stream of
enjoyment cease to flow.

Another source of happiness is the consciousness of inspiring certain
emotions in other minds, such as esteem, respect, confidence, love,
gratitude, reverence, and the like. The desire for this is one of the
strongest passions, and its gratification often secures the most
exquisite enjoyment. This happiness, ordinarily, is proportioned to the
nobleness of the person who renders this regard.

Another source of enjoyment is the discovery of certain qualities in
intelligent minds. The perception of the qualities of matter through the
medium of the senses is a very inferior source of gratification compared
with the discovery of certain qualities of mind. This is the source of
the highest enjoyment of which the mind is capable. The emotions thus
awakened are called esteem, veneration, love, gratitude, and the like.
_Love_, in its most general sense, is used for the pleasurable emotion
which is felt in the discovery of any quality that is agreeable, either
in matter or mind. Thus we are said to love the beauties of nature, to
love delicious fruit, and to love the society of friends. But in
relation to intelligent beings, it signifies pleasurable emotion in view
of certain qualities and actions, attended with the desire of good to
the object loved, and also a desire for reciprocated affection. There
are certain qualities and attributes of mind which may be pointed out as
the _causes_ of affection.

The first is _intellectual superiority_. Our estimate of intellect is
altogether _relative_. What in a child seems an astonishing display of
it, would be considered puerility in a man. What excites admiration in a
savage or in the unlettered, is regarded with little emotion in the man
of education. There are various qualities of intellect which awaken
admiration. Quick perceptions and ready invention are the peculiar
attribute of some minds; others are endowed with great sagacity and
wisdom in adapting the best means to accomplish the best ends; others
possess an energy and force of purpose which enables them to encounter
difficulties, sustain bodily fatigue, and even to face death without
shrinking; others possess a power of forming new and varied combinations
that gratify the taste; others seem to possess a readiness and
versatility of mind which enables them to succeed in almost any object
they undertake. The exhibition of any of these operations of intellect
are causes of emotions of pleasure to other minds.

The next quality of mind which is a cause of affection is the power of
_sympathy_. There is nothing which so powerfully draws the mind toward
another being as the assurance that all our pleasures will be his, and
that "in all our afflictions he will be afflicted." It is probable that
a being entirely destitute of this susceptibility, however he might
excite the mind by displays of intellectual power, never could be
regarded with the warm and tender emotions of affection. If we
encountered a mind that we felt looked upon our happiness without one
glimmering of pleasure, and who could gaze upon our sufferings without
one shade of sympathizing woe, it is probable the mind would turn away
with feelings of dissatisfaction or disgust.

Another quality of mind which becomes a cause of love is the power of
_giving_ and _appreciating affection_. There is nothing which is an
object of more constant and fervent desire than the admiration and
affection of other minds. To be an object of attention and of admiration
to others has been the aim that has stimulated the efforts and nerved
the arm of all the heroes and conquerors of the world. To gain the
esteem and affection of other minds is what regulates the actions, the
plans, and the hopes of all mankind. If, therefore, a mind should be
destitute of this susceptibility, that which gives the chief interest
would be withdrawn. If we should find, also, that the gift of our
affections was of no value to another mind, this would deprive it of
much that awakens interest and pleasure. It is the excessive indulgence
of this desire for admiration which leads to ambition and pride--those
principles which have filled the world with contention and deluged it
with blood.

Another quality of mind which secures affection is _benevolence_. This
consists in such a love for the happiness as induces a willingness to
make sacrifices of personal ease or enjoyment to secure a greater amount
of good to others. Every mind is so made that, if its own wishes are not
interfered with, it is more agreeable to see others happy around than to
see them miserable. There have been cases of such perversion of our
nature that some have seemed to find pleasure in the simple act of
inflicting pain upon others; but this seldom occurs until after a long
course of self-indulgence and crime. All persons, if it cost no
sacrifice, would prefer to make others happy.

But there is a great difference in the character of minds in this
particular. Some, when they find that certain modes of personal
enjoyment interfere with the interests and happiness of others, can find
a pleasure in sacrificing their own lesser enjoyment to secure greater
good for others. But others are so engrossed by exclusive interest in
their own happiness that they will not give up the smallest amount of
their own good to secure any amount of benefit to others.

All minds, whatever their own character may be, detest selfishness in
others, and never can bestow any great affection where this is a
prevailing trait.

These are the leading characteristics of mind which are causes of
admiration and affection. There are other more specific exercises, such
as modesty, humility, meekness, and the like.

But all these traits of character, which, in themselves considered, are
causes of pleasure, in certain circumstances may, to a selfish mind,
become causes of unmingled pain. If the displays of intellect or the
exhibition of the amiable susceptibilities in another being are viewed
by a selfish mind as the cause of disparagement and disadvantageous
contrast to itself, they will be regarded only with painful emotions.
They will awaken "envy, anger, wrath, malice, and all uncharitableness."
This fact is fully illustrated in the history of the world and in the
daily observation of life.

The _causes of pain_ to the human mind are in most cases owing to these
very susceptibilities of enjoyment. The organization of the material
frame and of the external world, while it is a source of multiplied and
constant enjoyment, is often also the cause of the most intense and
exquisite suffering. The strongest conception of suffering of which mind
can form any conception is sensitive suffering. There are many minds
whose constitution and circumstances are such that they can form but
faint conceptions of any pain which results from the exercise of
malignant passions, or from other sources of suffering. But every mind
soon acquires a knowledge of what sensitive suffering must be, and can
form the most vivid conceptions of it. Though few ever suffered the
dislocation of joints, the laceration of the flesh, or the fracture of
bones, still descriptions of such sufferings are readily apprehended and
conceived of, and there is nothing from which the mind so involuntarily

Another cause of suffering consists in the loss of present or expected
enjoyment. There are many blessings which seem desirable to the mind
that are never secured, and yet unhappiness is not caused by the want;
but there is no happiness which is actually in possession of which the
loss does not occasion pain. We may desire the esteem and affection of
certain beings, and yet not become unhappy from the want of it; yet
nothing sends such exquisite suffering through the mind as the
conviction that some beloved object has ceased thus to respect and to
love, or has been taken from us by death. Thus, also, if wealth, which
is the means of purchasing a variety of blessings, be not secured, the
heart can desire it without being made unhappy by the wish, yet the loss
of wealth is attended with painful disappointment and regret. The
possession of power, also, may be desired without uneasiness, but the
loss of it seldom occurs without painful emotions.

Another cause of suffering is inactivity of body and mind. It has been
shown that desire is the spring both of mental and of physical activity,
and that this activity is one source of enjoyment. The loss of this
species of enjoyment is followed by consequent inquietude and

Another cause of suffering is the existence of strong desire with the
belief that it never can be gratified. Some desires exist in the mind
without causing pain, but they may be excited to such a degree that the
certainty that they never will be gratified may produce anguish almost

Another source of pain is sympathy in the sufferings of others. These
may be so realized as to affect the mind of the observer with even more
pain than the sufferer experiences. It is probable that the tender
mother, in witnessing the distresses of her child, experiences much more
pain than the object of her sympathies.

Another cause of suffering is the violated sense of justice. In minds of
high moral susceptibilities, suffering from this source may be most

Another cause of suffering is the consciousness of guilt. The emotions
that follow the commission of crime are denominated repentance and
remorse; and it is probable that the human mind has never suffered
greater agonies than have attended the existence of these emotions.
There are cases on record when intense bodily suffering has been
resorted to as a relief from such anguish by withdrawing the attention
of the mind from those subjects that call forth such emotions.

Another cause of pain is the apprehension of future evil. This is often
a source of long-continued and of distressing emotions, and the pain
suffered in apprehension is often greater than would be experienced if
the evils were realized.

Another source of suffering is the exercise of malignant passions, such
as hatred, envy, and jealousy. These emotions never can exist in the
mind without pain. The exhibition of wicked passions and actions in
other minds may also be mentioned in connection with this. It is painful
to behold a mind tossed with the furies of ungoverned passion, or
yielding to the chain of selfishness and pride.

Another source of suffering is the consciousness of the existence of
certain emotions in other minds toward ourselves. The belief that other
intelligent beings look upon our character and conduct with displeasure,
indignation, or contempt, inflicts the keenest suffering, and there is
scarcely any thing mankind will not sacrifice to avoid these painful

Another source of painful emotions is the view of certain characteristics
in other minds. While the discovery of certain traits in other minds
afford a high enjoyment, the want of them, or the existence of their
opposite, awaken disagreeable emotions, expressed by the terms pity,
contempt, indignation, disgust, abhorrence, and the like.

There are other sources of pleasure and pain, which will be discussed
more at large in succeeding chapters.

[2] Hereafter the terms sensation and perception will often be used
synonymously in cases where it is not needful to recognize the
distinction heretofore indicated.



Among the susceptibilities, the emotions of taste have always been
distinguished, and treated of as a peculiarly distinct class. Why is it
that certain objects of sight, and certain sounds or combinations of
sound, awaken emotions more than other sights and sounds? Why do the
perceptions of the eye and ear so much more powerfully affect the mind
than those of the other senses? These certainly are objects for
interesting inquiry. In attempting the discussion of this subject, the
following particulars need to be considered.

All pleasurable emotions are caused either by _perception_ or
_conception_, for we have no other ideas but of these two kinds. That
they are not occasioned by perception alone must be evident from the
fact that infants and children, who have the same perceptions as matured
persons, do not experience the emotions of taste in view of the most
perfect specimens of the fine arts. A combination of gaudy colors or a
string of glittering beads will delight a child more than the most
finished productions of a Raphael or a Phidias. That it is not
conception alone which awakens such emotions is manifest from the fact
that it is the _perception_ of objects which are either sublime or
beautiful that awakens the most vivid emotions of this kind. Of course,
it is inevitable that emotions of taste are caused by perception and
conception _through their connection with some past co-existing

Perceptions and conceptions can _recall the emotions_ which have been
connected with them, and emotions can also recall a conception of the
objects with which they have been united. For example, if some dark wood
had been the scene of terror and affright, either the perception or the
conception of this wood would recall the emotions of fear which had
coexisted with it. If, on some other occasion, a strong emotion of fear
should be awakened, this would probably recall a conception of the wood
with which it had formerly been united. It is no uncommon fact in our
experience to have circumstances about us that recall unusually sad and
mournful feelings, for which we are wholly unable to account. No doubt,
at such times, some particular objects, or some particular combination
of circumstances which were formerly united with painful emotions, again
recur, and recall the emotions with which they were once connected,
while the mind is wholly unable to remember the fact of their past
coexistence. In like manner, pleasurable emotions may be awakened by
certain objects of perception when the mind is equally unable to trace
the cause.

Objects of _perception_ recall the emotions connected with them much
more vividly than objects of conception can do. Thus, if we revisit the
scenes of our childhood, the places of the sorrows and the joys of early
days, how much more vividly are the emotions recalled which were
formerly connected with these scenes than any _conception_ of these
objects could awaken.

Certain perceptions will be found to produce emotions similar to those
awakened by the intellectual operations of mind. Thus the entrance of
light produces an emotion similar to the discovery of some truth, and
the emotion felt while in a state of doubt and uncertainty resembles
that experienced when shrouded in darkness. Great care and anxiety
produce a state of mind similar to what is felt when the body is pressed
down by a heavy weight. The upward spring of an elastic body awakens
feelings resembling those that attend the hearing of good news, and thus
with many other perceptions. From this fact originates much of the
figurative language in common use; such as when knowledge is called
light, and ignorance darkness, and care is called a load, and joy is
said to make the heart leap.

It has previously been shown that the discovery of certain operations
and emotions of mind affords much more pleasure than attends mere
perceptions of material objects. Those who have experienced the exciting
animation felt at developments of splendid genius, and the pure delight
resulting from the interchange of affection, can well realize that no
sensitive gratification could ever be exchanged for them. Whatever
objects, therefore, most vividly recall those emotions which are
awakened when such qualities are apprehended will be most interesting to
the mind.

Now it will appear that there are no modes by which one mind can learn
the character and feelings of another but by means of the eye and ear. A
person both deaf and blind could never, except to an exceedingly limited
extent, learn either the intellectual operations or the emotions of
another mind. Of course, it is by means of certain forms, colors,
motions, and sounds that we gain those ideas which are most interesting
and animating to the soul. It is by the blush of modesty, the paleness
of fear, the flush of indignation, that _color_ aids in giving an idea
of the emotions of the mind. The pallid hue of disease, the sallow
complexion of age, the pure and bright colors of childhood, and the
delicate blendings of the youthful complexion, have much influence in
conveying ideas of the qualities of mind in certain particulars. The
color and flashing expressions of the eye also have much to do with our
apprehensions of the workings of mind.

As it regards _motion_ as aiding in imparting such ideas, it is by the
curl of the lip that contempt is expressed, by the arching brow that
curiosity and surprise are exhibited, by the scowling front that anger
and discontent are displayed, and by various muscular movements of the
countenance that the passions and emotions of the mind are portrayed. It
is by the motions of the body and limbs also that strong emotions are
exhibited, as in the clasped hand of supplication, the extended arms of
affection, and the violent contortions of anger.

_Form_ and _outline_ also have their influence. The sunken eye of grief,
the hollow cheek of care and want, the bending form of sorrow, the erect
position of dignity, the curvature of haughtiness and pride, are various
modes of expressing the qualities and emotions of mind.

But it is by the varied _sounds_ of voice chiefly that intellect glances
abroad, and the soul is poured forth at the lips. The quick and animated
sounds of cheerfulness, joy, and hope; the softer tones of meekness,
gentleness, and love; the plaintive notes of sympathy, sorrow, and pain;
the firm tone of magnanimity, fortitude, patience, and self-denial, all
exhibit the pleasing and interesting emotions of the soul. Nor less
expressive, though more painful, are the harsh sounds of anger, malice,
envy, and discontent.

Not only are certain forms, colors, motions, and sounds the medium by
which we gain a knowledge of the intellectual operations and emotions of
other minds, but they are the means by which we discover and designate
those material objects which are causes of comfort, utility, and
enjoyment. Thus it is by the particular form and color that we
distinguish the fruits and the food which minister to our support. By
the same means we discriminate between noxious and useful plants and
animals, and distinguish all those conveniences and contrivances which
contribute to the comfort of man. Of course, certain forms and colors
are connected in the mind with certain emotions of pleasure that have
attended them as causes of comfort and enjoyment.

In what precedes, it appears that it is those emotions which are
awakened by the apprehension of certain intellectual operations and
emotions of intelligent minds which are most delightful; that all our
ideas of such operations and emotions are gained by means of certain
forms, colors, motions, and sounds; that we designate objects of
convenience and enjoyment to ourselves by the same mode; that
perceptions can recall the emotions which have been connected with them,
even after the mind has forgotten the connection, and that perceptions
recall associated emotions much more vividly than conceptions.

In consequence of these considerations, the inference seems justifiable
that the emotions of beauty and sublimity are not owing either simply to
the _perceptions_ produced, nor to the _conceptions_ recalled by the
principle of association. But they are accounted for in a great degree
by the fact that certain colors, forms, motions, and sounds have been so
often connected with emotions awakened by the apprehension of qualities
in other minds, or of emotions which arise in view of causes of
enjoyment to ourselves, that the _perception_ of these colors, sounds,
forms, and motions recall such agreeable emotions, even when the mind
can not trace the connection in past experience.

As an example of this, the emotion of pleasure has been so often
connected with the clear blue of the sky and with the bright verdure of
the foliage, that the sight of either of these colors recalls the
emotions, though we may not be able to refer to any particular time when
this previous connection existed. In like manner, the moaning sound of
the wind in a storm, or the harsh growl which sometimes attends it, has
so often been united with sorrowful or disagreeable emotions, that the
sounds recall the emotions.

But there is another important fact in regard to the causes of the
emotions of taste. It is found that the character of the _combination_
of sounds, forms, colors, and motions has as much to do with the
existence of such feelings as the nature of these objects of perception.
The very same colors and forms, in certain combination, are very
displeasing, when in others they are beautiful. Thus, also, certain
motions in certain circumstances are very beautiful or sublime, and in
others very displeasing. The very same sounds, also, may be made either
very disagreeable or very delightful, according to their combination.

To account for this, it is necessary to understand that objects which
tend to awaken emotions of a directly opposite nature can not both
operate on the mind without causing disagreeable feelings. If we are
surrounded by objects of awe and solemnity, it is painful to notice
objects that are mean or ludicrous. If we are under the influence of
sprightly and humorous feelings, it is painful to encounter solemn and
pensive scenes, with which, perhaps, at other times, we should be
pleased. In order, therefore, to awaken emotions of beauty and
sublimity, there must exist a _congruity_ in the arrangement and
composition of parts which will prevent the operation of causes that
would awaken incongruous emotions.

But there is another principle which has a still more powerful operation
in regard to the effect of combination and composition. We are always
accustomed to view objects with some reference to their _nature_ and
_use_. We always feel that every effect must have a cause, and that
every contrivance has some _design_ which it was made to accomplish.

There is no intellectual attribute of mind which is regarded with more
admiration than _wisdom_, which is always shown in selecting the best
means for accomplishing a given end; and the more interesting or
important is the object to be secured, the more is the mind pleased with
discovering the wisdom exhibited in adapting means to secure this end.
Almost every construction of nature or of art is regarded by the mind as
having some use and design. No mind, except one bereft of its powers,
would ever employ itself in designing any thing which has no possible
use, either in benefiting or pleasing the designer or others; and should
any such object be found, it would cause only disgust, as exhibiting the
fatuity of a mind which spent its powers in contriving so useless a

There are many objects which meet the eye of man for which he in vain
seeks the use and design; but such objects are never attended with the
conviction that there is no possible use to which they can be applied;
on the contrary, they more frequently provoke curiosity, and awaken
desire to discover their nature and their use. There is a never-failing
conviction attending all our discoveries of new objects in nature that
there is some design or contrivance of which they form a link in the

Whenever the object of any design is ascertained, immediately there
commences an examination of the modes by which this object is to be
effected. If every thing is found to harmonize--if a relation of fitness
and propriety is discovered in every part, the mind is satisfied with
the exhibition of wisdom which is thus discovered. But if some parts are
found tending to counteract the general design of the contrivance, the
object is displeasing. Every work of art, then, depends, for the
pleasure it affords, not alone on the various forms, colors, sounds, and
motions which are combined to affect the senses, but on the nature of
the design intended, and on the skill which is shown in so composing and
arranging the several parts that each shall duly aid in effecting this
design. This is the particular in which the genius of the painter, the
sculptor, the architect, the musician, and the poet is especially

Another particular to be noticed in reference to this subject is the
implanted principle of curiosity, or the desire which the mind feels to
discover what is _new_. After we have discovered the object for which a
thing is contrived, and the fit adjustment of every part to this object,
one cause of interest in it ceases. And objects which have been the
subjects of repeated observation and inspection never yield so much
interest as those which afford to the mind some fresh opportunity to
discover _new_ indications of design, and of fitness in the means for
accomplishing the design. The love of novelty, then, is a powerful
principle in securing gratification to the mind. Of course, the genius
of the artist is to be displayed, not only in arranging the several
parts so as to accomplish a given design, but in the very effort to
secure a design which is new, so that the mind will have a fresh object
for exercising its powers in detecting the fitness of means for
accomplishing a given end.

From the preceding, we recapitulate the following causes for the
pleasurable emotions which are felt in view of certain objects of sight,
and in certain combinations of sound: They recall emotions which, in
past experience, have been connected with the conception of operations
and emotions of other minds, or with material objects that were regarded
as the causes of pleasurable emotions to ourselves; they recall emotions
that are congruous in their nature; they cause emotions of pleasure from
the discovery of fitness in design and composition; and, finally, they
awaken emotions of novelty.

Emotions of taste that are painful are caused by the presence of objects
that recall painful emotions with which they have formerly been
connected; by objects that recall incongruous emotions; by objects that
exhibit a want of fitness and design; and by objects that are common,
when the mind has been led to expect novelty.


The _causes_ which produce emotions of taste have now been pointed out.
An inquiry as to _which_ are the objects, motions, and sounds, and their
various combinations, that, in our experience, have awakened such
emotions, may lead to facts that will establish the position assumed.

Emotions of taste generally are divided into two classes, called
emotions of _sublimity_ and emotions of _beauty_. Emotions of sublimity
resemble those which exist in the mind at the display of great
intellectual power, and at exhibitions of strong passion and emotions in
another mind. Emotions of beauty resemble those which are experienced at
the exhibition of the more gentle emotions of mind, such as pity,
humility, meekness, and affection.

_Of Sounds._

All sounds are sublime which in past experience have been associated
with the strong emotions of fear and terror. Such sounds are heard in
the roar of artillery, the howling of a storm, the roll of thunder, and
the rumbling of an earthquake. Sounds are sublime, also, which convey an
idea of great power and might. This is illustrated in the emotions felt
at the uprooting of trees and the prostration of nature before a
whirlwind; in the force of the rolling waves, as they dash against the
cliffs; and in art, by the working of some ponderous and mighty engine,
that astonishes with the immense resistance it can overcome.

Other sounds, also, are sublime which have often been associated with
emotions of awe, solemnity, or deep melancholy. Such are the tolling of
a heavy bell and the solemn notes of the organ.

There may be certain circumstances that render a sound, that otherwise
would be very gentle and beautiful, more strongly sublime than even
those sounds that are generally most terrific. Gray describes such a
combination of circumstances in a letter to a friend. "Did you never
observe," said he, "while rocking winds are piping loud, that _pause_,
as the gust is recollecting itself, and rising upon the ear in a shrill
and plaintive note, like the swell of the Æolian harp? I do assure you
there is nothing in the world so like the _voice of a spirit_."

We have another example in Scripture: "And behold, the Lord passed by,
and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the
rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the
wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after
the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the
fire a _still small voice_. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, he
wrapped his face in a mantle." In both these cases, the sudden silence
and the still small voice, so contrasted with the tumult around, would
awaken the most thrilling emotions of the sublime. In some cases it is
the sense which these sounds awaken of the presence of some awful and
powerful Being that causes such emotions.

There are a great variety of sounds that are called beautiful. Such are
the sound of a distant waterfall, the murmur of a rivulet, the sighing
of the wind, the tinkling of the sheepfold, the lowing of distant kine,
and the note of the shepherd's pipe. But it must be remarked that it is
always a combination of circumstances that make sounds either sublime or
beautiful. If we know, by the source from which they originate, that
they are caused by no display of power or danger, or if necessarily they
have low and mean associations connected with them, the emotions of the
sublime or beautiful, which would otherwise recur, are prevented. Thus
the rumbling of a cart is sublime when it is believed to be thunder, and
loses this character when its true cause is discovered. The sound of the
lowing of kine in certain circumstances is very beautiful, and in others
very vulgar and displeasing.

Music seems to owe its chief power over the mind to the fact that it can
combine all kinds of sounds that have ever been associated with any
emotions, either of dignity, awe, and terror; or of joy, sprightliness,
and mirth; or of tenderness, melancholy, and grief. Its power depends on
the nature of the particular sounds, and also on the nature of their
combination and succession in relation to time, and in relation to a
certain sound which is called the fundamental or key note.

The art of a musical composer consists in the ability with which he
succeeds in producing a certain class of emotions which he aims to
awaken. The more finished productions of this art are never relished
till long observation and experience enable the listener to judge of the
nature of the design, and with how much success the composer has
succeeded in effecting it. Music, when adapted to certain words, has its
nature and design more clearly portrayed, and in such productions it is
easier to judge of the success of the composer.

_Of Color._

There are no colors which ordinarily excite so strong an emotion as to
be called sublime. The deep black of mourning and the rich purple of
royalty approach the nearest to this character. That colors acquire
their power in awakening agreeable or disagreeable emotions simply from
the emotions which have ordinarily existed in connection with them,
appears from the fact that the associations of mankind are so
exceedingly diverse on this subject. What is considered a dignified and
solemn color in one nation is tawdry and vulgar in another. Thus, with
us, _yellow_ is common and tawdry, but among the Chinese it is a
favorite color. Black, with us, has solemn and mournful associations,
but in Spain and Venice it is an agreeable color. White, in this
country, is beautiful, as the emblem of purity and innocence, but in
China it is the sorrowful garb of mourning.

_Of Forms._

Forms that awaken emotions of sublimity are such as have been associated
with emotions of danger, terror, awe, or solemnity. Such are military
ensigns, cannon, the hearse, the monument of death, and various objects
of this kind. Those forms which distinguish bodies that have great
strength, or which are enduring in their nature, awaken the same class
of emotions. Thus the Gothic castle, the outline of rocks and mountains,
and the form of the oak, are examples. Bodies often appear sublime from
the mere circumstance of size, when compared with objects of the same
kind. Thus the pyramids of Egypt are an example where relative size,
together with their imperishable materials, awakens emotions of
sublimity. The ideas of beauty of form depend almost entirely on their
fitness to the object for which they are designed, and on many casual
associations with which they are connected.

_Of Motion._

All motion that awakens sublime ideas is such as conveys the notion of
great force and power. Motions of this kind are generally in straight or
angular lines. Such motions are seen in the working of machinery, and in
the efforts of animal nature. Quick motion is more sublime than slow.
Motions that awaken ideas of beauty are generally slow and curving. Such
are the windings of the quiet rivulet, the gliding motion of birds
through the air, the waving of trees, and the curling of vapor.

In regard to the beauty and sublimity of forms and color, it is equally
true, as in reference to sound, that the alteration of circumstances
will very materially alter the nature of the emotions connected with
them. If they are so combined as to cause incongruous emotions, or if
they do not harmonize with the general design of any composition,
emotions of the sublime or beautiful are not awakened. For example, if
the vivid green, which is agreeable in itself from the pleasing emotions
which have been connected with it, is combined with a scene of
melancholy and desolation, where the design of the artist is to awaken
other than lively emotions, it appears incongruous and displeasing.

The art of the poet consists in the use of such language as awakens
emotions of beauty and sublimity, either by recalling conceptions of
various forms, colors, and motions in nature, which are beautiful and
sublime, or the strong and powerful, or the soft and gentle emotions of

Emotions of moral sublimity are such as are felt in witnessing
exhibitions of the force of intellect or of strong feelings.

Emotions of moral beauty are those that are felt in witnessing the
exhibition of the gentler and tender emotions of mind. These emotions
are much more powerful and delightful than when they are more faintly
recalled by those objects of perception which are called sublime and

The taste is improved by cultivating a love for intellectual endowments
and moral qualities. It is also cultivated by gaining an extensive
knowledge of objects and scenes which, either in history, or in poetry,
or in any compositions of the fine arts, have been associated with
emotions. It is also cultivated by learning the rules of fitness and
propriety, by studying works of taste, by general reading, by
intercourse with persons of refinement and taste, and by a nice
observation of the adaptation and fitness of things in the daily
intercourse and pursuits of life.

The highest efforts of taste are exhibited in the works of artists who
make such pursuits the express object of their profession.

But in ordinary life the cultivation of taste is chiefly exhibited in
the style, furniture, and decoration of private dwellings, and in the
dress and ornaments of the person. In reference to these, there is the
same opportunity for gratifying the eye as there is in the compositions
of the fine arts. On these subjects there are rules in regard to color,
outline, and combination, and also rules of fitness and propriety, of
which every person of taste sensibly feels the violation. In the
construction of dwelling-houses, in the proportion of rooms, in the
suitableness of colors, in the fitness of all circumstances to the spot
of location, to the habits and circumstances of the proprietor, to ideas
of convenience, and to various particulars which may be objects of
regard, in all these respects the eye of taste ever is prepared to
distinguish beauties or defects.

As it regards dress, every individual will necessarily exhibit, to a
greater or less extent, the degree in which taste has been cultivated. A
person of real refinement of taste will always have the dress consistent
with the circumstances of fortune, the relative rank in life, the
station and character, the hour of the day, the particular pursuit or
profession, and the period of life.

If a person is dressed with a richness and elegance which fortune does
not warrant, if the dress is either inferior or superior to that of
others of the same rank and station, if it is unfitted to the hour or
the pursuit, if youth puts on the grave dress of age, or age assumes the
bright colors and ornaments of youth, in all these cases the eye of
taste is offended.

In the adaptation of colors to complexions, and the style of dress to
the particular form of the person; in avoiding the extremes of fashion,
the excesses of ornament, and all approaches to immodesty--in all these
respects a good taste can be displayed in dress, and thus charm us in
every-day life. A person of cultivated taste, in all that relates to the
little arrangements of domestic life, the ornaments of the exterior and
interior of a dwelling, the pursuits of hours of relaxation and
amusement, the modes of social intercourse, the nice perception of
proprieties in habits, manners, modes of address, and the thousand
little every-day incidents of life, will throw an undefined and nameless
charm around, like the soft light of heaven, that, without dazzling,
perpetually cheers.

_Emotions of the Ludicrous._

There is a certain class of feelings called _emotions of the ludicrous_,
which are the causes of laughter. These are generally pleasurable in
their nature, though there are times when the emotions which produce
laughter are painful. Emotions of this kind are usually caused by the
sudden union of certain ideas in our conceptions when the laws of
association appear to be violated. Such ideas are called incongruous,
because, according to the ordinary experience of our minds, they would
not naturally have appeared together.

In order to awaken this emotion, it is not only necessary that the mind
should discover ideas united which have not ordinarily been so in past
experience, but those which are united in direct _opposition_ to the
laws of association. Thus, if there has been a union of certain
qualities in an object which have uniformly tended to produce emotions
of a dignified and solemn kind, and some particular is pointed out which
is mean, little, or low, the unexpected incongruity occasions mirth.

In like manner, when an object in past experience has uniformly united
ideas which awakened emotions of contempt, if some particular is pointed
out in association with these which is grand or sublime, this
incongruity occasions an emotion of the ludicrous. This is the
foundation of the amusement produced by bombastic writings, where
objects that are grand and sublime have low and mean conceptions
connected with them, or where qualities that are insignificant or mean
are connected with those which are grand and sublime.

The following example of the union of such incongruous ideas will

  "And now had Phoebus in the lap
  Of Thetis taken out his nap,
  And, like a lobster boiled, the morn
  From black to red began to turn."

The sublime ideas connected with the sun, and the classical associations
united with the name of Thetis, would not naturally have recalled the
idea of so insignificant an animal, nor the changes produced in cooking
it, and these connections violate the ordinary laws of association.

Emotions of the ludicrous are also produced by the sudden conception of
some association in ideas which has never before been discovered. Thus,
if ideas have been united in the mind on some other principle of
association than that of resemblance, the sudden discovery of some
unexpected resemblance will produce mirth. This is the foundation of the
merriment produced by _puns_, where the _ideas_ which the words
represent would never have been united by the principles of association,
but the union of these ideas is effected on the principle of resemblance
between the _sounds_ of the words which recall these ideas. When the
mind suddenly perceives this unexpected foundation for the union of
ideas that in all other respects are incongruous, an emotion of the
ludicrous is produced. This is also the foundation of the pleasure which
is felt in the use of alliteration in poetry, where a resemblance is
discovered in the initial sound of words that recall ideas which in all
other respects are incongruous.

All minds enjoy the excitement of this class of emotions, but some much
more than others. _Laughter_, which is the effect of this class of
emotions, is enjoyed more or less by all mankind, and is regarded as not
only an agreeable, but as a healthful exercise.



A brief reference has been made to those susceptibilities which are the
subject of this chapter. These, from their importance, are entitled to a
more enlarged consideration.

Before proceeding, however, it is desirable to refer to the uses of the
term _moral_, inasmuch as it often is employed with a vague
comprehension of its signification. In its widest sense it signifies
_whatever relates to the regulation of mind by motives_ in distinction
from those influences that produce involuntary results.

In a more limited sense, it signifies _whatever relates to the
regulation of mind in reference to the rules of right and wrong_.

In the preceding pages it has been assumed that the grand object for
which the Creator formed mind and all things is to produce _the greatest
possible happiness with the least possible evil_, and that this design
is so impressed on the human mind that the needless destruction of
happiness is felt to be _wrong_--that is, contrary or unfitted to the
design of all things; while all that tends to promote happiness is felt
to be right, or consistent with this plan.

In order to a more clear view of this part of the subject, it is
important to inquire as to the manner in which the ideas of _right_ and
_wrong_ seem to originate.

The young child first notices that certain actions of its own are
regarded with smiles and tones of love and approval, while other acts
occasion frowns and tones of displeasure.

Next, it perceives that whatever gives pleasure to itself and to others
is called _good_ and _right_, while whatever causes unpleasant feelings
is called _bad_ and _wrong_. Moreover, it notices that there is a right
and wrong way to hold its spoon, to use its playthings, to put on its
clothes, and to do multitudes of other things. It thus perceives, more
and more, that there is some _rule_ to regulate the use and action of
all things, both animate and inanimate, and that such rules always have
reference to some plan or design.

As its faculties develop and its observation enlarges, the general
impression is secured that _all_ plans and contrivances of men are
designed to promote enjoyment or to prevent discomfort, and are called
good and right just so far as this is done. At the same time, all that
tend to discomfort or pain are called bad and wrong.

In all the works of nature around, too, every thing that promotes
enjoyment is called good and right, and the opposite is called evil and

At last there is a resulting feeling that the great design of all things
is to secure good and prevent evil, and that whatever is opposed to this
is wrong, and unfitted to the object for which all things exist. The
question whether this impression is owing solely to observation or
partly to mental constitution is waived as of little practical

But, in the experience of infancy and childhood, the _law of sacrifice_
is speedily developed. It is perceived that much of the good to be
gained, if sought to excess, occasions pain, so that there must be a
certain amount of self-denial practiced, which, to the young novice,
sometimes involves disappointment and discomfort. It is also seen that
frequently two or more enjoyments are offered which are incompatible, so
that one must be relinquished to gain the other. It is perceived, also,
that there is a constant calculation going on as to which will be the
_best_--that is, which will secure _the most good with the least evil_.
And the child is constantly instructed that it must avoid excess, and
must give up what is of less value to secure the greater good. All this
training involves _sacrifices_ which are more or less painful, so that a
young child will sometimes cry as it voluntarily gives up one kind of
pleasure as the only mode of securing what is preferred.

It is perceived, also, that there is a constant _balancing_ of good and
evil, so that a given amount of enjoyment cancels or repays for a
certain amount of evil. When a great amount of enjoyment is purchased by
a small degree of labor or trouble, the _compound result_ is deemed a
good, and called right; on the contrary, when the evil involved exceeds
a given amount in comparison to the good, the compound result is called
evil and wrong.

Thus is generated the impression that there is a law of sacrifice
instituted requiring the greatest possible good with the least possible
evil, and that this is the great design of all things.

The impression is, not merely that we are to seek enjoyment and avoid
pain, but that we are to seek the _greatest possible_ good with the
_least possible_ evil, and that in doing this we are to obey the law of
sacrifice and suffering, by which the greatest possible good _is to be
bought_ by a certain amount of evil _voluntarily_ assumed.

In regard to this great law of sacrifice, the highest part of it is
discerned in the earliest experiences of life. The young child very soon
perceives that its mother and its other friends are constantly making
sacrifices for its own good, and bearing inconveniences and trouble for
the good of those around. And those who perform such acts of benevolent
self-sacrifice are praised, and their conduct is called good and right.
_Voluntary suffering to promote the welfare of others_ is discerned to
be the highest kind of good and right conduct in the estimation of all.

The first feature, then, in our moral nature is that _impression of the
great design of our Creator_ which furnishes us the means of deciding on
the rectitude of all voluntary action.

The second feature of our moral constitution is what is ordinarily
called the _sense of justice_. It is that susceptibility which is
excited at the view of the conduct of others as _voluntary_ causes of
good or evil.

In all cases where free agents act to promote happiness, an emotion of
approval arises, together with a desire of reward to the author of the
good. On the contrary, when there is a voluntary destruction of
happiness, there is an emotion of disapproval and a desire for
retributive pain on the author of the wrong.

These emotions are instinctive, and not at all regulated by reason in
their inception. When an evil is done, an instant desire is felt _to
discover the cause_; and when it is found, an instant desire is felt _to
inflict some penalty_. So irrational is this impulse, that children will
exhibit anger and deal blows on inanimate objects that cause pain. Even
mature minds are sometimes conscious of this impulse.

It is the office of the intellect to judge whether the deed was a
voluntary one, whether the agent intended the mischief, and whether a
penalty will be of any use. The impulse to punish is never preceded by
any such calculations.

That this impulse is an implanted part of our constitution, and not the
result of reason and experience, is seen in the delight manifested by
young children in the narration of the nursery tale where the cruel
uncle who murdered the Babes in the Wood receives the retributions of

Another feature in this sense of justice is the _proportion_ demanded
between the evil done and the penalty inflicted. That this also is
instinctive, and not the result of reason, is seen in the nursery, where
children will approve of slight penalties for slight offenses, and
severe ones for great ones, but will revolt from any very great
disproportion between the wrong act and its penalty. As a general rule,
both in the nursery and in the great family of mature minds, the greater
the wrong done, the stronger the desire for a penalty, and the more
severe the punishment demanded.

Another very important point of consideration is the universal feeling
of mankind that the _natural penalties_ for wrong-doing are _not
sufficient_, and that it is an act of love as well as of justice to add
to these penalties. Thus the parent who forbids his child to eat green
fruit will not trust to the results of the natural penalty, but restrain
by the fear of the immediate and more easily conceived penalty of

So, in the great family of man, the natural penalties for theft are not
deemed sufficient, but severe penalties for the protection of property
are added.

This particular is the foundation of certain distinctions that are of
great importance, which will now be pointed out.

We find the terms "_reward_ and _punishment_" used in two different
relations. In the first and widest sense they signify not only the
penalties of human law, but those _natural consequences_ which, by the
constitution of nature, inevitably follow certain courses of conduct.

Thus an indolent man is said to receive poverty as a punishment, and it
is in this sense that his children are said to be punished for the
faults of their father.

The violations of natural law are punished without any reference to the
question whether the evil-doer intended the wrong, or whether he sinned
in ignorance, or whether this ignorance was involuntary and unavoidable.
The question of the justice or injustice of such natural penalties
involves the great question of the right and wrong of the system of the
universe. Is it just and right for the Creator to make a system in which
all free agents shall be thus led to obedience to its laws by penalties
as well as rewards, by fear as well as by hope? This question will not
be discussed here.

Most discussions as to _just_ rewards and penalties ordinarily relate to
the _added_ penalties by which parents, teachers, and magistrates
enforce obedience to natural or to statute law.

In these questions reference is always had to the _probable results_ of
such rewards and penalties in securing obedience. If experience has
shown that certain penalties do secure obedience to wise and good laws,
either of nature or of human enactment, then they are considered just.
If they do not, they are counted unwise and unjust.

So, if certain penalties are needlessly severe--that is to say, if a
less penalty will secure equal obedience, then this also decides so
severe a penalty to be unjust.

In deciding on the rectitude of the penalties of human enactments, it is
always assumed to be unjust to punish for any lack of knowledge and
obedience when the subject had _no power_ to know and to obey. If _a
choice to obey_ will not secure the act required of a free agent, then a
penalty inflicted for disobedience is always regarded as unjust. The
only seeming exception to this is the case where a person, by voluntary
means, has deprived himself of ability to obey. But in such cases the
punishment is felt to be right, not because he does not obey when he has
no power, but because he has voluntarily deprived himself of this power.
And he is punished for destroying his ability to obey, and not for
violating the law.

These things in human laws, then, are always demanded to make a penalty
appear _just_ to the moral sense of mankind, namely, that the subject
have power to obey, and that he has opportunity to know the law, and is
not ignorant by any voluntary and improper neglect.

In all questions of justice, therefore, it is important to discriminate
between those penalties that are inherent as a part of the great system
of the universe, and for which the Creator alone is the responsible
cause, and those which result from voluntary institutions of which men
are the authors.

In connection with this subject, it is important to recognize the
distinction that exists in regard to two classes of right and wrong
actions. The first class includes those which are wrong in their nature
and in all supposable cases, such, for example, as the wanton infliction
of needless pain, or the breach of plighted faith, or the returning of
love and kindness with ungrateful treatment. In all possible
suppositions, the mind revolts from such actions as wrong and deserving
of penalties. It is this class of actions which, without any reasoning,
the mind never fails to disapprove, and to desire should be visited with
retributive penalties.

The other class of right and wrong acts derive their estimate solely
from the circumstances in which they occur. For example, a man is angry
and beats a little child. Now the question whether his feelings and
action are right or wrong depends entirely on circumstances. If the
child has done no evil and the person knew it, his feelings and actions
are wrong. But if the person is a father correcting his child for some
heinous fault and with only a suitable degree of anger, then the feeling
and action are right.

There is another mode of estimating conduct by which the same act may
have two opposite characters, according to the _relation_ in which it is
regarded. For example, a good parent may give wrong medicine to his
child, or punish an innocent one, believing him to be guilty.

In such cases the act is right as it respects the motive or intention,
and wrong as it respects the nature of the action. It is sometimes the
case that a man may do a right action with a bad motive, and a wrong
action with a good motive.

Thus the same act is right in one relation, and wrong in another. It is
important that this distinction should be borne in mind.

The next feature in our moral constitution is the susceptibility which
is excited by the intellectual judgment of our own feelings and conduct
as either right or wrong.

In case we decide them to be right, we experience an emotion of
self-approval which is very delightful; but if we decide that they are
wrong, we experience an immediate penalty in a painful emotion called
_remorse_. This emotion is always proportioned to the amount of evil
done, and the consciousness that it was done knowingly and
intentionally. No suffering is more keen than the highest emotions of
this kind, while their pangs are often enduring and unappeasable.
Sometimes there is an attending desire to inflict retribution on one's
self as a mode of alleviating this distress.

This susceptibility is usually denominated _conscience_. Sometimes this
word is used to include both the intellectual judgment of our conduct as
right or wrong, and the consequent emotions of approval or remorse;
sometimes it refers to the susceptibility alone. Either use is correct,
as in the connection in which it is employed the distinction can
ordinarily be easily made.

This analysis of our moral constitution furnishes means for a clear
definition of such terms as _obligated_, _ought_, _ought not_, and the

A person is obligated or ought to do a thing when he has the intellect
to perceive that it is right, and the moral susceptibilities just
described. When he is destitute either of the intellect or of these
susceptibilities, he ceases to be a moral and accountable being. He can
no longer be made to feel any moral obligations.



It is the _power of choice_ which raises man to the dignity of an
intellectual and moral being. Without this principle, he would be a
creature of mere impulses and instincts. He would possess
susceptibilities of happiness to be excited, and intellect to devise and
discover the modes of securing enjoyment; but without governing
principle, the soul would be led captive with each successive desire, or
be the sport of chances whenever conflicting desires were awakened.

He who formed man in his own perfect image left not his work without
this balance-power to regulate the complicated springs of so wonderful
an existence. Man is now not only the image of his Creator as lord of
this lower world, but is, like him, the lord and master of his own

It has been shown that the constitution, both of mind and of the world,
is such that it is impossible in the nature of things to gain every
object which is the cause of enjoyment. There is a constant succession
of selections to be made between different modes of securing happiness.
A lesser good is given up for a greater, or some good relinquished
altogether to avoid some consequent pain. Often, also, some painful
state of mind is sought as the means of securing some future good, or of
avoiding some greater evil. Thus men endure want, fatigue, and famine to
purchase wealth. Thus the nauseous draught will be swallowed to avoid
the pains of sickness; and thus the pleasures of domestic affection will
be sacrificed to obtain honor and fame. The whole course of life is a
constant succession of such decisions between different modes of
securing happiness and of avoiding pain.

_Specific and Generic Volitions._

In noticing the operation of mind, it will be seen that there is a
foundation for two classes of volitions or acts of choice, which may be
denominated _specific_ and _generic_.

A _specific volition_ is one that secures some particular act, such as
the moving of the arm or turning of the head. Such volitions are
ordinarily consequent on some more general purpose of the mind, which
they aid in accomplishing, and which is, therefore, denominated a
_generic volition_. For example, a man chooses to make a certain
journey: this is the generic volition, and, in order to carry it out, he
performs a great variety of acts, each one of which aids in carrying out
the generic decision. These specific acts of will, which tend to
accomplish a more general purpose, may also be called _subordinate_,
because they are controlled by a generic volition.

It can be seen that the generic volitions may themselves become
subordinate to a still more comprehensive purpose. Thus the man may
decide to make a journey, which is a generic volition in reference to
all acts subordinate to this end. But this journey may be a subordinate
part of a more general purpose to make a fortune or to secure some other
important end.

It is frequently the case that a generic purpose, which relates to
objects that require a long time and many complicated operations, exists
when the mind seems almost unconscious of its power. For example, a man
may form a generic purpose to enter a profession for which years will be
required to prepare. And while his whole course of action is regulated
by this decision, he engages in pursuits entirely foreign to it and
which seem to engross his whole attention. These pursuits may sometimes
be such as are antagonistic to his grand purpose, so as at least to
imperil or retard its accomplishment. And yet this strong and quiet
purpose remains, and is eventually carried out.

It is the case, also, that a generic volition may be formed to be
performed at some particular time and place, and then the mind becomes
entirely unconscious of it till the appointed period and circumstances
occur. Then the decision becomes dominant, and controls all other

Thus a man may decide that, at a specified hour, he will stop his
studies and perform certain gymnastic exercises. This volition is
forgotten until the hour arrives, and then it recurs and is carried out.

This phenomenon sometimes occurs in sleep. Some persons, in watching
with the sick, will determine to wake at given hours to administer
medicines; then they will sleep soundly till the appointed time comes,
when they will waken and perform the predetermined actions.

In regard to the _commencement_ of a generic purpose, we find that
sometimes it is so distinct and definite as to be the subject of
consciousness and memory. For example, a spendthrift, in some moment of
suffering and despondency, may form a determination to commence a
systematic course of thrift and economy, and may actually carry it out
through all his future life. Such cases are often to be found on record
or in everyday life.

In other cases, this quiet, hidden, but controlling purpose seems to be
formed by unconscious and imperceptible influences, so that the mind can
not revert to the specific time or manner when it originated. For
example, a child who is trained from early life to speak the truth, can
never revert to any particular moment when this generic purpose

It is sometimes the case, also, that a person will contemplate some
generic volition before it occurs, while the process of its final
formation seems almost beyond the power of scrutiny. For example, a man
may be urged to relinquish one employment and engage in another. He
reflects, consults, and is entirely uncertain how he shall decide. As
time passes, he gradually inclines toward the proposed change, until,
finally, he finds his determination fixed, he scarcely knows when or

Thus it appears that generic volitions commence sometimes so
instantaneously and obviously that the time and influences connected
with them can be recognized. In other cases, the decision seems to be a
gradual one, while in some instances the process can be traced, and in
others it is entirely unnoticed or forgotten.

It is in reference to such generic purposes that the _moral character_
of men is estimated. An honest man is one who has a fixed purpose to act
honestly in all circumstances. A truthful man is one who has such a
purpose to speak the truth at all times.

In such cases, the degree in which such a purpose controls all others is
the measure of a man's moral character in the estimate of society.

The history of mankind shows a great diversity of moral character
dependent on such generic volitions. Some men possess firm and reliable
moral principles in certain directions, while they are very destitute of
them in others.

Thus it will be seen that some have formed a very decided purpose in
regard to honesty in business affairs, who yet are miserable victims to
intemperance. Others have cultivated a principle called _honor_, that
restrains them from certain actions regarded as mean, and yet they may
be frequenters of gambling saloons and other haunts of vice.

In the religious world, too, it is the case that some who are very firm
and decided on all points of religious observances and in the
cultivation of devotional emotions, are guilty of very mean actions,
such as some worldly men of honor would not practice at the sacrifice of
a right hand.

_On Causes of Volition._

It becomes, then, a most interesting subject of inquiry as to the
_causes_ which decide these diversities of moral purposes, and also the
causes which operate to give them more or less control over other

But, preliminary to this, it is necessary to secure some discriminating
accuracy in regard to the signification of the word _cause_ in its
various uses.

This term, in its widest sense, signifies "_that without which a change
will not take place, and with which it will take place_." This is the
leading idea which is included in every use of the word.

But there is a foundation for three classes of causes which may be
denominated _producing causes, occasional causes_, and _deciding

A _producing cause_ is that which produces a change by the constitution
of nature, so that in the given circumstances there is no power to do

_Occasional causes_ are those circumstances which are indispensable to
the action of producing causes.

Thus, when fire is applied to your powder, the fire is the producing
cause of the explosion, while the act of contact between the fire and
powder is the occasional cause.

In regard to the action of mind in volition, the mind itself is the
producing cause, while excited desires and objects to excite those
desires are the occasional causes. Or, in other words, mind is the
producing cause of its own volitions, and motives are the occasional

_On Deciding Causes of Volition._

But inasmuch as mind always has the power to choose in _either_ of two
or more directions, the question arises as to _the causes which decide
the direction of volitions_, and which may be called _deciding causes_.
Whenever it is asked, "_Why_ did a person choose to do thus?" the
meaning is, What were the causes that influenced him to decide thus?

Now these causes are ascertained, as all others are, by experience. Men
are always stating to each other, as well as noticing in their own
experience, the causes which decide their determinations.

First, in certain cases, where two or more objects are presented, of
which only one can be taken, the cause assigned for the direction of the
choice may be that _one excited a stronger desire than the other_. A
vast proportion of human volitions are decided simply by the fact that
one object seems a greater good or excites a stronger desire than any
other, and is thus the strongest motive.

But there are other cases where, of the objects presented, one excites
the strongest desire, while the judgment perceives that another will
secure a _greater good on the whole_. For example, in case of a sick
person, there may be placed a favorite drink that excites a very strong
desire, and beside it may stand a nauseous medicine. In this case, the
invalid may feel the strongest desire for the drink, and yet choose the
medicine as the greater good in its final results.

In such cases, what decides the direction of a volition is the judgment
of the mind, that the object chosen, though it does not excite the
strongest desire, is still the greater good.

Another deciding cause of volition is the nature of the _constitutional
susceptibilities_. For example, when it is asked why did a man forsake
domestic life and become a soldier, the deciding cause may be that he
had a strong constitutional love of the excitement and glory connected
with that profession, and but little susceptibility for the quiet
enjoyments of domestic life.

It is sometimes the case that a child, from its birth, seems to possess
a natural love for truth, so that instructions on that point are
scarcely needed. In another case, in the same family, and under exactly
the same training, will be found a child who has the contrary
propensity, so that it costs years of careful training to form a
principle of veracity. The same constitutional variety will be found in
reference to other virtues.

Another deciding cause of volition are _the habits_. The existence of a
_habit of obedience_, for example, will induce the formation of virtuous
purposes that would never have existed but for this. A child who began
life with strong propensities to certain faults, by a wise and careful
training may secure habits that are fully equal in power to the same
constitutional traits in another child. Often, in the result, it can not
be seen whether the generic purpose to be truthful, for example,
resulted mainly from natural constitution or from the formation of

The will itself also is more or less regulated by this principle. When a
child is trained constantly to submit to fixed rules, the will acquires
increased ease and facility in doing it. On the contrary, a mind that is
never controlled grows more and more averse to yielding to any
regulating principle.

Another deciding cause of volition is such _a combination of
circumstances_ as excites one class of desires, while other
sensibilities have no appropriate objects to stimulate them.

For example, it may be asked, Why did a man choose to drink and gamble?
The cause assigned may be the presence of liquor and of tempting
companions, and the want of objects to excite higher susceptibilities.
He had no wise friends, no business, and no higher sources of enjoyment
immediately around him.

Another deciding cause of volition is the existence of _principle or
generic purpose_. For example, it may be asked, Why did a man choose to
give up his liberty and property when he could have secured them by
false testimony? The answer may be that he was a truthful man or a
virtuous man--that is, he had formed a strong generic purpose to speak
the truth or to act right on all occasions.

Another deciding cause of volition is the existence of love and
gratitude toward other minds, and the reflex influence of such minds in
the bestowal of their love, sympathy, teachings, and example.

This is the most powerful of all the influences which secure and sustain
generic volitions, as will be illustrated more at large in future pages.

_Causes that regulate the Power of Generic Volitions._

The next inquiry relates to the causes which regulate the _power_ of
generic volition.

Among those causes, the most prominent is that natural force of will
which is strictly constitutional. Some minds are formed by the Creator
with great energy and great pertinacity of will, so that when a purpose
is formed, all subordinate volitions needful to carry out this purpose
seem easily controlled. Other minds, on the contrary, possess a
naturally feeble will, so that no generic volition has a strong and
steady control, but is constantly interrupted in its power over
subordinate volitions, or is easily changed by conflicting desires.

In one case the person is denominated a man of firm purpose or a man of
a strong will. In the other case he is called a man of yielding
temperament or a weak character.

The remaining causes that give strength to a generic purpose are most of
those that have been enumerated as causes of the _direction_ of
volition, or _deciding causes_. These are the constitutional
susceptibilities--the habits--the surrounding circumstances--the
existence of love and gratitude toward other minds, and the reflex
influence of such minds in the bestowal of their love, sympathy,
teachings, and example.

In all this variety of influences that decide those generic volitions
which are the foundation of moral character, it must be remembered that
in every case the mind has the power to choose that which the judgment
decides to be the greatest good on the whole for itself and for the

_How one Mind causes Volitions in another Mind._

In this connection, it is important to secure exact ideas of what is
meant when one mind is spoken of as _the cause_ of the volitions of
another mind.

Of course, in this relation, no mind can be the _producing_ cause of
volition in any mind but itself. It must be, then, either as
_occasional_ or as _deciding_ causes that we can influence other minds.

The only mode by which we can regulate the volitions of other minds is
by _the employment of motives to stimulate desire, or by changing the
constitutional susceptibilities_.

In the first case, men have power to so combine circumstances of
temptation as to affect the most excitable and powerful sensibilities,
or they can remove those objects and influences that sustain moral
principle, or by a long course of training they can form habits and
induce principles. The combinations of motive influences that one mind
can bring to bear on another, as temptations to right or wrong action,
are almost infinite.

The other mode is by _changing the constitutional susceptibilities_.
This can sometimes be effected to a certain degree by education and the
formation of habits. It can be still more directly effected through the
physical organization. For example, a child may be trained to use
coffee, tea, alcohol, or tobacco, till the nervous system is shattered,
and then a placid temper becomes excitable, a generous nature grows sour
and selfish, an active nature becomes indolent, and multitudes of other
disastrous changes are the result.

These are the only two modes in which one mind is ever regarded as the
cause of right or wrong volition in other minds.

_On a Ruling Purpose._

The most important of all the voluntary phenomena is the fact that,
while there can be a multitude of these quiet and hidden generic
purposes in the mind, it is also possible to form _one_ which shall be
the dominant or controlling one, to which all the other volitions, both
generic and specific, shall become subordinate. In common parlance, this
would be called the _ruling passion_. It may also be called the _ruling
purpose_ or _controlling principle_. This consists in the permanent
choice of some one mode of securing happiness as the _chief end_ or
grand object of life.

We have set forth on preceding pages the chief sources of happiness and
of suffering to the human mind. Now in the history of our race we find
that each one of these modes of enjoyment have been selected by
different individuals as the chief end of their existence--as the mode
of seeking enjoyment, to which they sacrifice every other. Some persons
have chosen the pleasures of eating, drinking, and the other grosser
enjoyments of sense. Others have chosen those more elevated and refined
pleasures that come indirectly from the senses in the emotions of taste.

Others have devoted themselves to intellectual enjoyments as their chief
resource for happiness. Others have selected the exercise of physical
and moral power, as in the case of conquerors and physical heroes, or of
those who have sought to control by moral power, as rulers and

Others have made the attainment of the esteem, admiration, and love of
their fellow-creatures their chief end. Others, still, have devoted
themselves to the promotion of happiness around them as their chief
interest. Others have devoted themselves to the service of God, or what
they conceived to be such, and sometimes by the most miserable life of
asceticism and self-torture.

Others have made it their main object in life to obey the laws of
rectitude and virtue.

In all these cases, the _moral character_ of the person, in the view of
all observers, has been decided by this dominant volition, and exactly
in proportion to the supremacy with which it has _actually controlled_
all other purposes.

Some minds seem to have no chief end of life. Their existence is a
succession of small purposes, each of which has its turn in controlling
the life. Others have a strong, defined, and all-controlling principle.

Now experience shows that both of these classes are capable, the one of
_forming_ and the other of _changing_ such a purpose. For example, in a
time of peace and ease there is little to excite the mind strongly; but
let a crisis come where fortune, reputation, and life are at stake, and
men and women are obliged to form generic decisions involving all they
hold dear, and many minds that have no controlling purpose immediately
originate one, while those whose former ruling aims were in one
direction change them entirely to another.

This shows how it is that days of peril create heroes, statesmen, and
strong men and women. The hour of danger calls all the energies of the
soul into action. Great purposes are formed with the strongest desire
and emotion. Instantly the whole current of thought, and all the
co-existing desires and emotions, are conformed to these purposes.

The experience of mankind proves that a dominant generic purpose may
_extend to a whole life_, and actually control all other generic and
specific volitions.

_Mode of Controlling the Intellect, Desires, and Emotions._

We will now consider some of the modes by which the will controls the
intellect, desires, and emotions.

We have seen, in previous pages, the influence which desire and emotion
exert in making both our perceptions and conceptions more vivid.
Whatever purpose or aim in life becomes an object of strong desire, is
always distinctly and vividly conceived, while all less interesting
objects are more faint and indistinct.

We have also seen that whenever any conception arises it always brings
connected objects, according to certain laws of association, forming a
new and complex picture.

Whenever the mind is under the influence of a controlling purpose, the
object of pursuit is always _more interesting_ than any other. This
interest always fastens on those particulars in any mental combination
that are connected with the ruling purpose and seem fitted to promote
it, making them more vivid. Around these selected objects their past
associated ideas begin to cluster, forming other complex pictures. In
all these combinations, those ideas most consonant with the leading
interest of the mind become most vivid, and the others fade away.

The grand method, then, for _regulating the thoughts_ is by the generic
decisions of the mind as to the modes of seeking enjoyment.

In regard to the power of the mind over its own desires and emotions, it
is very clear that these sensibilities can not be regulated by direct
specific volitions. Let any person try to produce love, fear, joy, hope,
or gratitude by simply choosing to have them arise, and it is soon
perceived that no such power exists.

But there are _indirect_ modes by which the mind can control its
susceptibilities. The first method is by directing attention to those
objects of thought which are fitted to call forth such emotions. For
example, if we wish to awaken the emotion of fear, we can place
ourselves in circumstances of danger, or call up ideas of horror and
distress. If we wish to call forth emotions of gratitude, we can direct
attention to acts of kindness to ourselves calculated to awaken such
feelings. If we wish to excite desire for any object, we can direct
attention to those qualities in that object that are calculated to
excite desire. In all these cases the mind can, by an act of will,
_direct its attention_ to subjects calculated to excite emotion and

The other mode of regulating the desires and emotions is by _the
direction of our generic volitions_. For example, let a man of business,
who has never had any interest in commerce, decide to invest all his
property in foreign trade. As soon as this is done, the name of the ship
that bears his all can never be heard or seen but it excites some
emotion. A storm, that before would go unnoticed, awakens fear; the
prices in the commercial markets, before unheeded, now awaken fear or
afford pleasure. And thus multitudes of varied desires and emotions are
called into existence by this one generic volition.

One result of a purpose to deny an importunate propensity is frequently
seen in the immediate or gradual diminution of that desire. For example,
if a person is satisfied that a certain article of food is injurious,
and resolves on _total abstinence_, it will be found that the desire for
it is very much reduced, far more so than when the effort is to diminish
the indulgence.

When a generic purpose is formed that involves great interests, it is
impossible to prevent the desires and emotions from running consonant
with this purpose. The only mode of changing this current is to give up
this generic purpose and form another. Thus, if a man has devoted his
whole time and energies to money-making, it is impossible for him to
prevent his thoughts and feelings from running in that direction. He
must give up this as his chief end, and take a nobler object, if he
would elevate the whole course of his mental action.

These are the principal phenomena of the grand mental faculty which is
the controlling power of the mind, and on the regulation of which all
its other powers are dependent.



We have shown that a belief in the reality of the existence, both of
mind and of matter, as _causes_, is one of the implanted principles of
mind. Some philosophers have claimed that there is nothing in existence
but mind, and that all that is called matter is simply _ideas_ of things
in the mind itself, for which there is no corresponding reality. Others
have claimed just the opposite: that there is no such existence as an
immaterial spirit, but that soul is the brain, or some other very fine
organization of matter.

In both cases, the assumptions not only have no evidence to sustain
them, but are contrary to the common sense or reason of all mankind, and
never can be really believed.

When _perceptions_ are called into existence by the agency of the
senses, we can not help believing that things _are as they appear to
us_, unless we have some evidence of deception either from disordered
sensation or some other cause.

But in regard to our _conceptions_ we have two classes. One class is
attended with the belief that they correspond with realities, or the
things they represent. The other class is not attended with this belief.
For example, we can conceive of a house of a color, form, and details
such as we never saw, and this conception is not attended with any
belief of the reality of such an existence; but when we conceive of the
home of our childhood, this conception is attended with a belief of the
reality of the thing conceived.

This illustration furnishes the means of defining "_truth_" as "_the
reality of things_." We _conceive_ the truth when our conceptions
represent correctly the reality of things, and we _believe_ the truth
when we feel this correspondence to exist. We believe falsehood when we
have a conception attended by a feeling that it represents the reality
of things when it does not.

All our comfort, success, and happiness depend upon _believing the
truth_; for just so far as our belief or faith varies from the reality
of things, we shall meet with mistakes, disappointment, and sorrow.

Our beneficent Creator has so formed our minds and our bodies that, in
their natural, healthy state, our _perceptions_ correspond with the
reality of things uniformly, while, as before stated, our belief or
faith also thus corresponds.

It is very rarely the case that disease or other causes prevent this
uniform correct perception and belief in regard to all things that come
within the reach of our own senses.

It is only in regard to that knowledge that we gain from the _experience
and testimony_ of others, or from the _process of reasoning_, that we
become liable to a false belief.

Men often impart their conceptions of things to us, and we find that
they do not correspond with realities.

We also, by a process of reasoning, often come to conceptions of things,
and a belief in them, which we find to be false.

_Evidence_ may be defined as all those causes which tend to produce
_correct_ ideas of truth or the reality of things.

Inasmuch as we find by experience that human testimony and the process
of reasoning do not uniformly conduct us to right conceptions of
realities, we find that there are different degrees of belief according
to the nature of the evidence presented.

The highest kind of evidence is intuitive knowledge, which is a uniform
result of the constitution of mind and its inevitable circumstances.
This is called _intuitive knowledge_ or _intuitive belief_.

All other evidence is gained by _experience_ or by _reasoning_. The
experience of other minds we gain by testimony. This is called the
_evidence of testimony_.

Belief differs in degrees according to the nature and amount of evidence
perceived. The highest kind of evidence produces what is called
_certainty_. It is the kind which is felt in reference to the intuitive
truths. There are all degrees of faith, from the highest certainty to
entire incredulity or unbelief.

This fact lays the foundation for a distinction in practical matters
which it is very important to recognize. It is often the case that there
is an amount of evidence that produces a conviction which rests in the
mind, but does not produce its appropriate _practical_ result. For
example, a man in feeble health has read enough on the subject to be
convinced that a daily bath in cool water would tend to restore
strength, and yet the belief does not secure the practice. But on a
review of the books which produced the conviction, or on hearing some
lecturer on health, the conviction becomes more powerful, and leads to a
corresponding practice.

Now, in reference to the fact that there are multitudes of convictions
which are inoperative, which, if vividly realized, would become
principles of action, there is a distinction made, in common parlance,
between a dead or ideal faith, and a living or practical faith. Still
more is this distinction recognized in matters of religion, as will be
hereafter shown.

The question whether faith or belief is under the control of the will,
or whether it is necessary and inevitable, is one of very great
importance both in regard to our happiness and our obligations.

If belief is not under the control of the will, it must be because
either the mind has not the power of directing its attention to
evidence, or because it is so made that, when it perceives the truth, it
can not distinguish it from falsehood.

In regard to the first alternative, the control which the mind has over
its own train of thought has been definitely pointed out and described
in the articles on attention and on the will. It appears that _the will_
is the regulating principle, which governs all mental operations by
selecting the modes of happiness which the intellect shall be employed
in securing. Whatever mode of present or of general happiness is
selected, immediately all conceptions which the judgment discerns as
having a fitness for accomplishing this object become vivid and
distinct, and recall their associate conceptions. Thus it is the choice
of any mode of enjoyment by the will which determines the train of

When, therefore, any question is brought up which demands attention to
evidence, if the mind has some desire to gratify, and the intellect
discerns that the conviction of this truth will interfere with this
chosen plan of happiness, the will refuses attention to what is not in
consonance with the leading desire of the mind. Where conviction of any
truth is foreseen to interfere with some plan of enjoyment already
chosen, the only way by which attention can be secured is by exhibiting
some evil that will follow inattention which will more than
counterbalance the good to be gained. In this case, the mind may choose
to attend, and run the hazard of losing the particular mode of enjoyment
sought in order to avoid the threatened evil from inattention to

This is the method men pursue in all their intercourse with each other.
They find that their fellow-men are unwilling to believe what is
contrary to their own wishes and plans. But when they determine that
belief shall be secured, they contrive various modes to make it appear
either for their pleasure or their interest to attend to evidence, or
else they exhibit some evil as the consequence of neglecting attention.

The only mode by which mankind are induced to give their thoughts to the
concerns of an invisible world is by awakening their hopes of future
good to be secured, or by stimulating their fears of future evils. It
thus appears, from the laws and operations of the mind of which every
person is conscious, and also from the conduct and recorded experience
of mankind, that the mind _has_ the power of directing its attention to

The other alternative which would establish the principle that belief is
not under the control of the will is, that truth, when seen by the mind,
can not be distinguished from falsehood. But this, it can be seen,
involves a denial of the principles of reason and common sense. It is
saying that the mind may have the evidence of the senses, memory, and
all the other principles included in the laws of reason, and yet not
believe it; for every process of reasoning is, in fact, exhibiting
evidence either of the senses, memory, or experience, that a certain
truth is included under a primary truth.

The only position which can be assumed without denying the principles of
reason and common sense is, that belief, according to the laws of mind,
is exactly according to the _amount_ of evidence _to which the mind
gives its attention_.

In order to belief, then, two things are necessary, viz., _evidence_,
and the _choice of the mind to attend_ to this evidence. When both of
these are attained, the belief of truth and the rejection of falsehood
are inevitable.

The influence which the will and desires have upon our belief accounts
for the great variety of opinions among mankind on almost every subject
of duty and of happiness.

There are two ways in which the desires and wishes regulate belief. In
the first place, by preventing _attention_ to the subject which would
lead to the belief of truths that are inconsistent with the leading
desires of the mind. This, in a great measure, will account for the
great variety of religious belief. Religion is a subject which is felt
to be inconsistent with the leading desires of most persons who are
interested in the pursuit of other enjoyments than those resulting from
obedience to God in the discharge of the duties of benevolence and
piety. It is a subject, therefore, which receives so little examination
that opinions in regard to it are adopted with trifling attention.

The second cause of variety of belief is the effect which _desire_ has
in making vivid those conceptions which most agree with the leading
purpose of the mind. When the mind decides to examine the evidence on
any subject, if the decision involves questions which have a bearing on
some favorite purpose, all those arguments which are most consonant with
the desires appear vivid and clear, and those which are contrary to the
wishes are fainter and less regarded. This is a fact which universal
experience demonstrates. Men always fasten on evidence which favors
their own wishes, and but faintly conceive the evidence which is
opposed. This is a cause which operates most powerfully in regard to
religious truths whenever they interfere with the leading desires.

This view of the subject exhibits the importance of having the mind
directed to proper objects; for if the mind is earnestly engaged in the
pursuit of duty, it will be pleased with every development of truth, for
truth and duty are never found to interfere. _Truth_ is another name for
"things as they are," and it is always the duty and happiness of man to
regulate his conduct by seeing things as they are, rather than by seeing
them in false relations. That man is best prepared to discover truth who
is most sincerely desirous to obtain it, and to regulate his feelings,
words, and conduct by its dictates.

There is nothing more obvious, from experience and observation, than
that men _feel_ their ability to control their belief, and realize both
their own obligations and those of their fellow-men on this subject.
They know that every man must act according to his belief of right and
wrong, and thus that the fulfillment of every duty depends upon the
nature of our belief. And the more important are the interests involved
in any question, the more men perceive their obligations to seek for
evidence, and obtain the knowledge necessary to enable them to judge

The estimation of guilt among mankind, in reference to wrong belief, is
always proportioned to the interests involved and the opportunities for
obtaining knowledge. In the minute affairs of life, where but little
evil is done from false judgments, but little blame is attached to a man
for believing wrong. Neither is a man severely judged if the necessary
knowledge was inaccessible or very difficult to be obtained.

But where a man has great interests committed to his keeping, and has
sufficient opportunity for obtaining evidence of truth, the severest
condemnation awaits him who, through inattention or prejudice, hazards
vast interests by an incorrect belief. If an agent has the charge of
great investments, and through negligence, or indolence, or prejudice
ruins his employer, his sincere belief is no protection from severe
condemnation. If the physician has the health and life of a valued
member of the community and the object of many affections intrusted to
his skill, and from negligence and inattention destroys the life he was
appointed to save, his sincere belief is but a small palliation of his
guilt. If a judge has the fortune and life of his fellow-citizens
intrusted to his judicial knowledge and integrity, and, through want of
care and attention, is guilty of flagrant injustice and evil, the plea
of wrong belief will not protect him from the impeachment and just
indignation which await such delinquencies.

There is no point where men are more tenacious of the obligations of
their fellow-creatures than on the subject of belief. If they find
themselves calumniated, unjustly dealt with, and treated with contempt
and scorn from prejudice or want of attention, the reality of belief is
little palliation of the guilt of those who thus render them injustice.
They feel the obligations of their fellow-men to _know the truth_ in all
that relates to their interests, honor, and good name; and often there
is scarcely any thing which it is so difficult to forgive as the simple
crime of wrong belief.

The only modes by which men attempt to justify themselves for guilt of
this nature are to show either that the matter was of small consequence,
or that the means of learning its importance and of obtaining the other
necessary information was not within reach.

It may be laid down, then, as a long-established axiom in regard to this
subject, that men estimate the guilt of wrong belief in all matters
relating to the welfare of mankind in exact proportion to the value of
the interests involved, and to the opportunities enjoyed for obtaining

Inasmuch as all our success and happiness depends upon our belief of the
truth, we have two of the principles of reason and common sense to guide
us. The first is, that we are to consider that to be right which has
_the balance_ of evidence in its favor; and the second is, that nothing
is to be assumed as true unless there is _some_ evidence that it is so.



In the preceding chapters have been presented the most important mental
faculties which are common to the race. There are none of the powers and
attributes of the mind as yet set forth which do not belong to every
mind which is regarded as rational and complete.

But, though all the race have these in common, yet we can not but
observe an almost endless variety of human character, resulting from the
diverse _proportions_ and _combinations_ of these several faculties.

These constitutional differences may be noticed, first, in regard to the
intellectual powers. Some minds are naturally predisposed to exercise
the reasoning powers. Others, with precisely the same kind of culture,
have little relish for this, and little power of appreciating an

In other cases, the imagination seems to be the predominating faculty.
In other minds there seems to be an equal balance of faculties, so that
no particular power predominates.

Next we see the same variety in reference to the susceptibilities. In
some minds, the desire for love and admiration is the predominating
principle. In others, the love of power takes the lead. Some are
eminently sympathizing. Others have a strong love of rectitude, or
natural conscience. In some, the principle of justice predominates. In
others, benevolence is the leading impulse.

Finally, in regard to the power of volition, as has been before
indicated, there are some that possess a strong will that is decisive
and effective in regulating all specific volitions, while others possess
various and humbler measures of this power.

According to the science of Phrenology, some of these peculiarities of
mind are indicated by the size and shape of different portions of the
brain, and externally indicated on the skull.

That these differences are constitutional, and not the result of
education, is clear from the many facts showing that no degree of care
or training will serve to efface these distinctive traits of the mind.
To a certain degree they may be modified by education, and the equal
balance of the faculties be promoted, but never to such a degree as to
efface very marked peculiarities.

In addition to the endless diversities that result from these varied
proportions and combinations, there is a manifest variety in the grades
of mind. Some races are much lower in the scale of being every way than
others, while the same disparity exists in individuals of the same race.

The wisdom and benevolence of this arrangement is very manifest when
viewed in reference to the interests of a commonwealth. Where some must
lead and others follow, it is well that some have the love of power
strong, and others have it less. Where some must be rulers, to inflict
penalties as well as to apportion rewards, it is well that there be some
who have the sense of justice a leading principle. And so in the
developments of intellect. Some men are to follow callings where the
reasoning powers are most needed. Others are to adopt pursuits in which
taste and imagination are chiefly required; and thus the varied
proportions of these faculties become serviceable.

And if it be true that the exercise of the social and moral faculties
secures the highest degrees of enjoyment, those disparities in mental
powers which give exercise to the virtues of compassion, self-denial,
fortitude, and benevolence in serving the weak, and the corresponding
exercises of gratitude, reverence, humility, and devotion in those who
are thus benefited, then we can see the wisdom and benevolence of this
gradation of mental capacity.

Moreover, in a commonwealth perfectly organized, where the happiness of
the whole becomes that of each part, whatever tends to the highest
general good tends to the best interest of each individual member. This
being so, the lowest and humblest in the scale of being, in his
appropriate place, is happier than he could be by any other arrangement,
and happier than he could be if all were equally endowed.



Habit is a facility in performing physical or mental operations, gained
by the repetition of such acts. As examples of this in _physical_
operations may be mentioned the power of walking, which is acquired only
by a multitude of experiments; the power of speech, secured by a slow
process of repeated acts of imitation; and the power of writing, gained
in the same way. Success in every pursuit of life is attained by
oft-repeated attempts, which finally induce a habit.

As examples of the formation of _intellectual_ habits may be mentioned
the facility gained in acquiring knowledge by means of repeated efforts,
and the accuracy and speed with which the process of reasoning is
performed after long practice in this art.

As examples of _moral_ habits may be mentioned those which are formed by
the oft-repeated exercise of self-government, justice, veracity,
obedience, and industry. The will, as has been shown, gains a facility
in controlling specific volitions and in yielding obedience to the laws
of right action by constant use, as much as all the other mental powers.

The happiness of man in the present state of existence depends not so
much upon the circumstances in which he is placed, or the capacities
with which he is endowed, as upon the _formation of his habits_. A man
might have the organ of sight, and be surrounded with all the beauties
of nature, and yet, if he did not form the habit of judging of the form,
distance, and size of bodies, most of the pleasure and use from this
sense would be wanting. The world and all its beauties would be a mere
confused mass of colors.

If the habits of walking and of speech were not acquired, these
faculties and the circumstances for employing them would not furnish the
enjoyment they were designed to secure.

It is the formation of _intellectual_ habits by mental discipline and
study, also, which opens vast resources for enjoyment that otherwise
would be forever closed. And it is by practicing obedience to parents
that _moral_ habits of subordination are formed, which are indispensable
to our happiness as citizens, and as subjects of the divine government.
There is no enjoyment which can be pointed out which is not, to a
greater or less extent, dependent upon this principle.

The influence of habit in regard to the _law of sacrifice_ is especially
interesting. The experience of multitudes of our race shows that such
tastes and habits may be formed in obeying this law, that what was once
difficult and painful becomes easy and pleasant.

But this ability to secure enjoyment through habits of self-control and
self-denial, induced by long practice, so far as experience shows, could
never be secured by any other method.

That the highest kinds of happiness are to be purchased by more or less
_voluntary sacrifice_ and _suffering_ to procure good for others seems
to be a part of that nature of things which we at least may suppose has
existed from eternity. We can conceive of the eternal First Cause only
as we imagine a mind on the same pattern as our own in constitutional
capacities, but indefinitely enlarged in extent and action. Knowledge,
wisdom, power, justice, benevolence, and rectitude must be the same in
the Creator as in ourselves, at least so far as we can conceive; and, as
the practice of self-sacrifice and suffering for the good of others is
our highest conception of virtue, it is impossible to regard the Eternal
Mind as all-perfect without involving this idea.

The formation of the habits depends chiefly upon the leading desire or
governing purpose, because whatever the mind desires the most it will
_act_ the most to secure, and thus by repeated acts will form its
habits. The _character_ of every individual, therefore, as before
indicated, depends upon the mode of seeking happiness selected by the
will. Thus the ambitious man has selected the attainment of power and
admiration as his leading purpose, and whatever modes of enjoyment
interfere with this are sacrificed. The sensual man seeks his happiness
from the various gratifications of sense, and sacrifices other modes of
enjoyment that interfere with this. The man devoted to intellectual
pursuits, and to seeking reputation and influence through this medium,
sacrifices other modes of enjoyment to secure this gratification. The
man who has devoted his affections and the service of his life to God
and the good of his fellow-men sacrifices all other enjoyments to secure
that which results from the fulfillment of such obligations. Thus a
person is an ambitious man, a sensual man, a man of literary ambition,
or a man of piety and benevolence, according to the governing purpose or
leading desire of the mind.

There is one fact in regard to the choice of the leading object of
desire, or the governing purpose of life, which is very important.
Certain modes of enjoyment, in consequence of repetition, increase the
desire, but lessen the capacity of happiness from this source; while, in
regard to others, gratification increases the desire, and at the same
time increases the capacity for enjoyment.

The enjoyments through the senses are of the first kind. It will be
found, as a matter of universal experience, that where this has been
chosen as the main purpose of life, though the desire for such pleasures
is continually increased, yet, owing to the physical effects of
excessive indulgence, the capacity for enjoyment is decreased. Thus the
man who so degrades his nature as to make the pleasures of eating and
drinking the great pursuit of life, while his desires never abate, finds
his zest for such enjoyments continually decreasing, and a perpetual
need for new devices to stimulate appetite and awaken the dormant
capacities. The pleasures of sense always pall from repetition--grow
"stale, flat, and unprofitable," though the deluded being who has
slavishly yielded to such appetites feels himself bound by chains of
habit, which, even when enjoyment ceases, seldom are broken.

The pleasures derived from the exercise of power, when its attainment
becomes the master passion, are also of this description. The statesman,
the politician, the conqueror, are all seeking for this, and desire
never abates while any thing of the kind remains to be attained. We do
not find that enjoyment increases in proportion as power is secured. On
the contrary, it seems to cloy in possession. Alexander, the conqueror
of the world, when he had gained _all_, wept that objects of desire were
extinct, and that possession could not satisfy.

But there are other sources of happiness, which, while sought, the
desire ever continues, and possession only increases the capacity for
enjoyment. Of this class is the susceptibility of happiness from _giving
and receiving affection_. Here, the more is given and received, the more
is the power of giving and receiving increased. We find that this
principle outlives every other, and even the decays of nature itself.
When tottering age on the borders of the grave is just ready to resign
its wasted tenement, often from its dissolving ashes the never-dying
spark of affection has burst forth with new and undiminished lustre.
This is that immortal fountain of happiness always increased by
imparting, never surcharged by receiving.

Another principle which increases both desire and capacity by exercise
is the power of enjoyment from being the _cause of happiness to others_.
Never was an instance known of regret for devotion to the happiness of
others. On the contrary, the more this holy and delightful principle is
in exercise, the more the desires are increased, and the more are the
susceptibilities for enjoyment from this source enlarged. While the
votaries of pleasure are wearing down with the exhaustion of abused
nature, and the votaries of ambition are sighing over its thorny wreath,
the benevolent spirit is exulting in the success of its plans of good,
and reaching forth to still purer and more accomplished bliss.

This principle is especially true in regard to the practice of
rectitude. The more the leading aim of the mind is devoted to _right
feeling and action_, or to obedience to all the laws of God, the more
both the desire and the capacity of enjoyment from this source are

But there is another fact in regard to habit which has an immense
bearing on the well-being of our race. When a habit of seeking happiness
in some one particular mode is once formed, the change of this habit
becomes difficult just in proportion to the degree of repetition which
has been practiced. A habit once formed, it is no longer an easy matter
to choose between the mode of securing happiness chosen and another
which the mind may be led to regard as much superior. Thus, in
gratifying the appetite, a man may feel that his happiness is
continually diminishing, and that, by sacrificing this passion, he may
secure much greater enjoyment from another source; yet the force of
habit is such that decisions of the will perpetually yield to its power.

Thus, also, if a man has found his chief enjoyment in that admiration
and applause of men so ardently desired, even after it has ceased to
charm, and seems like emptiness and vanity, still, when nobler objects
of pursuit are offered, the chains of habit bind him to his wonted path.
Though he looks and longs for the one that his conscience and his
intellect assure him is brightest and best, the conflict with bad habit
ends in fatal defeat and ruin. It is true that every habit can be
corrected and changed, but nothing requires greater firmness of purpose
and energy of will; for it is not _one_ resolution of mind that can
conquer habit: it must be a constant series of long-continued efforts.

The influence of habit in reference to _emotions_ deserves special
attention as having a direct influence upon character and happiness. All
pleasurable emotions of mind, being grateful, are indulged and
cherished, and are not weakened by repetition unless they become
excessive. If the pleasures of sense are indulged beyond a certain
extent, the bodily system is exhausted, and satiety is the consequence.
If the love of power and admiration is indulged to excess, so as to
become the leading purpose of life, they are found to be cloying. But
within certain limits all pleasurable emotions do not seem to lessen in
power by repetition.

But in regard to painful emotions the reverse is true. The mind
instinctively resists or flies from them, so that after a habit of
suppressing such emotions is formed, until the susceptibility
diminishes, and sometimes appears almost entirely destroyed. Thus a
person often exposed to danger ceases to be troubled by fear, because he
forms a habit of suppressing it. A person frequently in scenes of
distress and suffering learns to suppress the emotions of painful
sympathy. The surgeon is an example of the last case, where, by repeated
operations, he has learned to suppress emotions until they seldom recur.
A person inured to guilt gradually deadens the pangs of remorse, until
the conscience becomes "seared as with a hot iron." Thus, also, with the
emotion of shame. After a person has been repeatedly exposed to
contempt, and feels that he is universally despised, he grows callous to
any such emotions.

The mode by which the mind succeeds in forming such a habit seems to be
by that implanted principle which makes ideas that are most in
consonance with the leading desire of the mind become vivid and
distinct, while those that are less interesting fade away. Now no person
desires to witness pain except from the hope of relieving it, unless it
be that, in anger, the mind is sometimes gratified with the infliction
of suffering. But, in ordinary cases, the sight of suffering is avoided
except where relief can be administered. In such cases, the desire of
administering relief becomes the leading one, so that the mind is turned
off from the view of the suffering to dwell on conceptions of modes of
relief. Thus the surgeon and physician gradually form such habits that
the sight of pain and suffering lead the mind to conception of modes of
relief, whereas a mind not thus interested dwells on the more painful

The mind, also, can form a habit of inattention to our own bodily
sufferings by becoming interested in other things, and thus painful
sensations go unnoticed. Some persons will go for years with a chronic
headache, and yet appear to enjoy nearly as much as those who never
suffer from such a cause. Again: those who violate conscience seem to
relieve themselves from suffering by forming a habit of dwelling on
other themes, and of turning the mind entirely from those obligations
which, when contemplated, would upbraid and pain them. Thus, too, the
sense of shame is lost. A habit is formed of leading the mind from
whatever pains it to dwell on more pleasurable contemplations.

The habits of life are all formed either from the desire to secure
happiness or to avoid pain, and the _fear of suffering_ is found to be a
much more powerful principle than the _desire of happiness_. The soul
flies from pain with all its energies, even when it will be inert at the
sight of promised joy. As an illustration of this, let a person be fully
convinced that the gift of two new senses would confer as great an
additional amount of enjoyment as is now secured by the eye and ear, and
the promise of this future good would not stimulate with half the energy
that would be caused by the threat of instant and entire blindness and

If, then, the mind is stimulated to form good habits and to avoid the
formation of evil ones most powerfully by painful emotions, when their
legitimate object is not effected they continually decrease in
vividness, and the designed benefit is lost. If a man is placed in
circumstances of danger, and fear leads to habits of caution and
carefulness, the object of exciting this emotion is accomplished, and
the diminution of it is attended with no evil. But if fear is
continually excited, and no such habits are formed, then the
susceptibility is lessened, while the good to be secured by it is lost.
So, also, with emotions of sympathy. If we witness pain and suffering,
and it induces habits of active devotion to the good of those who
suffer, the diminution of the susceptibility is a blessing and no evil.
But if we simply indulge emotions, and do not form the habits they were
intended to secure, the power of sympathy is weakened, and the designed
benefit is lost. Thus, again, with shame: if this painful emotion does
not lead us to form habits of honor and rectitude, it is continually
weakened by repetition, and the object for which it was bestowed is not
secured. And so with remorse: if this emotion is awakened without
leading to habits of benevolence and virtue, it constantly decays in
power, and the good it would have secured is forever lost.

It does not appear, however, that the power of emotion in the soul is
thus _destroyed_. Nothing is done but to form habits of inattention to
painful emotions by allowing the mind to be engrossed in other and more
pleasurable subjects. This appears from the fact that the most hardened
culprits, when brought to the hour of death, where all plans of future
good cease to charm the mental eye, are often overwhelmed with the most
vivid emotions of sorrow, shame, remorse, and fear. And often, in the
course of life, there are seasons when the soul returns from its pursuit
of deluding visions to commune with itself in its own secret chambers.
At such seasons, shame, remorse, and fear take up their abode in their
long-deserted dwelling, and ply their scorpion whips till they are
obeyed, and the course of honor and virtue is resumed, or till the
distracted spirit again flies abroad for comfort and relief.

There is a great diversity in human character, resulting from the
diverse proportions and combinations of those powers of mind which the
race have in common. At the same time, there is a variety in the scale
of being, or relative grade of each mind. While all are alike in the
common faculties of the human mind, some have every faculty on a much
larger scale than others, while some are of a very humble grade.

The principle of habit has very great influence in modifying and
changing these varieties. Thus, by forming habits of intellectual
exercise, a mind of naturally humble proportions can be elevated
considerably above one more highly endowed by natural constitution. So
the training of some particular intellectual faculty, which by nature is
deficient, can bring it up nearer to the level of other powers less
disciplined by exercise.

In like manner, the natural susceptibilities can be increased,
diminished, or modified by habit. Certain tastes, that had little power,
can be so cultivated as to overtop all others.

So of the moral nature: it can be so exercised that a habit will be
formed which will generate a strength and prominency that nature did not

The will itself is also subject to this same principle. A strong will,
that is trained to yield obedience to law in early life, acquires an
ease and facility in doing it which belongs ordinarily to weak minds,
and yet can retain all its vigor. And a mind that is trained to bring
subordinate volitions into strict and ready obedience to a generic
purpose, acquires an ease and facility in doing this which was not a
natural endowment.

Thus it appears that by the principle of _habit_ every mind is furnished
with the power of elevating itself in the scale of being, and of
modifying and perfecting the proportions and combinations of its
constitutional powers.

And sometimes the result is that there is no mode of distinguishing
between the effects of habit and the natural organization.

One of the most important results of habit is its influence on _faith_
or _belief_. Those persons who practice methods of false reasoning, who
turn away from evidence and follow their feelings in forming opinions,
eventually lose the power of sure, confiding belief.

On the contrary, an honest, conscientious steadiness in seeking the
truth and in yielding to evidence secures the firmest and most reliable
convictions, and that peace of mind which alone results from believing
the truth.



We have seen that the mind of man, by its very constitution, has certain
implanted truths which it believes from the necessity of its nature, and
that these are the foundation of all acquired knowledge, and the guide
to all truth.

We have seen that, independently of a revelation, we have no other
sources of knowledge except these intuitions, the experience of
ourselves and others, and the deductions of reasoning.

We have examined as to the amount of knowledge to be gained from these
sources in regard to the nature of mind, the laws of the system of which
it is the essential part, the immortality of the soul, our prospects
after death, and the character and designs of our Creator.

In discussing the last topic, it has been assumed that the grand and
ultimate design of the Creator is "to produce the greatest possible
happiness with the least possible evil."

We have examined, at some length, the chief faculties and laws of the
human mind, for the purpose of exhibiting their adaptation to this

We now proceed to a brief review of this portion as a _summing up_ of
the evidence sustaining the proposition that the grand end of the
Creator, in forming mind, is _to produce the greatest possible happiness
with the least possible evil_.

As preliminary, however, we need to refer to one principle.

Whenever we find any contrivances all combining to secure a certain good
result, which, at the same time, involves some degree of inevitable
evil, and then discover that there are contrivances to diminish and
avoid this evil, we properly infer that the author intended to secure
_as much of the good with as little of the evil as possible_. For
example, a traveler finds a deserted mine, and all around he discovers
contrivances for obtaining gold, and, at the same time, other
contrivances for getting rid of the earth mixed with it. The inevitable
inference would be that the author of these contrivances designed to
secure as much gold with as little earth as possible; and should any one
say that he could have had more gold and less earth if he wished it, the
answer would be that there is no evidence of this assertion, but direct
evidence against it.

Again: should we discover a piece of machinery in which every
contrivance tended to secure _speed_ in movement, produced by the
_friction_ of wheels against a rough surface, and at the same time other
contrivances were found for diminishing all friction that was useless,
we should infer that the author designed to secure the _greatest
possible speed_ with the _least possible friction_.

In like manner, if we can show that mind is a contrivance that acts by
the influence of fear of evil, and that _pain_ seems as indispensable to
the action of a free agent as friction is to motion; if we can show that
there is no contrivance in mind or matter which is designed to secure
suffering as its primary end; if we can, on the contrary, show that the
direct end of all the organizations of mind and matter is to produce
happiness; if we can show that it is only the _wrong action_ of mind
that involves most of the pain yet known, so that right action, in its
place, would secure only happiness; if we can show contrivances for
diminishing pain, and also contrivances for increasing happiness by
means of the inevitable pain involved in the system of things, then the
just conclusion will be gained that the Author of the system of mind and
matter designed "to produce the greatest possible happiness with the
least possible evil."[3]

In the review which follows, we shall present evidence exhibiting all
these particulars.

The only way in which we learn the nature of a thing is to observe its
qualities and actions. This is true of mind as much as it is of matter.
Experience and observation teach that the nature of mind is such that
_the fear of suffering_ is indispensable to secure a large portion of
the enjoyment within reach of its faculties, and that the highest modes
of enjoyment can not be secured except by sacrifice, and thus by more or
less suffering.

This appears to be an inevitable combination, as much so as friction is
inevitable in machinery.

We have the evidence of our own consciousness that it is fear of evil to
ourselves or to others that is the _strongest_ motive power to the mind.
If we should find that no pain resulted from burning up our own bodies,
or from drowning, or from any other cause; if every one perceived that
no care, trouble, or pain resulted from losing all kinds of enjoyment,
the effort to seek it would be greatly diminished.

If we could desire good enough to exert ourselves to seek it, and yet
should feel no discomfort in failing; if we could _lose every thing_,
and feel no sense of pain or care, the stimulus to action which
experience has shown to be most powerful and beneficent would be lost.

We find that abundance of ease and prosperity enervates mental power,
and that mind increases in all that is grand and noble, and also in the
most elevating happiness, by means of danger, care, and pain. We may
properly infer, then, that evil is a necessary part of the experience of
a perfectly-acting mind.

So strong is the conviction that _painful penalties_ are indispensable,
that the kindest parents and the most benevolent rulers are the most
sure to increase rather than diminish those that are already involved in
the existing nature of things.

Again: without a revelation we have no knowledge of any kind of mind but
by inference from our experience in this state of being. All we know of
the _Eternal First Cause_ is by a process of reasoning, inferring that
his nature must be _like_ the only minds of which we have any knowledge.
We assume, then, that he is a free agent, regulated by desire for
happiness and fear of evil.

We thus come to the conclusion that this organization of mind is a part
of the _fixed and eternal nature of things_, and does not result from
the will of the Creator. His own is the eternal pattern of an
all-perfect mind, and our own are formed on this perfect model, with
susceptibilities to pain as an indispensable motive power in gaining

We will now recapitulate some of the particulars in the laws and
constitution of mind which tend to establish the position that its
Creator's grand design is "to produce the greatest possible happiness
with the least possible evil."

_Intellectual Powers._

First, then, in reference to the earliest exercise of mind in
_sensation_. The eye might have been so made that light would inflict
pain, and the ear so that sound would cause only discomfort. And so of
all the other senses.

But the condition of a well-formed, healthy infant is a most striking
illustration of the adaptation of the senses to receive enjoyment. Who
could gaze on the countenance of such a little one, as its various
senses are called into exercise, without such a conviction? The delight
manifested as the light attracts the eye, or as pleasant sounds charm
the ear, or as the limpid nourishment gratifies its taste, or as gentle
motion and soft fondlings soothe the nerves of touch, all testify to the
benevolent design of its Maker.

Next come the pleasures of _perception_ as the infant gradually observes
the qualities of the various objects around, and slowly learns to
distinguish its mother and its playthings from the confused mass of
forms and colors. Then comes the gentle curiosity as it watches the
movement of its own limbs, and finally discovers that its own volitions
move its tiny fingers, while the grand idea that _it is itself a cause_
is gradually introduced.

Next come the varied intellectual pleasures as the several powers are
exercised in connection with the animate and material world around, in
acquiring the meaning of words, and in imitating the sounds and use of
language. The adult, in toiling over the dry lexicon, little realizes
the pleasure with which the little one is daily acquiring the
philosophy, grammar, and vocabulary of its mother tongue.

A child who can not understand a single complete sentence, or speak an
intelligible phrase, will sit and listen with long-continued delight to
the simple enunciation of words, each one of which presents a picture to
his mind of a dog, a cat, a cow, a horse, a whip, a ride, and many other
objects and scenes that have given pleasure in the past; while the
single words, without any sentences, bring back, not only vivid
conceptions of these objects, but a part of the enjoyment with which
they have been connected.

Then, as years pass by, the intellect more and more administers
pleasure, while the reasoning powers are developed, the taste
cultivated, the imagination exercised, the judgment employed, and the
memory stored with treasures for future enjoyment.

In the proper and temperate use of the intellectual powers, there is a
constant succession of placid satisfaction, or of agreeable and often of
delightful emotions, while no one of these faculties is productive of
pain except in violating the laws of the mental constitution.

_The Susceptibilities._

In regard to the second general class of mental powers--_the
susceptibilities_--the first particular to be noticed is the ceaseless
and all-pervading _desire to gain happiness and escape pain_. This is
the mainspring of all voluntary activity; for no act of volition will
take place till some good is presented to gain, or some evil to shun. At
the same time, as has been shown, the desire to escape evil is more
potent and effective than the desire for good. Thousands of minds that
rest in passive listlessness, when there is nothing to stimulate but
hope of enjoyment, will exert every physical and mental power to escape
impending evil. The seasons of long-continued prosperity in nations
always tend to a deterioration of intellect and manhood. It is in
seasons of danger alone that fear wakes up the highest energies, and
draws forth the heroes of the race.

Mind, then, is an existence having the power of that self-originating
action of _choice_ which constitutes free agency, while this power can
only be exercised when desires are excited to gain happiness or to
escape pain. This surely is the highest possible evidence that its
Author _intended_ mind should thus act.

But a mind may act to secure happiness and avoid pain to itself, and yet
may gain only very low grades of enjoyment, while much higher are within
reach of its faculties. So, also, it may act to gain happiness for
itself as the chief end in such ways as to prevent or destroy the
happiness of others around.

In reference to this, we find those susceptibilities which raise man to
the dignity of a moral being.

In the first place, there is that _impression of the great design_ of
the Creator existing in every mind, either as a result of constitution
or of training, or of both united, which results in a feeling that
whatever lessens or destroys happiness is unfit and contrary to the
system of things.

Next there is the power to balance pleasure and pain, and estimate the
compound result, both in reference to self and to the commonwealth. With
this is combined the feeling that whatever secures _the most_ good with
_the least_ evil is right and fit, and that the opposite is wrong and
unfitted to the nature of things.

Next comes the _sense of justice_, which results in an impulse _to
discover the cause_ of good and evil, and when this cause is found to be
a voluntary agent, a consequent impulse to make returns of good for
good, and of evil for evil, and also to _proportion_ retributive rewards
or penalties to the amount of good or evil done.

With this, also, is combined the feeling that those retributions should
be applied only where there was _voluntary_ power to have done
otherwise. When it is seen that there was no such power, the impulse to
reward or punish is repressed.

Such is the deep conviction that such retributions are indispensable,
that where natural pains and penalties do not avail, others are
demanded, both in the family and in the commonwealth.

Lastly, we find the susceptibility of _conscience_, which, by the very
framework of the mind itself, apportions the retributive pangs of
remorse for wrong doing, and the pleasure of self-approval for well
doing. These, too, are retributions never to be escaped, and the most
exquisite, both in elevated happiness and exquisite pain. The mind
carries about in itself its own certain and gracious remunerator--its
own inexorable prosecutor, judge, and executioner.

This same design of the Creator may be most delightfully traced in what
may be called the _economy_ of happiness and pain.

One particular of this is set forth at large in the chapter on the
_emotions of taste_. Here we find the mind formed not only to secure
multitudinous enjoyments through the nerves of sensation, but that, by
the principle of association, there is a perpetual _reproduction_ of
these emotions in connection with the colors, forms, sounds, and motions
with which they were originally associated. Thus there are perpetually
returning emotions of pleasure so recondite, so refined, so almost
infinite in variety and extent, and yet how little noticed or

Another indication of the same kind is the peculiarity pointed out on
former pages, where it is shown that securing certain enjoyments which
tend to promote the _general_ happiness increases both desire and
capacity for enjoyment, while those that terminate in the individual
diminish by possession. Thus the enjoyment of power, which must, from
its nature, be confined to a few, diminishes by possession. Thus, too,
the pleasures of sense pall by indulgence. But the enjoyment resulting
from the exercise and reciprocation of love, and that resulting from
benevolent actions, and that which is included in a course of perfect
obedience to all the rules of rectitude, increases the capacity for

Another illustration of the same principle is exhibited in the chapter
on Habit, where it is seen that the power of pleasurable emotions
increases by repetition, while painful emotions decrease when the good
to be secured by their agency is attained. Thus _fear_ seems to protect
from danger till caution and habit render it needless, and then it
decreases. And so of other painful emotions.

It is interesting to trace the same design in the constitution of minds
in _regard to each other_. We find that the purest and highest kind of
happiness is dependent on the mutual relations of minds. Thus the
enjoyment resulting from the discovery of intellectual and moral traits
in other minds--that resulting from giving and receiving affection--that
gained by sympathy, and by being the cause of happiness to others, and
that resulting from conscious rectitude, all are dependent on the
existence of other beings.

Now we find that minds are relatively so constituted that _what one
desires, it is a source of happiness in another to bestow_. Thus one can
be pleased by the discovery of certain traits in other minds, while, in
return, the exhibition of these traits, and the consciousness that they
are appreciated, is an equal source of enjoyment. One mind seeks the
love of others, while these, in return, are desiring objects of
affection, and rejoice to confer the gift that is sought. The desire of
knowledge or the gratification of curiosity is another source of
pleasure, while satisfying this desire is a cause of enjoyment to those
around. How readily do mankind seize upon every opportunity to convey
interesting news to other minds!

Again: we find that, both in sorrow and in joy, the mind seeks for the
sympathy of others, while this grateful and soothing boon it is
delightful to bestow. So, also, the consciousness of being the cause of
good to another sends joy to the heart, while the recipient is filled
with the pleasing glow of gratitude in receiving the benefit. The
consciousness of virtue in acting for the general good, instead of for
contracted, selfish purposes, is another source of happiness, while
those who witness its delightful results rejoice to behold and
acknowledge it. What bursts of rapturous applause have followed the
exhibition of virtuous self-sacrifice for the good of others from bosoms
who rejoiced in this display, and who could owe this pleasure to no
other cause than the natural constitution of mind, which is formed to be
made happy both in beholding and in exercising virtue.

This same beneficial economy is manifested in a close analysis of all
that is included in the affections of _love_ and _gratitude_.

It has been shown that, in the commencement of existence, the young mind
first learns the sources of good and evil to self, and its sole motives
are desire for its own enjoyment.

Soon, however, it begins to experience the happiness resulting from the
relations of minds to each other, and then is developed the superior
power of _love_, and its importance as a regulating principle.

In the analysis of this affection, it is seen to consist, first, in the
pleasurable emotions which arise in view of those traits of character in
another mind pointed out on previous pages. When these qualities are
discovered, the first result is emotions of pleasure in the
contemplation. Immediately there follows _a desire of good_ to the cause
of this pleasure. Next follows the desire of reciprocated
affection--that is, a desire is awakened _to become the cause of the
same pleasure_ to another; for the desire of _being loved_ is the desire
to be the cause of pleasurable emotions in another mind, in view of our
own good qualities. When we secure this desired appreciation, then
follows an increased _desire of good_ to the one who bestows it.

Thus the affection of love is a combination of the action and reaction
of pleasurable emotions, all tending to awaken the desire of good to
another. This passion may become so intensified that it will become more
delightful to secure enjoyments to another than to procure them for

Gratitude is the emotion of pleasure toward the author of _voluntary_
good to self, attended by a desire of good to the benefactor. This
principle can be added to augment the power of love.

There is a foundation for a very important distinction in the analysis
of the principle of love. In what is thus far presented, we find that
the desire of good to another results solely from the fact that certain
mental qualities are _causes of pleasure to self_. Of course, this
desire ceases when those qualities cease to exist or cease to be
appreciated. This kind of love is the natural result of the constitution
of minds in their relations to each other, making it _easy and pleasant_
to live for the good of another in return for the pleasure received from
their agreeable qualities and manifestations.

But the highest kind of love consists in the _desire of good to another
without reference to any good received in return_. It is _good willing_.
It consists in an abiding feeling of desire for the happiness of another

This principle exists as a natural impulse more or less powerful in
differently constituted minds. It is the cause of that pleasure which is
felt in the consciousness of being the cause of good to another. But
this natural impulse can be so developed and increased by voluntary
culture as to become the strongest impulse of the mind, and thus the
source of the highest and most satisfying enjoyments. In many minds this
becomes so strongly developed that securing happiness to others is
sought with far more earnestness and pleasure than any modes of
enjoyment that terminate solely in self. This analysis lays the
foundation for the distinction expressed by the terms the _love of
complacency_ and the _love of benevolence_. The first is the involuntary
result of good conferred on _self_; the last is a voluntary act. It is
good willing toward others without reference to self.

The first can only exist where certain qualities are preserved and
appreciated in another mind. The second can result from voluntary
effort, and become the subject of law and penalties.

We can never be justly required to love another mind with the love of
complacency except when qualities are perceived that, by the
constitution of mind, necessarily call forth such regard. But the love
of benevolence can be justly demanded from every mind toward every being
capable of happiness.

Here it is important to discriminate more exactly in regard to the
principle of _benevolence_ and the principle of _rectitude_.

It is seen that the benevolence which is the subject of rewards and
penalties as a voluntary act consists in _good willing_--that is, in
choosing the happiness of _other_ minds as the object of interest and

But the principle of rectitude is more comprehensive in its nature. It
relates to obedience to _all_ the laws of the system of the
universe--those relating to ourselves as much as those relating to
others. It is true that, as obedience to these laws includes the
greatest possible amount of good with the least possible evil, both to
the individual and the commonwealth, the tendency of the two principles
is to the same result. But it may be the case that benevolence acts
contrary to the true rules of rectitude, and thus may mar rather than
promote happiness. A mind must not only choose to promote the greatest
possible happiness, but must choose _the right way_ of doing it.

A very important particular to be considered is, that, while in the
physical and mental constitution there is not a single arrangement the
direct object of which is to produce suffering, the susceptibilities to
pain seem designed to protect and preserve, while the greater the need
the more strong is this protection. For example, in regard to physical
organization, fire is an element that is indispensable to the life,
comfort, and activity of man, and it must be accessible at all times and
places. But all its service arises from its power to dissolve and
destroy the body itself, as well as all things around it. Therefore the
pain connected with contact with fire is more acute than almost any
other. Thus even the youngest child is taught that care and caution
needful to protect its body from injury or destruction.

Another fact in regard to the susceptibilities of pain is their frequent
_co-existence_ with the highest degrees of enjoyment. The experiences of
this life often present cases where the most elevated and ecstatic
happiness is combined with the keenest suffering, while such is the
nature of the case that the suffering is the chief cause of the
happiness thus secured. The highest illustration of this is in the
suffering of saints and martyrs, when they "rejoice to be counted worthy
to suffer shame," or when, amid torturing flames, they sing songs of
transport and praise.

Even in common life it is constantly found that a certain relative
amount of happiness is felt to be more than a recompense for a given
amount of pain. This relative amount may be such that the evil involved,
though great, may count as nothing. Where there is a passionate
attachment, for example, the lover exults in the labor and suffering
that will joyfully be received as a proof of affection and secure the
compensating return.

It is a very common fact that the existence of painful emotions _is
sought_, not for themselves, but as ministers to a kind of mental
excitement which is desired. This is the foundation of the pleasure
which is felt in tragic representations, and in poetry and novels that
present scenes of distress. The little child will again and again ask
for the tale of the Babes in the Wood, though each rehearsal brings
forth tears; and the mature matron or sage will spend hours over tales
that harrow the feelings or call forth sighs. This also is the
foundation of that kind of music called the _minor key_, in which
certain sounds bring emotions of sadness or sorrow.

Another striking fact in regard to the desire for pain is the emotions
that are felt by the most noble and benevolent minds at the sight of
cruelty and injustice. At such scenes, the desire for inflicting pain on
the guilty offender amounts to a passion which nothing can allay but
retributive justice. And the more benevolent the mind, the stronger this
desire for retributive evil to another.

Thus it appears that the mind is so made as to desire pain both for
itself and for others; not in itself considered, but as the
indispensable means to gain some consequent enjoyment.

The highest kinds of happiness result from painful emergencies. The
transports of love, gratitude, and delight, when some benefactor rescues
suffering thousands from danger and evil, could exist in no other way.
All the long train of virtues included in patient toil for the good of
others, in heroic daring, in brave adventure, in fortitude, in patience,
in resignation, in heavenly meekness, in noble magnanimity, in sublime
self-sacrifice, all involve the idea of trial, danger, and suffering. It
is only the highest and noblest class of minds that can fully understand
that the most blissful of all enjoyments are those which are bought with

But the most cheering feature in the constitution of mind is all that is
included in the principle of _habit_. We see in the commencement of
existence that every action of mind and body is imperfect, and more or
less difficult, while each effort to secure right action increases the
facility of so doing. We see that, owing to this principle, every act of
obedience to law makes such a course easier. The intellect, the
susceptibilities, the will, all come under this benign influence. Habit
may so diminish the difficulty of self-denial for our own good that the
pain entirely ceases; and self-sacrifice for the good of others may so
develop benevolence and generate a habit that it will become pleasure
without pain. There are those, even in this world, who have so attained
this capacity of living in the life of those around them that the
happiness of others becomes their own, and then there is even less pain
in self-denial for the good of others than for that of self. When this
habit of mind is attained, the happiness of the commonwealth becomes the
portion of the individual.

[3] Note B.



We have now presented the organization of mind as the chief evidence of
the grand design of its Creator in forming all things. We now will trace
the evidences of the same beneficent object in the social and material

First, then, in regard to the domestic relations. We have seen that
while all happiness depends on obedience to laws, every mind comes into
existence in perfect ignorance of them, and without any power to learn
what is good or evil but by experience and instruction. The intention of
the Creator that each new-born being should be taught these laws and
trained to obey them, is clearly seen in the first and highest domestic
relation. In this we see two mature minds, who have themselves been
trained to understand these laws, drawn by sweet and gentle influences
to each other. They go apart from all past ties of kindred; they have
one home, one name, one common interest in every thing. The one who has
most physical strength goes forth to provide supplies; the delicate one
remains behind, by domestic ministries to render home the centre of all

Then comes the beautiful, helpless infant, of no use to any one, and
demanding constant care, labor, and attention. And yet, with its
profound ignorance, its tender weakness, its delicate beauty, its utter
helplessness, its entire dependence, how does it draw forth the
strongest feelings of love and tenderness, making every toil and care a
delight! And thus, month after month, both parents unite to cherish and
support, while, with unceasing vigilance, they train the new-born mind
to understand and obey the laws of the system into which it is thus
ushered. Its first lessons are to learn to take care of its own body.
And when the far-off penalty of pain can not be comprehended by the
novice, the parent invents new penalties to secure habits of care and
obedience. During all this period the great lesson of _sacrifice_
constantly occurs. The child must eat what is _best_, not what it
desires. It must go to bed when it wants to sit up. It must stay in the
house when it wants to go out. It must not touch multitudes of things
which it wishes thus to investigate. And so the habits of self-denial,
obedience, and faith in the parents are gradually secured, while the
knowledge of the laws of the system around are slowly learned.

But the higher part of the law of sacrifice soon begins to make its
demands. The child first learns of this law _by example_, in that of
_the mother_, that most perfect illustration of self-sacrificing love.
Then comes a second child, when the first-born must practice on this
example. It must give up its place in the mother's bosom to another; it
must share its sweets and toys with the new-comer; it must join in
efforts to protect, amuse, and instruct the helpless one. And thus the
family is the constant school for training ignorant, inexperienced mind
in the laws of the system of which it is a part, especially in the great
law of self-control and of self-sacrifice for the good of others.

Next comes the discipline of the school and the neighborhood, when the
child is placed among his peers to be taught new rules of justice,
benevolence, and self-sacrifice for the general good.

Next come the relations of the body politic, for which labors are
demanded and pain is to be endured under the grand law of sacrifice,
that the individual is to subordinate his own interests and wishes to
the greater general good, and that the interests of the majority are to
control those of the minority.

Lastly, the whole world is to be taken into the estimate, and the
nations are to be counted as members of one great family of man, for
which every portion is to make sacrifices. Thus, as age, and experience,
and habits of obedience to the laws of rectitude increase, the duties
and obligations grow more numerous and complicated. But the same grand
principle is more and more developed, that each individual is to seek
the greatest possible happiness with the least possible evil, for the
vast whole as well as each subordinate part, while _self_ is to receive
only its just and proper share.

The same great design of the Creator can be detected also in specific
organizations, by which minds so differ from each other as to fit them
for the diverse positions and relations that the common good demands. If
all were exactly alike in the amount of constitutional powers and in the
proportionate combinations, it can easily be seen that the general
result would be far less favorable to the happiness of the whole. But as
it is, some have the love of power very large, and love to lead and
control; others have it small, and love to follow. Some have elevated
intellect, and love to teach; others have humbler capacities, and better
love humbler pursuits.

These varied combinations also give scope to the virtues of pity,
tenderness, patience, mercy, justice, self-denial, and many other graces
that could not be called into being without all the disparities, social,
domestic, intellectual, and moral, that we find existing. Meantime, the
principle of habit and the power of the will give abundant opportunities
for modifying these natural peculiarities to accommodate to varying

To these indications of benevolent design may be added the organization
of the bodily system, and the constitution of the material world
without. In examining the body we inhabit, so nicely adjusted, so
perfectly adapted to our necessities, so beautifully and harmoniously
arranged, so "fearfully and wonderfully made," it is almost beyond the
power of numbers to express the multiplied contrivances for ease,
comfort, and delight.

We daily pursue our business and our pleasure, thoughtless of the
thousand operations which are going on, and the busy mechanism employed
in securing the objects we desire. The warm current that is flowing from
the centre to the extremities, with its life-giving energies, and then
returning to be purified and again sent forth; the myriads of branching
nerves that are the sensitive discerners of good or ill; the unnumbered
muscles and tendons that are contracting and expanding in all parts of
our frame; the nicely-adjusted joints, and bands, and ligaments, that
sustain, and direct, and support; the perpetual expansion and
contraction of the vital organ; the thousand hidden contrivances and
operations of the animal frame, all are quietly and constantly
performing their generous functions, and administering comfort and
enjoyment to the conscious spirit that dwells within.

Nor is the outer world less busy in performing its part in promoting the
great design of the Creator. The light of suns and stars is traversing
the ethereal expanse in search of those for whom it was created; for
them it gilds the scenes of earth, and is reflected in ten thousand
forms of beauty and of skill. The trembling air is waiting to minister
its aid, fanning with cool breezes, or yielding the warmth of spring,
sustaining the functions of life, and bearing on its light wing the
thoughts that go forth from mind to mind, and the breathings of
affection that are given and returned. For this design earth is sending
forth her exuberance, the waters are emptying their stores, and the
clouds pouring forth their treasures. All nature is busy with its
offerings of fruits and flowers, its wandering incense, its garnished
beauty, and its varied songs. Within and without, above, beneath, and
around, the same Almighty Beneficence is found still ministering to the
wants and promoting the happiness of the minds He has formed forever to
desire and pursue this boon.



Having set forth the object for which the Creator formed mind, we are
thus furnished with the means for deciding as to the _right mode of its
action_ in obtaining this object. We may discover the design of a most
curious machine, and perceive that, if it is _rightly regulated_, it
will secure that end; while, if it is worked wrong, it will break itself
to pieces, and destroy the very object which it was formed to secure.

The same may be seen to be as true of mind as it is of material
organization, and the question then is most pertinent, What is that mode
of mental action which will most perfectly secure the end for which mind
is made?

We have seen that the self-determining power of choice is the
distinctive attribute of mind, and that all the other powers are
dependent on this, and regulated by it. We have seen that the current of
the thoughts, and the nature and power of the desires and emotions, are
also controlled by the generic ruling purpose, or chief interest of the

This being so, then the only way in which mind can act to secure the
object for which it is made is _to choose that object for chief end or
ruling purpose, and actually carry out this choice in all subordinate

We will now present the evidence gained from experience, as well as what
we should infer from the known laws of mind, to show what the result
would be in _a system of minds_ where each mind should thus act.

Let us suppose, then, a commonwealth in which every mind is regulated by
a ruling purpose to _act right_, which actually controls every specific
volition. Each mind then would obey all those laws which will secure to
the whole community and to each individual the greatest possible amount
of happiness with the least possible evil.

To do this of necessity involves the idea that each mind must _know what
are all the laws of the system_; for no one can choose to obey laws
until laws are known.

Let the result on a single mind be first contemplated. In the first
place, all the trains of thought would be regulated by the _chief
desire_, which would be to make the most possible happiness with the
least possible evil. Of course, all those ideas that were most consonant
with this ruling passion would become vivid and distinct; and as these
ideas also would be connected with the _strongest emotions_, the two
chief causes that regulate association would combine to secure constant
thought and intellectual activity to promote the common welfare as the
chief object, while self would have only its true and proper estimation
and attention. There would be no need of effort to regulate thought and
emotion, for they would all flow naturally to the grand and right

Next suppose a commonwealth in which every mind had its intellect,
desires, and emotions, and all its specific volitions thus regulated by
the grand aim of making the most possible happiness, guarded, too, by
unerring judgment, so as to make no miscalculation; what would be the
state of things, so far as we can ascertain by past experience and by
reasoning from the known nature of things?

First, then, in reference to the susceptibilities of sensation. If all
should never touch any food but that which would expose to no danger or
excess; if they never encountered any needless hazard; if they exactly
balanced all the probabilities of good and evil, in every matter
relating to the pleasures of sense, and invariably chose that which
exposed to the _least_ danger; if every being around was anxiously
watchful in affording the results of observation, and in protecting
others from risk and exposure, it is probable that the amount of
sensitive enjoyment would be a thousand fold increased, while most of
the evils caused by improper food and drink, by needless exposure, by
negligence of danger, and by many other causes which now operate, would
cease. With the present constitution of body, which tends to decay, we
could not positively maintain that no suffering would be experienced,
but it is probable that the amount would be as a drop to the ocean
compared with what is now experienced.

Under such a constitution of things, we can perceive, also, that there
would be no suffering from the painful emotions; for where each was
striving to attain the _greatest_ amount of good to all, there could be
no competition, no jealousy, no envy, no pride, no ambition, no anger,
no hatred; for there would be no occasion for any of these discordant
emotions. Nor could remorse harass, or shame overwhelm; for no
wickedness would be perpetrated, and no occasion of reproach occur. Nor
could fear intrude, where every mind was conscious that its own
happiness was the constant care of every one around. Nor could painful
sympathy exist, where so little pain was known. Nor could the weariness
of inactivity be felt, where all were engaged in acting for one noble
and common object, in which every faculty could be employed. Nor could
the mind suffer the pangs of ungratified desire, while the gratification
of its chief desire was the aim and object of all. So that, if all minds
should act unitedly and habitually on this principle, there would be no
exposure, except to sensitive pain, and this danger would be exceedingly

In the mean time, every source of happiness would be full and
overflowing. All sensitive enjoyments that would not cause suffering,
nor interfere with the happiness of others, would be gained; admiration
and affection would be given and reciprocated; the powers of body and
mind would be actively employed in giving and acquiring happiness; the
pleasure resulting from the exercise of physical and moral power would
be enjoyed, and employed to promote the enjoyment of others; the peace
of conscious rectitude would dwell in every bosom; the consciousness of
being the cause of happiness to others would send joy to the heart,
while sympathy in the general happiness would pour in its unmeasured
tide. But this happiness could not be perfect except in a commonwealth
where _every_ individual was perfectly conformed to the laws of
rectitude. A single mind that violated a single law would send a jar
through the whole sphere of benevolent and sympathizing beings.

The next question is, How can mind be most successfully influenced to
right action? To answer this we must refer again to _experience_, and
inquire as to the methods which have been found most successful in
influencing the mind to right action.

The first thing which experience teaches is, that it is indispensable to
right mental action that there should be _a knowledge and belief of the
truth_. We must have _true conceptions_ of reality of things, and of the
right mode of promoting the greatest possible happiness, before we have
power to pursue this course.

But each mind, as it comes into existence, is a perfect blank in regard
to knowledge or experience of any kind. The only way to gain knowledge
is by experience and instruction. The knowledge secured by experience as
to the laws of a system so vast and complicated comes very slowly and
imperfectly. The chief reliance in the beginning of existence is on the
instructions of other minds. _Infallible teachers, and perfect faith or
belief in such teachers_, then, is the grand necessity of mind as it
begins existence.

The next thing which experience shows to be effective in securing the
right action of mind is the _formation of right habits_. For this, also,
the new-made being is entirely dependent on those to whom is given its
early training. It comes into life without any knowledge and without any
habits, a creature of mere impulses and instincts. Its very first want
is not only infallible teachers, but patient educators, who shall, by
constant care and effort, form its physical, intellectual, social, and
moral habits.

The next indispensable requisite to the right action of mind is the
existence of _a ruling generic purpose_ to obey all the laws of

It has already been shown how all the powers of the mind are regulated
and controlled by the leading purpose, and that it is impossible to
bring all the desires, emotions, and subordinate volitions into right
action except by the power of such a principle.

But experience has proved that such a generic purpose will not either be
originated or sustained except by the social influences of surrounding
minds through the principles of _love_, _gratitude_, _sympathy_, and

The power of these principles may be illustrated by supposing the case
of a mature mind already embarrassed with habits of self-indulgence and
selfishness. Let such a person be placed in the most endeared and
intimate communion with a being possessed of every possible attraction
which is delightful to the human mind. Let him feel that he is the
object of the most tender and devoted affection to such an exalted
friend, and, spite of his own faults and deficiencies, realize that his
own affection is desired and his communion sought. Let him, in all his
daily pursuits, be attended by the desired presence of the one in whom
his hopes centre and his affections repose; one in whom he sees every
possible exhibition of disinterestedness, tenderness, and love, not only
toward himself, but all other beings who come within the circle of such
benevolence. Let him discover that the practice of all that is excellent
and benevolent by himself is the object of unceasing desire to this
devoted friend. Let him discover that, to save him from the consequences
of some guilty act of selfishness, this friend had submitted to the most
painful sacrifices, and only asked as a return those efforts which were
necessary to overcome such pernicious habits. Let him feel that this
friend, though pained by his deficiencies, could forbear and forgive,
and continue his love in spite of them all. Let him know that his
attainment of perfect virtue was the object of intense desire, and was
watched with the most exulting joy by so good and so perfect a being,
and is it possible to conceive a stronger pressure of motive which could
be brought to act on a selfish mind? Would not every human being
exclaim, "Give me such a friend, and I should be selfish no more. His
presence and his love would be my strength in foiling every wrong desire
and in conquering every baneful habit."

This illustration enables us to realize more clearly the power of love
and gratitude toward another mind, and the reflex influence of love of
sympathy and of example. Could the young mind be placed under the
training of such minds, and in circumstances where all the rules of
right and wrong were perfectly understood, it can be seen that _the
habits_ would early be formed aright, and that the difficulties against
which the mature mind has to struggle would be escaped.

Could we suppose a community of such elevated mature educators, with
young minds of various degrees of advancement under their training, it
can be seen that the social influences of all would produce a moral
atmosphere that would add great power to the individual influences. What
every body loves, honors, and admires, secures a moral force over young
minds almost invincible, even when it sustains false and wicked customs.
How much greater this power when it co-operates with the intellect, the
moral sense, and the will in leading to right action!

The result of all this is to show, as the result of reason and
experience, that it is indispensable to the perfectly right action of
mind to secure _infallible and perfect educators_.

Meantime, the degree in which any individual mind, or any community, has
or will approach to such perfection, depends entirely on the extent to
which such a character can be secured in those who are to train young
minds. The history of individual families and of large communities shows
that their advance, both in intellectual and moral development, has
exactly corresponded with the character of those who educated the young.



We have exhibited the _object_ for which mind was created, and the _mode
of action_ by which alone this object can be secured.

We next inquire in regard to the wrong action of mind; its causes and
its results as learned by reason and experience.

According to the principles set forth, a mind acts wrong whenever it
transgresses any law. The grand law is that of _sacrifice_, by which
every mode of enjoyment is to be relinquished which does not tend to the
greatest possible happiness with the least possible evil.

Having set forth those influences or causes which tend to secure the
right action of mind, we are enabled thus to indicate what are the
_causes of its wrong action_.

The first and leading cause is a want of knowledge of the truth and a
belief of error. We begin existence without knowledge of any kind, and
without any power to receive instruction from others. The newborn mind
is a mere unit of impulses and instincts, with an intellect entirely
undeveloped, and a will which never can act intelligently. It is
entirely dependent for its experience, safety, enjoyment, and knowledge
of all kinds on those around. As it gains by experience and training,
much of its knowledge and belief is correct, and many of its mental acts
are right; but a large portion of its actions are wrong, and many of
them inevitably so.

And here we must recognize again the distinction which our moral nature
demands between wrong actions that result from unavoidable ignorance,
and those which are committed intelligently and which violate
conscience. In regard to the first class, the natural penalties are
inevitable, and the justice of them involves the great question of the
Creator's character and designs. In regard to those that violate
conscience, our moral nature, as has been shown, leads us not only to
approve additional penalties, but to demand them.

The violations of law which are sins of ignorance commence with the
earliest period of existence. Owing to its helpless ignorance, often the
little child can no more help acting wrong than it can help thinking and

A second cause of wrong action is false teachings. Although a large
portion of the instruction given to the young, especially in regard to
physical laws, are true, yet the infant commences life among imperfectly
instructed beings, who often communicate error believing it to be truth.
Meantime the little one has no power of correcting these errors, and
thus again is inevitably led to wrong action.

A third cause of wrong action is the want of good habits and the early
formation of bad ones. As a habit is a facility of action _gained by
repetition_, of course, at first, there can be no habits. And then what
the habits shall be is entirely decided by the opinions and conduct of
its educators. While some habits are formed aright, others are formed
wrong, and thus the disability of nature is increased instead of

The next cause of wrong action is those social influences of other minds
that have most power both in securing and sustaining right action. In
the previous chapter we have illustrated the power of the principles of
_love_, _gratitude_, _sympathy_, and _example_ in securing right action.

The same powerful influences exist in reference to wrong action. The
child who loves its parents and playmates is not only taught to believe
wrong action to be right, but has all the powerful influences which
example, sympathy, love, and gratitude can combine to lead to the same
wrong courses. Thus, to the natural ignorance of inexperienced mind, to
false instructions, and to bad habits, are often added these most
powerful of all influences.

The next cause of wrong action is the want of a ruling purpose to do
right. It has been shown that all the powers of the intellect and all
the susceptibilities can be regulated by a generic ruling purpose, and
that it is impossible, according to the nature of mind, to regulate it
any other way.

When such a purpose exists, and its object is _any_ other except the
right and true one, it is as impossible for a mind to act right as it is
for a machine to fulfill its design when the main wheel is turned the
wrong way.

That such a purpose does not exist in the new-born mind, and that it
must be a considerable time before it is possible, in the nature of
things, to be originated, needs no attempt to illustrate. Such a purpose
is dependent on knowledge of truth, on habits, and these on the
character of the educators of mind, and on other surrounding social

These are the chief causes of the wrong action of mind as they have been
developed by experience.

In the next chapters we shall consider the results of the wrong action
of mind as they have been exhibited in the experience of mankind, and as
they are to be anticipated in a future world.



We have examined into the causes of the wrong action of mind, and have
found them to consist in the want of knowledge, want of habits, want of
social influences from other minds, and want of a right governing
purpose, all of which, so far as reason and experience teach, alone
could be secured by perfect and infallible teachers and educators in a
perfect commonwealth.

We are now to inquire in regard to the wrong action of mind and its
results in this life.

The first point to be noticed is the fact that from the first there is
in every intelligent mind _a sense of entire inability_ to obey the laws
of the system in which it is placed.

This is true not merely in reference to that breach of law which is the
inevitable result of ignorance, but of that also which involves a
violation of conscience. Where is the mother who has not heard the
distressed confession, even from the weeping infant, that he was happier
in doing right than in doing wrong, that he wished to do well, and yet
that he was constantly doing evil? Where is the parent that has not
witnessed, as one little being after another passed on from infancy to
youth, and from youth to manhood, the perpetual warfare to sustain good
purposes and oft-broken resolutions? And where is the conscious spirit
that can not look back on its whole course of existence as one continued
exhibition of a conflict that gives unvarying evidence of this truth?
Men _feel_ that it is as impossible for them to be invariably _perfect_
in thought, word, and deed, as it is to rule the winds and waves.

The testimony of mankind through every period of the world, in regard to
their own individual consciousness, attests a sense of the same fatal
inability. If we go back even as far as to the heathen sages of
antiquity, we gain the same acknowledgment. Thus we find Pythagoras
calls it "the fatal companion, the noxious strife that lurks within us,
and which was born along with us." Sopator terms it "the sin that is
born with mankind." Plato denominates it "natural wickedness," and
Aristotle "the natural repugnance of man's temper to reason." Cicero
declares that "men are brought into life by Nature as a step-mother,
with a naked, frail, and infirm body, and with a soul prone to divers
lusts." Seneca observes, "We are born in such a condition that we are
not subject to fewer disorders of the mind than of the body; all vices
are in men, though they do not break out in every one." Propertius says
that "every body has a vice to which he is inclined by nature." Juvenal
asserts that "nature, unchangeably fixed, runs back to wickedness."
Horace declares that "no man is free from vices, and he is the best man
who is oppressed with the least." He adds that "mankind rush into
wickedness, and always desire what is forbidden;" that "youth has the
softness of wax to receive vicious impressions, and the hardness of rock
to resist virtuous admonitions;" that "we are mad enough to attack
Heaven itself, and our repeated crimes do not suffer the God of Heaven
to lay aside his wrathful thunderbolts."

This testimony of individual experience is verified by the general
history of mankind. All the laws and institutions of society are founded
on the principle that mankind are prone to wrong, infirm of purpose in
all that is good, and that every possible restraint is needed to prevent
the overbreaking tide of evil and crime. When we read the history of
communities and of nations, it is one continued record of selfishness,
avarice, injustice, revenge, and cruelty. Individuals seem equally
plotting against the happiness of individuals, and rejoicing to work
evils on society. Communities rise against communities, and nations dash
against nations. Tyrants fill their dominions with sorrow, misery, and
death; bloody heroes, followed by infuriate bands, spread havoc, ruin,
and dismay through all their course, while superstition binds in chains,
racks with tortures, and sacrifices its millions of victims.

In tracing along the history of mankind, there is no period which we can
select when mankind have not seemed as busy in destroying their own, and
the happiness of others, as the lower animals are in seeking their
appropriate enjoyments. At one time we behold Xerxes pouring forth all
Asia upon Europe, where three million beings were brought to be
slaughtered by the Greeks. At another time the Greeks, headed by
Alexander, return upon Asia, and spread over most of the known world,
pillaging, burning, and slaughtering. Then we behold Alaric, at the head
of barbarous hordes, desolating all the Roman empire, and destroying the
monuments of taste, science, and the arts. Then we see Tamerlane rushing
forth, overrunning Persia, India, and other parts of Asia, carrying
carnage and the most desolating cruelty in his course, so that it is
recorded that he would cause thousands of his prisoners to be pounded in
mortars with bricks to form into walls.

From Europe we behold _six millions_ of Crusaders rush forth upon the
plains of Asia, with rapine, and famine, and outrage attending their
course. Then come forth from Eastern Asia the myrmidons of Genghis Khan,
ravaging fifteen millions of square miles, beheading 100,000 prisoners
at one time, shaking the whole earth with terror, and exterminating
fourteen millions of their fellow-men. Then from the northern forests
are seen swarming forth the Goths and Vandals, sweeping over Europe and
Asia, and bearing away every vestige of arts, civilization, comfort, and
peace. At another time we see the professed head of the Christian Church
slaughtering the pious and inoffensive Albigenses, sending horror into
their peaceful villages, and torturing thousands of inoffensive victims.

At one period of history the whole known world seemed to be one vast
field of carnage and commotion. The Huns, Vandals, and other Northern
barbarians were ravaging France, Germany, and Spain; the Goths were
plundering and murdering in Italy, and the Saxons and Angles were
overrunning Great Britain. The Roman armies under Justinian, together
with the Vandals and Huns, were desolating Africa; the barbarians of
Scythia were pouring down upon the Roman empire; the Persian armies were
pillaging and laying waste the countries of Asia; the Arabians, under
Mohammed, were beginning to extend their conquests over Syria,
Palestine, Egypt, Barbary, and Spain. Every nation and kingdom on earth
was shaking to its centre. The smoke and the spirits of the bottomless
pit seemed coming up to darken, and torment, and affright mankind. The
most fertile countries were converted to deserts, and covered with ruins
of once flourishing cities and villages; the most fiendish cruelty was
practiced; famine raged to such a degree that the living fed upon the
dead; prisoners were tortured by the most refined systems of cruelty;
public edifices were destroyed; the monuments of science and the arts
perished; cruelty, fraud, avarice, murder, and every crime that
disgraces humanity, were let loose upon a wretched world. Historians
seem to shudder in attempting to picture these horrid scenes, and would
draw a veil over transactions that disgrace mankind.

If from ancient times we look at the present state of the world, at its
present most refined and enlightened period, the same mournful evidence
is discovered. Cruelty and tyranny have changed some of the fairest
provinces of Persia to deserts. The Turk long ago turned the land of the
patriarchs and prophets to a wilderness, and drenched the shores of
Greece with the blood of slaughtered victims, while Syria, Kurdistan,
and Armenia for ages have been ravaged with injustice and rapine. China
and Japan have been shut out from the world by a cold and jealous
selfishness. In Tartary, Arabia, and Siberia, the barbarous tribes are
prowling about for plunder, or engaged in murderous conflicts. In
Africa, the Barbary States are in perpetual commotion; the petty tyrants
of Benin, Ashantee, and other interior states are waging ceaseless wars,
murdering their prisoners, and adorning their houses with their skulls;
and on its ravaged coast the white man-stealer, for hundreds of years,
has been prowling, and bearing off thousands of wretches as a yearly
offering to the avarice of the most refined and Christian nations on
earth. In North America, we have seen the native tribes employed in war,
and practicing the most fiendish barbarities, while in South America,
its more civilized inhabitants are engaged in constant political and
bloody commotions. In the islands of the ocean thousands of human beings
have been fighting each other, throwing darts and stones at strangers,
offering human sacrifices, and feasting on the flesh of their enemies.

If we select Europe for the exhibition of human nature as seen under the
restraints of civilization, laws, refinement, and religion, the same
evils burst forth from bonds and restraints. In Europe, for ages, the
common people, in slavery and ignorance, have been bowing down to a
grinding priesthood, or an oppressive nobility or monarchical tyranny.
Incessant heaving of the troubled nations portends desolation and
dismay, as man seems waking from the slavery of ages to shake off his
fetters and call himself free.

If we look to our own boasted land of liberty and religion, what toiling
of selfish and discordant interests--what mean and low-lived arts to
gain honor and power--what shameful attacks on fair reputation and
unblemished honor--what collisions of party-strifes and local interests!
Here also the curse of slavery brings the blush of shame to every honest
man that, from year to year, on the anniversary of the national liberty,
hears the declarations of rights this very nation is trampling under
foot. Millions of slaves, deprived of the best blessing and the dearest
rights of humanity, are held in the most degrading bondage by a nation
who yearly and publicly acknowledge their perfect and unalienable

The same melancholy view is no less clearly witnessed in the opinions
and moral sentiments of mankind. The mind of man is formed to love
happiness, to be pleased with what promotes it, and to detest that which
tends to destroy it, yet the long reign of selfishness has seemed to
pervert and poison even the taste and moral sentiments of men. Who is
the hero sung by the poet, eulogized by the statesman, and flattered by
the orator? Who is it presented in classic language to the gaze of
enthusiastic childhood, and pictured forth in tales of romance to
kindling youth?

It is the man who has given up his life to the gratification of pride,
and the love of honor and fame; the man who, to gain this selfish good,
can plunge the sword into the bosom of thousands, and stand the
unpitying spectator of burning cities, widowed mothers, orphan children,
desolated fields, and the long train of ills that he wantonly pours on
mankind, that he may gain the miserable pittance of gaping admiration
and dreadful renown which rises amid the tears and cries of mankind. It
is the man who, when injured, knows not how to forgive--whose stinted
soul never knew the dignity and pleasure of giving blessing for ill--who
deems it the mark of honor and manhood to follow the example of the
whining infant, that, when he is struck, with the same noble spirit will
strike back again.

Meantime, the calm forbearance and true dignity of virtue, that would be
humbled at recrimination and can not condescend to retaliate, is put in
the background as unworthy such honors and eulogy. Thus, also, we find
intellect, which the Creator designed only as the instrument of securing
happiness, though perverted to vice and folly, applauded and admired;
and even some of those admired as among the wisest of mankind have often
placed true virtue and goodness below the fancied splendors of genius
and learning. All the maxims, and honors, and employments of mankind
develop the perverted action of the noblest part of the creation of God
in all its relations and in all its principles and pursuits.

It is into such a world as this that every new-born mind is ushered
without knowledge to guide, without habits to strengthen, without the
power of forming a ruling purpose to do right which shall control all
subordinate volitions.

Instead of meeting perfect educators to instruct in the laws of the
system, to form good habits, and to exert all the powerful social,
domestic, and civil influences aright, every one of these powerful
principles are fatally wrong. Parents, teachers, companions, and rulers,
to a greater or less extent, teach wrong, train wrong, and set wrong
examples, while the whole moral atmosphere is contaminated and

In these circumstances, it is as _impossible_ for a young mind to
commence existence here with perfect obedience to law, and to continue
through life in a course of perfect rectitude, as it is for it, by its
feeble will, to regulate the winds of heaven, or turn back the tides of
the ocean.



We are now to inquire as to the results of the wrong action of mind in a
future state, so far as reason and experience can furnish data for any

The following are the principles of mind from which we reason on this
subject. It appears that its constitution is such that the repetition of
one particular mode of securing happiness induces a habit; and that the
longer a habit continues, the more powerful is its force. An early habit
of selfishness is always formed in the human mind, and the penalties
following from self-indulgence and selfishness are not sufficient to
prevent the continued increase of this habit. Though men, from the very
beginning of existence, feel that they are happier in obeying the
dictates of conscience, and that increase of guilt is increase of
sorrow, yet this does not save them, in numberless cases, from
increasing evil habits.

It is also established by experience that, when a strong habit is
formed, the mere decisions of the will are not sufficient for an
immediate remedy. In this life, it requires a period of long and painful
efforts of the will to rectify an established habit. Every human being
is conscious how difficult it is to force the mental and bodily
faculties to obey its decisions when contrary to the stream of a
long-indulged habit. There are few who have not either experienced or
witnessed the anguish of spirit that has followed the violations of
solemn resolutions, those firmest decisions of the will, in the contest
between habit and conscience.

Another principle of mind is this, that when selfishness and crime have
been long indulged, the natural constitution of mind seems changed, so
that inflicting evil on others is sought as an enjoyment. In
illustration of this, it is related of Antiochus Epiphanes that, in his
wars with the Jews, after all opposition had ceased, and all danger and
cause of fear was removed, he destroyed thousands for the mere pleasure
of seeing them butchered. An anecdote is related of him, too horrible to
record in all its particulars, where he sat and feasted his eyes on the
sufferings of a mother and her seven sons, when the parent was doomed to
witness the infliction of the most excruciating and protracted tortures
on each of her seven children, and then was tortured to death herself.

It is recorded of Mustapha, one of the Turkish sultans, that by
honorable capitulations he gained the person of a brave Venetian
commander called Bragadino, who was defending his country from the
cruelty of invaders. After having promised him honorable protection, he
ordered him, bound hand and foot, to behold the massacre of his
soldiers, then caused his person to be cut and mutilated in the most
horrible manner, and then taunted him as a worshiper of Christ, who
could not save his servants. When recovered of his wounds, he obliged
him to carry loaded buckets of earth before the army, and kiss the
ground whenever he passed his barbarous tormentor. He then had him hung
in a cage, to be tormented by his own soldiers, who were chained as
galley-slaves, that they might be agonized by the indignities and
sufferings of their venerated commander. After the most protracted
sufferings and indignities in the public place, at the sound of music he
was flayed alive.

The history of some of the Roman emperors, even of some who, in early
childhood and youth, were gentle, amiable, and kind, presents the same
horrible picture. Nero set fire to Rome, and dressed the Christians in
garments of flaming pitch, to run about his garden for his amusement.
Tiberius tormented his subjects, and murdered them in cruel pangs, to
gratify his love of suffering, while Caligula butchered his people for
amusement with his own hand.

The mind turns with horror from such revolting scenes, and asks if it is
possible human nature _now_ can be so perverted and debased. But this is
the humiliating record of some of the _amusements_, even of our own
countrymen, that have occurred in some parts of this refined and
Christian nation. "Many of the interludes are filled up with a _boxing
match_, which becomes memorable by feats of _gouging_. When two boxers
are wearied with fighting and bruising each other, they come to close
quarters, each endeavoring to twist his forefinger into the earlocks of
his antagonist. When they are thus fast clenched, the thumbs are
extended, and _both the eyes_ are turned out of their sockets. The
victor is hailed with shouts of applause from the sporting throng, while
his poor antagonist, thus blinded for life, _is laughed at_ for his

One very striking fact bearing on this subject has been established by
experience, and that is, that _extreme suffering_, either mental or
bodily, tends to awaken the desire to inflict evil upon other minds.
This is probably one mode of accounting for the increased cruelty of the
Roman emperors. As the powers of enjoyment diminished by abuse, and the
horrors of guilt harassed their spirits, this dreadful desire to torment
others was awakened.

There are many undisputed facts to establish the principle that extreme
suffering is the cause of terrible malignity. The following is from a
statement of Mr. Byron, who was shipwrecked on the coast of South
America: "So terrible was the scene of foaming breakers, that one of the
bravest men could not help expressing his dismay, saying it was too
shocking to bear. In this dreadful situation malignant passions began to
appear. The crew grew extremely riotous, and fell to beating every thing
in their way, and broke open chests and cabins for plunder that could be
of no use. So earnest were they in this wantonness of theft, that in the
morning a strangled corpse was found of one who had contested the

A still more terrible picture is given in an account of the loss of the
Medusa frigate on the coast of Africa. In the midst of dreadful
suffering from cold, danger, and famine, it is recorded that "a spirit
of sedition arose and manifested itself by furious shouts. The soldiers
and sailors began to cut the ropes, and declared their intention of
murdering the officers. About midnight, they rushed on the officers like
desperate men, each having a knife or sabre, and such was their fury
that they tore their clothes and their flesh _with their teeth_. The
next morning the raft was strewed with dead bodies. The succeeding night
was passed in similar horrors, and the morning sun saw twelve more
lifeless bodies. The next night of suffering was attended with a horrid
massacre, and thus it continued till only fifteen remained of the whole
one hundred and fifty!"

Another principle of mind having a bearing on this subject is the fact
that those qualities of mind which are the causes of enjoyment in others
around may be viewed with only pain and dislike by a selfish person.
Thus intellectual superiority, in itself considered, is a delightful
object of contemplation; but if it becomes the means of degradation or
of contemptuous comparison to a selfish mind, it is viewed with
unmingled pain. Benevolence and truth are objects of delightful
contemplation to all minds when disconnected with obligations or painful
comparisons, but if they are viewed as causes of evil to a selfish mind,
it will view them with unmingled dislike and hatred.

Now we find that there are two classes of minds in this world: those who
are more or less benevolent, and find their happiness in living to
promote the general interests of their fellow-beings, and those who are
selfish, and are living to promote their own enjoyment irrespective of
the general happiness.

If, then, we reason from the known laws of mind and from past
experience, we must suppose that the habits of mind which are existing
in this life will continue to increase, and if the mind is immortal, a
time must come when one class will become perfectly benevolent and the
other perfectly selfish. A community of perfectly benevolent beings, it
has been shown, would, from the very nature and constitution of mind, be
a perfectly happy community. Every source of enjoyment of which mind is
capable would be secured by every individual.

It can be seen, also, that there must, in the nature of the case, be an
entire separation between two such opposite classes; for it is as
painful for minds suffering from conscious guilt, shame, and malignity,
to look upon purity, benevolence, and happiness, as it is for the
virtuous to associate with the selfish, the debased, and the abandoned.
This separation, therefore, would be a voluntary one on both sides, even
did we suppose no interference of Deity. But if the Creator continues
his present constitution of things, we may infer that his power would be
exerted to prevent the intrusion of malignity into a perfect and
well-ordered community; for he has so constituted things _here_, that
those who are incorrigible pests to society are confined from
interfering with its interests.

From the laws of mind, then, and from past experience as to the
tendencies of things, we can establish the position that, at some future
period, if the mind of man is immortal, the human race will be
permanently divided into two classes, the perfectly selfish and the
perfectly benevolent.

Should it be objected to this conclusion that when the mind passes into
another world more effectual motives may be brought to operate, it may
be replied that it is not the office of reason to meet _suppositions_ of
_possibilities_, but to show what the _probabilities_ are by deductions
from principles already known. A thousand possibilities may be asserted,
such as the annihilation of mind or the alteration of its powers, but
these are mere suppositions, and have nothing to do with the conclusions
of reason.

If mind is immortal and continues its present nature, habits will
continue to strengthen; and in regard to motives, we know already that
the _fear of evil consequences_ will not save from continuance in crime.
How often has a man who has yielded to habits of guilt been seen
writhing in the agonies of remorse, longing to free himself from the
terrible evils he has drawn around him, acknowledging the misery of his
course and his ability to return to virtue, and yet, with bitter
anguish, yielding to the force of inveterate habits and despairing of
any remedy.

We know, also, that it is a principle established by long experience,
that punishment does not tend to soften and reform. Where is the
hardened culprit that was ever brought to repentance and reformation by
lashes or the infliction of degradation? Such means serve only to harden
and brutify. Experience forbids the hope that punishment will ever
restore a selfish and guilty mind to virtue and peace.

Reason and experience, then, both lead to the conclusion that the two
classes of minds into which mankind are here divided will, on leaving
this world, eventually become two permanently distinct communities--one
perfectly selfish, and the other perfectly benevolent.

What, then, would reason and experience teach us as to the probable
situation of a community of minds constituted like those of the human
race, who, in the progress of future ages, shall establish habits of
_perfect selfishness and crime_?

In regard to the Creator, what may we suppose will be the feelings of
such minds? If he is a benevolent, pure, and perfectly happy being, and
his power is exerted to confine them from inflicting evil on the good,
he will be the object of unmingled and tormenting envy, hatred, and
spite; for when a selfish mind beholds a being with characteristics
which exhibit its own vileness in painful contrast, and using his power
to oppose its desires, what might in other circumstances give pleasure
will only be cause of pain. If they behold, also, the purity and
happiness of that community of benevolent beings from which they will be
withdrawn, the same baleful passions will be awakened in view of their
excellence and enjoyment.

There is no suffering of the mind more dreaded and avoided than that of
_shame_. It is probable a guilty creature never writhes under keener
burnings of spirit than when all his course of meanness, baseness,
ingratitude, and guilt is unveiled in the presence of dignified virtue,
honor, and purity, and the withering glance of pity, contempt, and
abhorrence is encountered. This feeling must be experienced, to its full
extent, by every member of such a wretched community. Each must feel
himself an object of loathing and contempt to every pure and benevolent
mind, as well as to all those who are equally debased.

Another cause of suffering is ungratified desire. In this world, perfect
misery and full happiness is seldom contrasted. But in such
circumstances, if we suppose that the happiness of blessed minds will be
known, the keenest pangs of ungratified desire must torment. Every mind
will know what is the pure delight of yielded and reciprocated
affection, of sympathy in the happiness of others, of the sweet peace of
conscious rectitude, and of the delightful consciousness of conferring
bliss on others, while the ceaseless cravings of hopeless desire will
agonize the spirit.

Another cause of suffering is found in the _loss of enjoyment_. In such
a degraded and selfish community, all ties of country, kindred,
friendship, and love must cease. Yet all will know what _were_ the
endearments of home, the mild soothings of maternal love, the ties of
fraternal sympathy, and all the trust and tenderness of friendship and
love. What vanished blessing of earth would not rise up, with all the
sweetness and freshness that agonizing memory can bring, to aggravate
the _loss of all_!

But the mind is so made that, however wicked itself, guilt and
selfishness in others is hated and despised. Such a company, then, might
be described as those who were "hateful and hating one another." It has
been shown that both suffering and selfishness awaken the desire to
torment others. This, then, will be the detested purpose of every
malignant mind. Every action that could irritate, mortify, and enrage,
would be deliberately practiced, while disappointed hopes, and blasted
desires, and agonizing misery would alone awaken the smile of horrible
delight. And if we suppose such minds in a future state reclothed in a
body, with all the present susceptibilities of suffering, and surrounded
by material elements that may be ministers of hate, what mind can
conceive the terror and chaos of a world where every one is actuated by
a desire to torment?

Suppose these beings had arrived at only such a degree of selfishness as
has been witnessed in this world; such, for example, as Genghis Khan,
who caused unoffending prisoners to be pounded to death with bricks in a
mortar; or Nero, who dressed the harmless Christians in flaming pitch
for his amusement; or Antiochus Epiphanes and Mustapha, who spent their
time in devising and executing the most excruciating tortures on those
who could do them no injury. What malignity and baleful passions would
actuate such minds, when themselves tormented by others around, bereft
of all hope, and with nothing to interest them but plans of torment and
revenge! What refined systems of cruelty would be devised in such a
world! what terrific combinations of the elements to terrify and
distress! If such objects as "the lake which burneth with fire and
brimstone, and the worm that never dies," could be found, no Almighty
hand would need to interfere, while the "smoke of their torment" would
arise from flames of their own kindling.

To fearful sufferings thus inflicted would be added the pangs of
agitating _fear_; for where all around were plotting misery, what
relief, by day or by night, from its withering terrors? Then surely
"fear would come upon them like desolation, and destruction as a

Another cause of suffering is inactivity of body and mind. It has been
seen that the desire of good is what gives activity to the intellectual
and moral powers. In such a world, no good could be hoped or sought, but
the gratification of inflicting ill. And even a malignant mind must
often weary in this pursuit, and sink under all the weight and misery of
that awful _death of the soul_, when, in torpid inactivity, it has
nothing to love, nothing to hope, nothing to desire!

Another cause of misery is the consciousness of guilt; and such, even in
this life, have been the agonies of remorse, that tearing the hair,
bruising the body, and even gnawing the flesh have been resorted to as a
temporary relief from its pangs. What, then, would be its agonizing
throes in bosoms that live but to torment and to destroy all good to
themselves and to other minds?

In this life, where we can allow the mind to be engrossed by other
pursuits, and where we can thus form a habit of suppressing and avoiding
emotions of guilt, the conscience may be seared. But it could not be
thus when all engaging and cheerful pursuits were ended forever. Then
the mind would view its folly, and shame, and guilt in all their length
and breadth, and find no escape from the soul-harrowing gaze.

To these miseries must be added despair--the loss of all hope. Here hope
comes to all; but, in such a community, that fearful susceptibility of
the soul--that terrific power of _habit_--would bind in chains which
would be felt to be stronger than brass and heavier than iron. If the
spirit is conscious that its powers are immortal, with this
consciousness would come the despairing certainty of increasing and
never-ending woe!

This terrifying and heart-rending picture, it must be remembered, is the
_deduction of reason_, and who can point out its fallacy? Is not habit
appalling in its power, and ofttimes, even in this life, inveterate in
its hold? Are not habits increased by perpetual repetition? Is not the
mind of man immortal? Do not the tendencies of this life indicate a
period when a total separation of selfish and benevolent minds will be
their own voluntary choice? If all the comforts, gentle endearments, and
the enlivening hopes of this life; if all the restraints of
self-interest, family, country, and laws; if in Christian lands the
offers of heaven, and the fearful predictions of eternal woe; if the
mercy and pardon, and all the love and pity of our Creator and Redeemer,
neither by fear, nor by gratitude, nor by love, can turn a selfish mind,
what hope of its recovery when it goes a _stranger_ into a world of
spirits, to sojourn in that society which, according to its moral
habits, it must voluntarily seek? And if there exists a community of
such selfish beings, can language portray, with any adequacy, the
appalling results that must necessarily ensue?



The preceding pages have exhibited the nature of mind, the object of its
formation, the right mode of action to secure this object, and the
causes and results of its right and wrong action, as indicated by reason
and experience.

We are now furnished with farther data to guide us in regard to the
character of our Creator, as we seek it by the light of reason alone.

We have seen, in the chapter on intuitive truths, that by the first of
these principles we arrive at the knowledge of some _eternal First Cause
of all finite things_.

By another of these principles we deduce certain particulars in regard
to his character as exhibited through his works. This principle is thus
expressed: "Design is evidence of an intelligent cause, and the nature
of a design proves the character and intention of the author." We are
now prepared to show how much must be included in this truth.

Our only idea of "an intelligent cause" is that of _a mind like our
own_. This being so, we assume that we are instructed, by the very
constitution of our own minds, that our Creator is a being endowed with
intellect, susceptibilities, and will, and a part of these
susceptibilities are those included in our _moral constitution_.

This moral nature, which we are thus led to ascribe to our Creator,
includes, in the first place, the existence of a feeling that whatever
lessens or destroys happiness is unfitted to the system of the universe,
and that _voluntary sacrifice and suffering to purchase the highest
possible happiness is fitted to or in accordance with the eternal nature
of things_.

Next, we are thus taught that in the Eternal Mind is existing that
_sense of justice_ which involves the desire of good to the author of
good, and of evil to the author of evil, which requires that such
retributions be _proportioned_ to the good and evil done, and to the
_voluntary_ power of the agent.

Lastly, we are thus instructed that the Author of all created things
possesses that susceptibility called _conscience_, which includes, in
the very constitution of mind itself, retributions for right and wrong

But while we thus assume that the mind of the Creator is, so far as we
can conceive, precisely like our own in constitutional organization, we
are as necessarily led to perceive that the _extent_ of these powers is
far beyond our own. A mind with the power, wisdom, and goodness
exhibited in the very small portion of his works submitted to our
inspection, who has inhabited eternity, and developed and matured
through everlasting ages--our minds are lost in attempting any
conception of the extent of such infinite faculties!

But we have another intuitive truth to aid in our deductions. It is that
by which we infer the continuance of a _uniformity in our experience_;
that is, we necessarily believe that "things will continue as they are
and have been, unless there is evidence to the contrary." Now all past
experience as to the nature of mind has been uniform. Every mind known
to us is endowed with intellect, susceptibility, and will, like our own.
So much is this the case, that when any of these are wanting in a human
being, we say he has "lost his mind."

Again: all our experience of mind involves the idea of the _mutual
relation of minds_. We perceive that minds are made to match to other
minds, so that there can be no complete action of mind, according to its
manifest design, except in relation to other beings. A mind can not love
till there is another mind to call forth such emotion. A mind can not
bring a tithe of its power into appropriate action except in a community
of minds. The conception of a solitary being, with all the social powers
and sympathies of the human mind infinitely enlarged, and yet without
any sympathizing mind to match and meet them, involves the highest idea
of unfitness and imperfection conceivable.

Thus it is that past experience of the nature of mind leads to the
inference that no mind has existed from all eternity _in solitude_, but
that there is _more than one eternal, uncreated mind_, and that all
their powers of enjoyment from giving and receiving happiness in social
relations have been in exercise from eternal ages. This is the just and
natural deduction of reason and experience, as truly as the deduction
that there is at least one eternal First Cause.

It has been argued that the _unity of design_ in the works of nature
proves that there is but one creating mind. This is not so, for in all
our experience of the creations of finite beings no _great design_ was
ever formed without a combination of minds, both to plan and to execute.
The majority of minds in all ages, both heathen and Christian, have
always conceived of the Creator as _in some way_ existing so as to
involve the ideas of plurality and of the love and communion of one mind
with another.

Without a revelation, also, we have the means of arriving at the
conclusion that the Creator of all things is not only a mind organized
just like our own, but that he always has and always will feel and act
right. We infer this from both his social and his moral constitution;
for he must, as our own minds do, desire the love, reverence, and
confidence of his creatures. The fact that he has made them to love
truth, justice, benevolence, and self-sacrificing virtue is evidence
that he has and will exhibit these and all other excellences that call
forth affection.

But we have still stronger evidence. We have seen all the causes that
experience has taught as the leading to the wrong action of mind. These
are necessarily excluded from our conceptions of the Creator. The
Eternal Mind can not err for want of knowledge, nor for want of habits
of right action, nor for want of teachers and educators, nor for want of
those social influences which generate and sustain a right governing
purpose; for an infinite mind, that never had a beginning, can not have
these modes of experience which appertain to new-born and finite

Again: we have seen that it is one of the implanted principles of reason
that "no rational mind will choose evil without hope of compensating
good." Such is the eternal system of the universe, as we learn it by the
light of reason, that the highest possible happiness to each individual
mind and to the whole commonwealth is promoted by the right action of
every mind in that system. This, of necessity, is seen and felt by the
All-creating and Eternal Mind, and to suppose that, with this knowledge,
he would ever choose wrong is to suppose that he would choose pure evil,
and this is contrary to an intuitive truth. It is to suppose the Creator
would do what he has formed our minds to believe to be impossible in
_any_ rational mind. It is to suppose that the Creator would do that
which, if done by human beings, marks them as insane.



We are now prepared to inquire in regard to what constitutes _a perfect
mind_. This question relates, in the first place, to the perfect
constitutional organization of mind, and, in the next place, to the
perfect action of mind.

In regard to a finite mind, when we inquire as to its perfection in
organization, we are necessarily restricted to the question of the
object or end for which it is made. Any contrivance in mind or matter is
perfect when it is so formed that, _if worked according to its design_,
it completely fulfills the end for which it is made, so that there is no
way in which it could be improved.

It is here claimed, then, that by the light of reason alone we first
gain the object for which mind is made, and then arrive at the
conclusion that the mind of man is perfect in construction, because, if
worked according to its design, it would completely fulfill the end for
which it is made, so that there is no conceivable way in which it could
be improved. This position can not be controverted except by presenting
evidence that some other organization of the mind would produce, in an
eternal and infinite system, more good with less evil than the present

In regard to the Eternal Mind, the only standard of perfection in
organization that we can conceive of is revealed in our own mind. Every
thing in our own minds--every thing around us--every thing we have known
in past experience, is designed to produce the most possible happiness
with the least possible evil. We can not conceive of any being as wise,
or just, or good, but as he acts to promote that end.

A mind organized like our own, with faculties infinitely enlarged, who
always has and always will sustain a controlling purpose to act right,
is the only idea we can have of an all-perfect Creator.

But on the subject of the perfect action of finite minds it is perceived
that reference must always be had to _voluntary power_ and its
limitations. We have shown that the implanted susceptibility, called the
_sense of justice_, demands that the rewards and penalties for good and
evil have reference to _the knowledge and power_ of a voluntary agent;
that is to say, it is contrary to our moral nature voluntarily to
inflict penalties for wrong action on a being who either has no power to
know what right is, or no power to do it. We revolt from such
inflictions with instinctive abhorrence, as unfit and contrary to the
design of all things.

So, in forming our judgment of the Creator, when we regard him as
perfectly just, the idea implies that he will never _voluntarily_
inflict evil for wrong action on beings who have not the knowledge or
power to act right.

Here we are again forced to the assumption of some _eternal nature of
things_ independent of the Creator's will, by which ignorant and
helpless creatures are exposed to suffering from wrong action when they
have no power of _any_ kind to act right.

For we see such suffering actually does exist, and there are but two
suppositions possible. The one is, that it results from the Creator's
_voluntary_ acts, and the other, that it is inherent in that eternal
nature of things which the Creator can no more alter than he can destroy
his own necessary and eternal existence.

In judging of the perfect action of finite minds, we are obliged to
regard the question in two relations. In the primary relation we have
reference to actions which, in all the infinite relations of a vast and
eternal system of free agents, are fitted to secure the most possible
good with the least possible evil. In this relation, so far as we can
judge by experience and reason, no finite being ever did or ever can
_act perfectly_ from the first to the last of its volitions. In this
relation, every human being is certainly, necessarily, and inevitably
imperfect in action.

But when the question of perfection in action simply has reference to
the knowledge and power of the voluntary agent, we come to another
result. In this relation, any mind acts perfectly _when it forms a
ruling purpose to feel and act right in all things, when it takes all
possible means of learning what is right, and when it actually carries
out this purpose, so far as it has knowledge and power_.

If a human mind is, as has been shown, perfect in that organization of
its powers for which the Creator is responsible, and then forms and
carries out such a ruling purpose, it is, so far as we can learn without
revelation, as perfect in action as is possible in the nature of things;
that is to say, it voluntarily acts to promote the greatest possible
good with the least possible evil as entirely as is possible, and as
really as does the Creator, who himself is limited by the nature of

It is as impossible for a finite mind to act right, when it does not
know what right is, as it is for the Eternal Mind to make and sustain a
system in which there has been and never will be any wrong action to
cause pain to himself and to other minds.

What, then, so far as we can learn without a revelation, is a perfect
mind in such a system of things as we find in this world? It is a mind
constituted like our own, which has formed a ruling purpose to feel and
act right in all things, which takes all possible means in its reach to
learn what is right, and which actually carries out this purpose to the
extent of its power.

In shorter terms, in this relation every human mind is perfect, both in
constitution and in action, so long as it acts as near right as is in
its present power. At the same time, in relation to the infinite and
eternal standard of rectitude, its action may be very imperfect.

We next inquire as to the _evidence_ of a perfect mind in this secondary
relation; that is to say, how can we know when a mind does reach the
full measure of its power in voluntary right action?

In regard to this we have two sources of evidence: first, the mental
consciousness of the acting mind itself, and, next, the results of its
action. In regard to the first, every mind, in reference either to its
mental states or external deeds, can have as much certainty as to the
extent of its power as it can of any thing. If we _choose_ to feel in a
given way, or to perform a given act, and what we choose does not
follow, we are certain we have no power to do the thing. All the idea of
_power_ we have is that volition is followed by the result chosen. All
the idea we have of _want of power_ is that the result chosen does not
follow the volition.

Every mind, then, in regard to _every specific volition_, has the most
perfect of all evidence as to the extent of its powers in its own

But the question is a more difficult one in reference to a _generic
governing volition_. A perfectly acting mind, according to our
definition, is one that has formed a generic governing volition to _feel
and act right_ in all respects; that is, it decides that the chief end
of existence shall be to promote the greatest possible happiness with
the least possible evil, in obedience to all, physical, social, and
moral laws of the Creator, so far as it is within the reach of its

Now, as to this simple act of choice, a mind can have the highest
possible evidence in its own consciousness. The only question of
difficulty would be as to _the extent_ of its powers to carry out this
decision, and the correspondence of all its subordinate volitions with
this generic purpose.

To ascertain the truth on this point, let us suppose a mind that has the
highest evidence (that of internal consciousness) that it has formed
such a purpose. Then comes a case where a subordinate decision is to be
made--say it relates to the existence of a certain _feeling_ or
_emotion_, such as love, fear, gratitude, or sorrow. It has been shown
that these emotions are not to be evoked into existence by a simple act
of will. The mode by which the mind controls its own desires and
emotions is set forth on page 162. If, then, the person chooses to do
_all that is in its power at the given time_ to awaken these emotions,
its action is _perfect_ in this respect: it has fulfilled the measure of
its power. It reaches the limit of its power when it can find nothing
more that an _act of choice_ will secure that it perceives will tend to
accomplish the end chosen. That is to say, at each given moment, when a
mind is aiming to know what is right, and to do it, if it has done all
it perceives can be done by any act of will toward this end, then its
decision or mental action is _perfect_; it is as good as is possible in
the nature of things.

We have the same method of testing our power in regard to the
_prevention_ of desires and emotions. No matter how painful or
inappropriate may be the desires and emotions of any mind, it is acting
_perfectly_ when it goes to the full extent of its power to extinguish
or to control them according to the rules of rectitude. If it wills to
have them otherwise, and uses the appropriate modes to have them so,
this is all it has power to do.

In reference to _external actions_, there are an infinite variety of
circumstances that must decide the character of actions as right or
wrong. An action which is wise and benevolent in one set of
circumstances becomes foolish and selfish in another combination. More
than half the questions of right and wrong action are to be decided as
to their character by the surrounding circumstances, while no mind but
the one that is infinite and omniscient can pronounce with certainty on
actions whose character is dependent on circumstances and probable
future results.

What, then, is the limitation of power in these cases? How can we know
when we act as nearly right as it is in our power?

In the first place, we can have the high evidence of consciousness that
our chief end in life is _to act right_ in all things. In the next
place, we can know certainly whether there is any thing more that we can
do to find out what the right course is. When we have decided that we
have done all we can in the given circumstances, and then are conscious
that we choose _what we believe to be right_, or _that which has to our
mind the balance of evidence in its favor as right, we act perfectly_;
that is to say, we have reached the full measure of our power in
voluntarily acting right.

But, besides this evidence, that rests mainly on internal consciousness
of the nature of our volitions, we have other evidence to guide us. It
has been shown in the previous pages how our thoughts, and desires, and
emotions are all dependent on the generic purposes of the mind. Whatever
is the _chief end_ of life is the object which excites the strongest
interest and calls forth the deepest emotions. Therefore, when a mind
has chosen _to act right_ as the chief end, all its tastes, desires, and
emotions become conformed to this purpose. Whatever is seen as tending
to promote this end is more desired and valued than any thing else.
Whatever is seen to interfere with this is regarded with dissatisfaction.

This being so, a mind that is controlled by a ruling purpose to act
right finds those persons and places the most congenial and agreeable
who can lend the most aid in pointing out all that is wrong in thought,
word, or deed, and in helping, by instruction, sympathy, and example, to
do right. One great test, then, of the existence and strength of such a
ruling purpose is the manner in which those are regarded who are most
interested in finding out and doing what is right themselves, and in
aiding others to do so.

To be "meek and lowly in heart," so as to seek help in learning what is
right from every source, however humble or however imperfectly offered,
is the surest indication that a mind is under the entire control of a
ruling purpose to do right, and is thus _a perfect mind_.

Such a mind, it must be seen, has _tendencies_ that _fit_ it to that
great system of things in which we find ourselves. Such a mind can not
trace out these tendencies by the light of reason alone without a
conviction that _somewhere_ in the progress of ages it will attain to a
_perfect commonwealth_, where the great end and object of the Creator in
forming mind will be carried to entire perfection in each individual
mind and in the all-perfect whole!



We have considered the mode by which, without revelation, we arrive at a
knowledge of the existence and character of one eternal, self-existent
Creator, and of other _eternal beings_ endowed with all the attributes
of the human mind.

We will next inquire as to the existence of other created minds in
addition to those whose existence is manifested by a material body.
There are several principles of reason to aid us in this inquiry. The
first is that which establishes the existence of mind and matter as two
distinct and diverse causes or existences. By this we decide that every
human being has a body and a soul.

The second principle of reason to guide us is that which teaches us to
believe that things continue to exist as they are and have been, unless
there is some known cause to destroy or change them.

The other principles to guide us are, that nothing is to be assumed to
be true unless there is some evidence that it is so, and, in case of
conflicting evidence, the _balance_ of evidence is to decide what is
right and true.

These principles being assumed, we find that at the death of every human
being we have evidence, first, that the body ceases to be connected with
the spirit, and is dissolved.

Next, we have evidence at the period of this dissolving of soul and body
that the soul exists without a body, and no evidence that it is changed
in any of its powers, or habits, or character.

Thus we arrive at the conclusion that the spirits that have existed in
this life connected with bodies are still existing with all the powers,
habits, and character which they possessed in this life, except as they
are modified by causes and tendencies that experience in this life has
disclosed. We thus infer that all minds who have left this world have
continued in the upward or downward tendencies of character which
existed when they were disconnected with the body.

This is all the knowledge we can gain by reason and experience alone in
reference to other created beings, and their character and mode of

As to _the time when the soul commences existence_, we have no evidence
of such existence except what is manifested in the body. We can only
infer, then, that the soul begins to exist when the evidence of its
existence commences in the body. To assert that it begins before that
time is to violate the principle of reason which forbids us to assume
any thing to be true unless there is evidence of it.

Thus, without a revelation, we are led to a belief in the existence of
two classes of disembodied spirits, the good and the bad. But we have no
evidence of the existence of any other created minds except those that
have formerly been connected with bodies in this world.

So far as animals give evidence of possessing an independent spiritual
existence, the same argument that proves the continued existence of the
human mind after death, proves that the animal spirit, if there be one,
continues after the dissolution of the body.

But we can not reason in regard to animals as we can in regard to human
minds, for we never had the _experience_ of animal existence to commence
with, as we have our own experience in reasoning as to the nature and
experience of mind in reference to other beings of the same race.



We have now completed our investigations as to the nature and amount of
knowledge to be gained on the great questions of life by reason and
experience independently of a revelation.

We have assumed that the great cause of the disordered action of mind is
that it commences action in perfect ignorance, while all those causes
which experience shows to be indispensable to its right action, to a
greater or less degree, are wanting.

The great want of our race is _perfect educators_ to train new-born
minds, who are _infallible teachers of what is right and true_.

We have presented the evidence gained by reason and experience that the
Creator is perfect in mental constitution, and that he always has acted
right, and always will thus act. This being granted, we infer that he
always has done _the best that is possible_ for the highest good of his
creatures in this world, and that he always will continue to do so.

We proceed to inquire in regard to what would be the best that it is
possible to do for us in this state of being, _so far as we can

Inasmuch as the great cause of the wrong action of mind is the ignorance
and imperfection of those who are its educators in the beginning of its
existence, we should infer that the best possible thing to be done for
our race would be to provide some _perfect and infallible teacher_ to
instruct those who are to educate mind. This being granted, then all
would concede that the Creator himself would be our best teacher, and
that, if he would come to us himself in a visible form to instruct the
educators of mind in all they need to know for themselves and for the
new-born minds committed to their care, it would be the best thing we
can conceive of for the highest good of our race.

We next inquire as to the best conceivable mode by which the Creator can
manifest himself so as to secure credence.

To decide this, let each one suppose the case his own. Let a man make
his appearance claiming to be the Creator. We can perceive that his mere
word would never command the confidence of intelligent practical men.
Thousands of impostors have appeared and made such claims, deceiving the
weak and ignorant and disgusting the wise.

In case the person with such claims proved to be ever so benevolent and
intelligent, if we had no other evidence than his word, it would, by
sensible persons, be regarded as the result of some mental

But suppose that a person making claims to be the Creator of all things,
or to be a messenger from him, should attest his claim by shaking the
earth, or tearing up a mountain, or turning back the floods of the
ocean, it would be impossible for any man to witness these miracles
without believing that the Author of all things thus attested his own
presence or the authority of his messenger. We have shown that, in the
very organization of mind, one of the intuitive truths would necessarily
force such a belief on all sane minds.

One other method would be as effective. Should this person predict
events so improbable and so beyond all human intelligence as to be
equivalent to an equal interruption of experience as to the laws of
mind, as time developed the fulfillment of these predictions, the same
belief would be induced in the authority of the person thus
supernaturally endowed.

In the first case, the evidence would be immediate and most powerful in
its inception. In the latter case, the power of the evidence would
increase with time.

_Miracles and prophecy_, then, are the _only_ methods that we can
conceive of that would, as our minds are now constituted, insure belief
in revelations from the Creator.

But if every human being, in order to believe, must have miracles, there
would result such an incessant violation of the laws of nature as to
destroy them, and thus to destroy all possibility of miracles.

The only possible way, then, is to have miracles occur at certain
periods of time, and then have them adequately recorded and preserved.

This method involves the necessity of interpreting written documents.
If, then, the Creator has provided such revelations, the question occurs
as to how far they may be accessible to all men. Are there revelations
from the Creator in such a form that all men can gain access to them and
interpret them for themselves, or are they so recorded that only a few
can gain the knowledge they impart, while the many are helplessly
dependent on the few?

It is with reference to this question that the interpretation of
language becomes a subject of vital and infinite interest to every human
being. This subject will therefore occupy the remaining portion of this



The mind of man is confined in its operations by the material system it
inhabits, and has no modes of communicating with other minds except
through the medium of the eye and ear. It is by signs addressed to the
eye and by sounds affecting the ear that ideas are communicated and

It is by the power of _association_, which enables us to recall certain
ideas together which have been frequently united, that the use of
language is gained. The infant finds certain states of mind produced by
material objects invariably connected with certain sounds. This is done
so often that whenever a certain perception occurs, the sound recurs
which has been so often united with it.

If language is correctly defined as "any sound or sign which conveys the
ideas of one mind to another," it is probable that children learn
language at a much earlier period than is generally imagined. It is
impossible to know how soon the infant notices the soft tones of its own
voice when happy, or the moaning or shrill sound that expresses its own
pain, and by comparing them with those of its mother, learns, through
its little process of reasoning, that another spirit has emotions of
pleasure and pain corresponding with its own. Nor can we determine how
soon these pleasant sounds of the mother's voice begin to be associated
with the benignant smile, or the tones of grief with the sorrowful
expression, or the tones of anger with the frowning brow.

It seems very rational to suppose that _sound_, to the infant mind, is
what first leads to the belief of the emotions of another mind, by means
of a comparison of its own sounds with those originating from another.
After this is done, the eye comes in for a share in these offices. The
little reasoner, after thousands of experiments, finds the pleasant
sound always united with the smiling face, until the object of vision
becomes the sign for recalling the idea at first obtained by sound. In
gaining the common use of language, we know this is the order of
succession. We first learn the _sounds_ that recall ideas, and then, by
means of a frequent union of these sounds with some _visible sign_, the
power once possessed simply by the sound is conveyed to the sign. Thus
we have words that are sounds and words that are visible signs.

The communion of one spirit with that of others in every-day life is
maintained ordinarily through the medium of _sounds_; but when distance
intervenes, or when some record is to be preserved of the thoughts and
feelings of other beings, then signs addressed to the eye are employed.
In civilized nations, the signs used are a certain number of arbitrary
marks, which are arranged in a great variety of combinations, and each
combination is employed to recall some particular idea or combination of
ideas. These arbitrary signs are called letters, and in the English
language there are only twenty-six; yet, by the almost infinite variety
of combination of which these are capable, every idea which one mind
wishes to communicate to another can be expressed.

A _written word_ is a single letter or a combination of letters used as
a sign to recall one or more ideas. It is considered by the mind as a
unit or whole thing, of which the letters are considered as parts, and
is shown to be a unit by intervals or blank spaces that separate it from
the other words of a sentence. The fact that it is considered by the
mind as _a unit_, or a sign separate from all other combinations of
letters, is the peculiarity which constitutes it a _word_. A _syllable_
is a combination of letters which is not considered as a unit, but is
considered as a _part_ of a word.

Words are used to recall the ideas of _things_, _qualities_, _changes_,
and _circumstances_. Some words recall the idea of a thing without any
other idea connected with it; such are the words _mind_, _ivory_. Some
words recall the idea of quality simply, such as _red_, _hard_, _sweet_.
Some words recall the ideas of change merely, such as _motion_,
_action_. Some words recall simply the idea of relation or circumstance,
such as _on_, _under_, _about_. Sometimes ideas of things, and their
actions and relations, are recalled by the same sign; thus _wrestler_
recalls the idea of a thing and its action, and _giant_ of a thing and
its _relation_. Some words recall a variety of ideas; thus the term
_begone_ recalls the idea of two things, of the desire of a mind and of
its mode of expression.

In the process of learning language, mankind first acquire names for the
several things, qualities, changes, and circumstances that they notice,
and afterward learn the process of _combining_ these names, so as to
convey the mental combination of one mind to another. A person might
have names for all his ideas, and yet, if he had never learned the art
of properly combining these signs, he never could communicate the varied
conceptions of his own mind to another person. Suppose, for
illustration, that a child had learned the meaning of the terms _cup_,
_spoon_, _the_, _put_, _into_, _little_, _my_; it would be impossible
for him to express his wish till he had learned the proper _arrangement_
of each term, and then he could convey the conception and wishes of his
own mind, viz., "Put the spoon into my little cup."

We see, then, how the new combinations of ideas in one mind can be
conveyed to another. The two persons must both have the _same ideas_
attached to the _same sign_ of language, and must each understand the
_mode of combination_ to be employed. When this is done, if one person
sees a new object, he can send to his friend the signs which represent
all its qualities, circumstances, and changes arranged in a proper
manner. The absent person will then arrange the _conceptions_ recalled
by these words, so as to correspond with those of his correspondent.

In all languages, the same word often is used to recall different ideas,
and the meaning of words depends often on their _mode of combination_.

The _art of interpreting_ consists in ascertaining the particular ideas
conveyed by words _in a given combination_.

There are two modes of using language which need to be distinctly
pointed out, viz., _literal_ and _figurative_.

In order to understand these modes, it is necessary to refer to the
principles of _association_. Neither our perceptions or conceptions are
ever single, disconnected objects except when the power of abstraction
is employed. Ordinarily, various objects are united together in the
mind, and those objects which are most frequently united in our
perceptions, as a matter of course, are those which are most frequently
united in our conceptions.

Now, by the power of _abstraction_, the mind can regard the same object
sometimes as a unit or whole, and sometimes can disconnect it, and
consider it as several distinct things. Thus it happens that ideas which
are connected by the principles of association are sometimes regarded as
a whole, and sometimes are disconnected, and considered as separate

Language will be found to be constructed in exact conformity to this
phenomenon of mind. We shall find that objects ordinarily united
together, as cause and effect, have the _same name_ given, sometimes to
the _cause_, sometimes to the _effects_, and sometimes it embraces _the
whole_; or the thing, its causes and its effects. As an example of this
use of language may be mentioned the term _pride_. We sometimes hear
those objects which are the _cause_ of pride receiving that name. Thus a
child is called the pride of its parents. The same name is applied
simply to the _state of mind_, as when a man is said to be under the
influence of pride, while the _effects_ of pride receive the same
appellation when we hear a haughty demeanor and consequential deportment
called pride. The term is used in its most extended signification as
including the thing, its causes, and its effects, when we hear of the
"pride of this world," which is soon to pass away, signifying equally
the causes of this feeling, the feeling itself, and the effects of it.

_Literal language_ is that in which all words have the ordinary meaning
as commonly used.

_Figurative language_ is that in which the ordinary names, qualities,
and actions of things are ascribed to _other things_ with which they
have been associated.

As an example of the use of language which is _figurative_, we find
_tears_, that are the _effects_ of grief, called by the name of the
_cause_; thus:

  "Streaming _grief_ his faded cheek bedewed."

On the contrary, we find the cause called by the name of the effects in
this sentence:

  "And _hoary hairs_ received the reverence due."

Here age is called by the name of one of its effects.

The indiscriminate application of names to things which have been
connected by _time_, _place_, or _resemblance_, abounds in figurative
language. The following is an example where one object is called by the
name of another with which it has been connected by _place_:

  "The _groves_ give forth their songs."

Here birds are called by the name of the groves with which they have
been so often united as it respects _place_. The following is an example
where an object is called by the name of another with which it is
connected by _time_:

  "And _night_ weighed down his heavy eyes."

Here _sleep_ is called by the name of _night_, with which it has been so
often united. The following is an example where one object is called by
the name of another with which it has been connected by the principle of

  "You took her up, a little, tender bud,
  Just sprouted on a bank."

Here a young female is called by the name of an object with which she is
connected by the association of resemblance. When one object is thus
called by the name of another which it resembles, the figure of speech
is called a _metaphor_.

When dominion is called a _sceptre_; the office of a bishop, the _lawn_;
the profession of Christianity, the _cross_; a dwelling is called a
_roof_; and various expressions of this kind, one thing is called by the
name of another of which it is a _part_, or with which it has been
connected as a circumstance, cause, or effect.

Not only do objects which have been united in our perceptions receive
each other's _names_, but the _qualities_ of one are often ascribed to
the other. The following are examples in which the qualities of the
cause are ascribed to the effect, and the qualities of the effect are
ascribed to the cause:

  "An impious mortal gave a _daring_ wound."

Here the quality of the _cause_ is ascribed to the _effect_.

  "The _merry_ pipe is heard."

Here the quality of the _effect_ is ascribed to the _cause_. The
following is an example where the quality of one thing is ascribed to
another connected with it by _time_:

  "Now _musing_ midnight hallows all the scene."

The following is an example of the quality of one thing ascribed to
another, connected with it by _place_:

                          "when sapless age
  Shall bring thy father to his _drooping_ chair."

We have examples of the qualities of one thing ascribed to another which
it _resembles_ in such expressions as these--"imperious ocean,"
"tottering state," "raging tempest." The following is an example of a
thing called by the name of one of its qualities or attending

  "What art thou, that usurpest this time of night,
  Together with the fair and warlike form
  In which the _majesty_ of buried _Denmark_
  Did sometimes walk?"

Here a king is called by the name of a quality and by the name of his

It is owing to the principle of association that another mode of
figurative language is employed called _personification_. This consists
in speaking of a quality which belongs to living beings as if it were
the being in which such a quality was found. This is owing to the fact
that the conceptions of qualities of mind are always united with some
being, and therefore such ideas are connected ones. Thus it is said in
the sacred writings,

  "Mercy and truth are met together."

  "Righteousness and peace have embraced each other."

  "Wisdom crieth aloud, she uttereth her voice."

Another mode of personification is owing to the fact that the actions
and relations of inanimate existences very often resemble those of
living beings, so that such ideas are associated by the principle of
resemblance. In such cases, the actions, properties, and relations of
living beings are ascribed to inanimate objects. Thus, when the sea
roars and lifts its waves toward the skies, the actions are similar to
those of a man when he raises his arm in supplication. An example of
this kind of figurative language is found in this sublime personification
of Scripture: "The mountains saw thee, and trembled; the overflowing of
the waters passed by; the deep uttereth his voice, and lifted up his
hands on high; the sun and moon stood still in their habitations." Other
examples of this kind are found when we hear it said that "the fields
smile," "the woods clap their hands," "the skies frown," and the like.

One cause of figurative language is found in the similarity of effects
produced on the body by operations of mind and operations of matter.
Whatever causes affect the mind in a similar manner are called by the
same name. Thus, when a man endeavors to penetrate a hard substance, the
muscles of his head and neck are affected in a particular manner. The
same muscles are affected in a similar way when a person makes powerful
and reiterated efforts to comprehend a difficult subject. Both these
actions, therefore, are called by the same name, and a man is said to
_penetrate_ the wood with an instrument, or to _penetrate_ into the
subject of his investigations. Thus joy is said to _expand_ the breast,
because it does, in fact, produce a sensation which resembles this
action. There is a great variety of figurative language founded on this
principle. Indeed, there is little said respecting the mind, and its
qualities and operations, where we do not apply terms that describe the
qualities, actions, and relations of matter.

It is also the case that _actions_ and _relations_ that resemble each
other are called by the same name, without regard to the objects in
which they exist. Thus the skies are said _to weep_. Here there is, in
fact, the same action as is weeping in mankind, and it receives the same
name, though it is connected with a different subject. Thus, also, the
sword is said to be "_drunk_ with the blood of the slain." Here the same
relation exists between the blood and the sword as between a man and an
immoderate quantity of liquor, and the relation receives the same name
in each case.

_An allegory_ is a succession of incidents and circumstances told of one
thing which continually recall another thing, which it resembles in the
particulars mentioned. Thus the aged Indian chief describes himself by
an allegory: "I am an aged hemlock. The winds of a hundred years have
swept over its branches; it is dead at the top; those that grew around
have all mouldered away."

_A parable_ is of the same character as an allegory.

_A type_ is an object of conception in which many of its qualities and
relations resemble another object that succeeds it in regard to _time_.

_Hyperbole_ is a collection of actions, qualities, or circumstances
ascribed to an object which are contrary to the laws of experience, and
this language is employed to express excited feeling. Thus, by
hyperbole, a person is said to be "_drowned_ in tears."

_Irony_ is language used in such a manner as to contradict the known
opinions of the speaker, and is intended to represent the absurdity or
irrationality of some thing conceived by him.

_Symbols_ are material things employed to convey the ideas of one mind
to another. Thus, as the cultivation of the olive is connected with
seasons of peace, an olive branch is used to express the idea of peace.

_Symbolic language_ is the use of words that are names of symbols in
place of the names of things represented by symbols. Thus the word olive
might be used instead of the word peace.

Figurative language, especially metaphors and symbolic words, abound in
the writings of the earliest nations; and as what are claimed to be the
earliest revelations of the Creator are recorded in these languages, the
rules for interpreting figurative language are of the highest

The preceding illustrates the principles upon which both literal and
figurative language are constructed. The question now arises, How are we
to determine when expressions are to be interpreted literally and when
they are figurative? One single rule will be found sufficient in all
cases, viz.:

All language is _literal_ when the common meaning of each word is
consistent with our experience as to the nature of things, and
consistent with the other sentiments of the writer.

All language is _figurative_ when the names, qualities, and actions
ascribed to things are inconsistent with our experience of the nature of
things, or contradict the known opinions of the writer.

In the preceding examples of figurative language, it can readily be seen
that a literal interpretation would in all cases form combinations of
ideas which are opposed to experience as to the nature of things. For
example, "_grief_" can not be conceived of as "bedewing a face," because
it is an emotion of mind; nor do "hoary hairs" literally ever receive
honor; nor do "groves sing," nor "night weigh down the eyes."

In like manner, where the qualities of one thing are ascribed to another
with which it has been connected, there is no difficulty in determining
that the language is figurative; for a "wound" can not have the quality
of "daring," which belongs only to mind, nor can a "pipe" be literally
considered as "merry," or "midnight" as "musing;" nor would it be
consistent with experience to think of a "chair" as "drooping." Nor in
the case of personification is there any more cause of difficulty. Mercy
and truth, righteousness, peace, and wisdom, are qualities of mind, and
can not be conceived of as "meeting," "embracing," and "crying aloud" in
any other than a figurative sense. And when the ocean is said to "lift
up his hands," and the sun and moon to "stand still in their
habitations," the laws of experience forbid any but a figurative

In the case of an _allegory_ and all symbolic language, the same rule
applies with equal clearness and certainty. In the example given, it
would be a violation of the laws of experience to conceive of a man as a
tree with branches and a withered top.

_Hyperbole_ is readily distinguished by the same rule. _Irony_ is known
by its being contradictory to the known opinions of the writer. Thus
there is never any difficulty in deciding when language is literal and
when it is figurative in cases where men have the laws of experience by
which to determine.

On the supposition of a revelation from the Creator, there must be
subjects upon which mankind have had _no experience_, such as the nature
of the Deity, the character and circumstances of the invisible world and
of its inhabitants. On these subjects all language must be literal when
the literal construction is not in contradiction to the known or implied
opinion of the other declarations; for on these subjects, as the laws of
experience can not regulate in deciding between figurative and literal
language, it is impossible to show any reason why words should not be
literal except by comparison with the other statements of the same
author. If these show no reasons for supposing it figurative, it must of
necessity be considered as literal; for if neither experience nor the
writer's opinions oppose a literal meaning, there is _no_ cause why the
ordinary and common signification of words should not be retained.

The next inquiry is, How are we to ascertain the ideas which are to be
attached to words that are used figuratively? If the common ideas which
are recalled by words are not the proper ones, what are the data for
knowing _which_ are the ideas to be recalled? The laws of association,
upon which language is founded, furnish an adequate foundation for
determining this question. If language is such that a literal
construction is contrary to the nature of things, the words used
figuratively must express something which has been connected with the
object recalled by the literal signification, either as _cause_ or
_effect_, or as something which it _resembles_, or as something it has
been connected with as a _part_, or by circumstances of _time_ or
_place_. Of course, a process of reasoning will soon decide which of
these must be selected. Take, for example, the expression,

  "Streaming grief his faded cheek bedewed."

Here, as "grief" can not bedew the cheek, it must be the name of
something which has been connected with grief, either by the principle
of resemblance, contiguity in time or place, or by the relation of cause
and effect. It is easy to determine that it can not be either of these
except the last. Tears are the effect of sorrow, and are therefore
called by this name. The nature of the idea conveyed by the figurative
term will show whether the cause or effect, or some object related to it
as it respects time, place, or resemblance, is intended, and no
difficulty can ever occur in deciding. In all cases this general rule
avails: when words are used figuratively, such ideas as have been in any
way connected with them are to be retained as will be consistent with
the known nature of things, and consistent with other assertions of the

In regard to the _literal_ use of language, it has been shown that the
same term is sometimes used for the name of the thing ordinarily
expressed by it, sometimes for its cause, sometimes for its effect, and
sometimes as including all these ideas. The rule for determining in
which of these senses the term is used is the same as in regard to
figurative language, viz., that signification must be attached to the
term which is in agreement with experience as to the nature of things,
and with the other sentiments of the writer. Thus, in relation to the
example given of the term pride, suppose a child is called the "pride of
its parents." We know it can not mean the _emotion of mind_; that it can
not mean the _effects_ of this state of mind; and its only other meaning
is found consistent with experience, viz., it is the _cause_ or occasion
of pride to its parents. The same mode of reasoning can be applied to
the other uses of the term. If a man is said to feel pride, there is but
one meaning which can be attached to the term. If it is said that "the
pride of the world passeth away," it includes the whole, and signifies
that the causes of pride pass away, and with them the emotions and the

The following, then, are the clear and simple rules to employ in
interpreting all language:


1. The literal, ordinary meaning is to be given to all words, unless it
would express what is inconsistent with experience as to the nature of
things, or inconsistent with the opinions of the writer.

2. When the words in a sentence are capable of several literal meanings,
that is to be chosen which makes the writer most consistent with himself
and with all known circumstances.

3. When the literal meaning expresses what is not consistent with the
nature of things or with the writer's other declarations, then the
language is _figurative_, and only such a part of the ideas as have been
in any way connected with the words used are to be retained as will
secure such consistency.

4. In deciding the meaning of words, we are to be guided by the
principles of common sense, viz.: No meaning is to be given unless there
is _some_ evidence that it is true; and, when there is conflicting
evidence, that meaning is the true one which has the _balance_ of
evidence in its favor.


The second volume will commence with a description of the _kind_ of
evidence which sustains the Bible as a collection of authentic and
authoritative records of revelations from the Creator. This kind of
evidence, it will be shown, in one grand feature is entirely diverse
from any that ever existed, or even that was ever _claimed_ to exist in
reference to any pretended revelations.

It will also be shown that this evidence is as strong and reliable as
that which regulates men in their daily practical concerns.

This attempt the writer supposes to be, in some respects, peculiar, and
one that is particularly calculated to affect popular apprehension,
especially that of well-balanced and practical minds. Instead of a great
array of detail and argument, the whole will be contained in a very few
pages, easily comprehended, and demanding but little time or effort.

In the next place, the laws of interpretation, and the principles of
common sense as set forth in this volume, will be _applied_ to discover
the answers of the Sacred Oracles to the great questions of life, and
their agreement with reason, experience, and the moral sense of mankind.

This will involve a discussion of the _philosophical theories_ which it
is believed have obscured and diminished the influence of the great
Atoning Sacrifice of "the Great God our Savior Jesus Christ."

The work will conclude with the practical application of the views set
forth to the greatest of all human interests, the _right_ training of
the human mind in infancy and childhood.

Before offering to the public the topics to be embraced in the last
volume, it is deemed expedient to present the _great principles_ on
which all the discussions are to rest, and also a fair illustration of
the mode in which these principles will be applied.

The following is the illustrative example:

_Theological Dogma of a Depraved Mental Constitution._

In the preceding pages we have seen the evidence that the mind of man is
_perfect_ in its _constitutional powers_, and is thus the chief and
highest evidence of the wisdom, justice, and benevolence of its Creator.

But the systems of theology in all the Christian sects, excepting a
small fraction, teach that the mind of man comes into existence in this
world with "_a depraved nature_;" meaning by this a mental constitution
more or less depraved.

That this is the ordinary dogma of theological teachings is clear from
this statement of the case. A thing can be wrong in only two conceivable
ways: one is by its nature or original construction, and the other is by
its action. The mind of man, therefore, if it is not perfect every way,
is either wrong in _construction_ or wrong in _action_. Now no person
ever claimed that the mind of man was not depraved in action, and
therefore all who teach that it is depraved any other way must teach
that it is depraved in its constitution, or in that nature it received
from its Maker, for there are only these two modes of depravity

It being granted, then, that the mind of our race is depraved in its
nature, of course the Author of this nature is responsible for this
inconceivable and wholesale wrong. This forces us to the inevitable
conclusion that the Creator of mind is a being guilty of the highest
conceivable folly, injustice, and malignity. For reason and common sense
teach that "the nature of a contrivance is proof of the character and
intention of its author." Therefore, if mind is depraved in
construction, the Author of it is a depraved being, and totally unworthy
of our trust, respect, or love.

This is the argument which, in all ages, has been pressed on those
theologians who maintain the dogma of the depraved nature of man, and
there have been these various methods by which this difficulty has been

One class openly avow that the Creator had power to make the mind of man
perfect in all respects, and that he has proved that he has this power
by making the minds of angels and of our first parents thus perfect.
But, in consequence of our first parents eating the forbidden fruit,
every mind created since that time has been ruined in the making, so as
to be totally depraved. This, it is maintained, it was right for God to
do. _How_ it was right we have no business to inquire. It is an awful
mystery; but it was so done that God "is in no way the author of sin."

This amounts simply to a denial of the principle of reason, "that the
nature of a contrivance is proof of the intention and character of the
contriver." It is saying that the author of sin is not the author of

This will be still farther apparent if we refer to page 158, where is
exhibited the only conceivable modes in which one being can be the cause
of sin or of wrong action in others. God is undisputably the author of
all the _outward_ circumstances that surround us. If, then, he has made
our susceptibilities wrong, or combined them wrong, he is the author of
sin in every conceivable sense.

Whoever, therefore, affirms that God is the author of a depraved mental
organization of the human mind, affirms that he is "the author of sin"
in every conceivable sense. To assert such a fact, and then deny that
God is the author of sin, is simply a contradiction in terms.

To avoid this dilemma, theologians have instituted the following

The first class teach that the first pair of the human race were made
with perfect minds, and then stood as representatives of the race and
sinned for the whole. The first part of the penalty came on the actual
sinners in the ruin of their own mental constitution, and then, all men
being _represented_ in Adam and Eve, the Creator "imputed" this sin to
all their posterity, and, as a penalty, all receive a depraved mental

That is to say, though each of the unborn millions descended from Adam
was innocent of the crime, in order to be just, God "imputes" it to
each, and, as a penalty, ruins each in its organization, when He has
full power to make perfect minds.

Another class assume that the Creator established such a constitution of
things that the nature of one mind is transmitted to all its myriad
descendants, by the same law as the nature of a plant is included in one
seed and is transmitted to all of its future kind. The first parents of
our race, receiving perfect minds from their Creator, ruined them by one
act of disobedience. Then, by the above law, instituted by their Maker,
they transmitted this depraved constitution of mind to all their

This mode of evading responsibility is about as honorable as if a
teacher should so construct springs and traps for his pupils that one
little fellow, when forbidden to do it, should touch a spring that
should cut off his own hand, and thus move other springs that would maim
all the rest of the school, while the master lays all the blame on the
child that disobeyed.

Another class teach that the first man and woman of the race were made
with perfect minds, and then such a constitution of things was
instituted by God that every mind of the human race was so existing with
or in them, that when Adam and Eve _voluntarily_ disobeyed the Creator's
first law, every one of their descendants _voluntarily_ did the same
thing; and then, as a penalty for the deed, the parent and every one of
the embryo descendants became "totally depraved."

This theory, which makes every human being guilty of a crime thousands
of years before we were born, and for which we are suffering the most
awful of all penalties, has nearly passed away to the puerilities of the
old schoolmen, and yet there are some of the most popular professors in
our largest and most respectable theological seminaries who are publicly
advocating it at this very time.

Another method promulgated is the assumption that all the race were
originally created perfect, and then, while in the possession of every
possible advantage for virtue and happiness, they ruined themselves in a
previous state of existence. This is the only theory which really meets
the difficulty, and relieves the character of the Creator from being the
guilty author of depraved minds.

But this theory, even if it could be established by revelation, does not
remedy the strong argument of reason and experience against the wisdom
and benevolence of the Creator, on the assumption of a depraved
constitution of mind. The man denying a revelation, who is called upon
to receive one, can say, Here is a race, every one of whom is ruined,
and, so far as I can see, in the making of his mind by the Creator.
Therefore this Creator, by his works, is shown to be a being of infinite
folly and malignity, from whom no _reliable_ revelation is possible.

Granting the mind to be depraved, the light of reason inevitably guides
to a weak or malevolent Creator. To illustrate this, suppose a man is
seen manufacturing beautiful porcelain vases, and out of the "clay of
the same lump," as he makes them, he spoils every one, cracking,
marring, and defacing them in the very process of manufacture. Now
suppose this person should turn to a witness, and offer to instruct him
in the _best way of doing things_, what would be the common-sense reply?
Exactly that which would be due to a Creator who has ruined every mind
he sent into this world, and then proposes to reveal the _right way for
those ruined creatures to act_!

Another illustration may be permitted. Suppose a colony, by some
mischance, settles on an isolated island, which is found covered with
the tobacco plant. They clear their plantations, but find that, by a
remarkable and unintelligible arrangement, after every shower there is a
fall of tobacco seeds, disseminated from an inaccessible height by a
machine erected for the purpose and constantly supplied.

After some years, they receive a missive from the king to whom the
island belongs, in which he informs them that tobacco is the chief
object of his detestation; that it is doing incalculable mischief to his
subjects; that it is the chief end of his life, and he wishes it to be
of theirs, to exterminate the plant, and thus its use.

He, at the same time, states that he is the author of the contrivance
for scattering the seed, and that he keeps it constantly supplied, and
claims that he has a right "to do what he will with his own," without
being questioned by his subjects.

He then enacts that any person who is found to use tobacco, or even to
have a single seed or plant on his premises, shall be burned alive in a
caldron of fire and brimstone.

If, in addition to this, that king were to command supreme love to him,
and perfect confidence in his wisdom, justice, and goodness, all this
would but faintly illustrate that awful system under consideration,
whose penalties are _eternal_.

The assumption that the constitution of mind is depraved not only
destroys the evidence of the Creator's wisdom and benevolence by the
light of reason, but _destroys the possibility of a credible and
reliable revelation from him_.

For the belief in the existence of a God is dependent on an intuitive
truth, while his character is understood, without a revelation, only by
the aid of that intuitive truth which teaches that the nature of his
works proves his character and designs. Now if his greatest work, the
immortal mind, that which alone gives any value to his other works, is
malformed, and thus made the cause of all the misery, crime, and evil of
this life, what is there to give any foundation for confidence that his
revelations will not be false, pernicious, and malignant?

No man can start with the assumption that there is a revelation from the
Creator that needs no proof. The only basis for such a revelation is
that intuitive truth by the aid of which miracles and prophecy become
evidences of the interposition of the Creator. Thus we perceive that the
proof that "the author of a depraved constitution of mind is a depraved
being," is as strong as the evidence of a revelation by miracles and
prophecy can be.

In regard to these theories, and in regard to the dogma of theology
which they are instituted to explain, it is claimed that both reason and
the Bible equally forbid each and all of them.

It has already been shown, in Chapters xxii. and xxiii., that all the
evidence of reason and experience goes to prove that the mind of man is
perfect in its organization. We have only to inquire, then, in regard to
the evidence claimed to be found in revelations from the Creator.

Before examining this evidence, it is important to notice the
distinction between _revealed facts_ and the _theories_ invented to
explain them.

The _fact_, which both experience and revelation agree in teaching, is
that man, as a race, is guilty and depraved in _action_, and that from
the earliest periods of life this _depraved action_ is manifested.

The _theories_ relate to _the cause_ of this wrong action, and there are
only two. The first theory is, that the constitution of mind is perfect,
and that the wrong action results from a want of experience, knowledge,
right habits, right training, and right social influences.

The second theory is, that the constitution of mind is depraved, and
that its wrong action is the inevitable result of this wrong

Then come the theories in reference to _the cause_ of this assumed
malformation of mind. There are only two ever assigned, viz., God and
man: God by creation, and man by sinning _in_ Adam or _before_ Adam in a
pre-existent state.

By those who ascribe the deed to God, it is claimed that he perpetrated
this wholesale wrong to our race in one of two ways, viz., either by the
direct miscreation of each mind at or near the time of birth, or by
creating such a constitution of things that by one wrong act the first
pair transmitted, from parent to child, through the whole race, a
vitiated and depraved mental constitution.

We now resort to the Bible to ascertain what are its teachings on this

In the first place, then, we find a constant recognition of the fact of
a depraved _action_ of mind, and that this commences at the earliest
period of life. On this, as a revealed _fact_, there is no debate.

Next, in regard to the _theories_ instituted to account for this fact.
Here we shall only discuss the commonly accepted theory of the Christian
world, and leave the other for the future volume.

The main reliance for the support of the common theory of a miscreated
mind is found in Genesis, chapters i. and v., which, it is claimed,
teaches, in the first place, that God could and did create the first
human pair with minds perfectly organized, and, next, that after they
sinned, their descendants came into life with a depraved mental
constitution. The passages read thus:

Gen., i., 26, 27: "_And God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after
our likeness.'_"

"_So God created man in his own image; in the image of God created he
him, male and female created he them._"

Gen., v., 3: "_And Adam begat a son in his own likeness, after his
image, and called his name Seth._"

The whole question in these passages turns on the meaning of the words
"image" and "likeness."

Now the only conceptions possible of the "image or likeness" of a human
mind to its spiritual Creator are, first, resemblance in its
constitutional powers of intellect, susceptibility, and will, and, next,
resemblance in the _action_ of these faculties.

That man is the image and likeness of his Maker in constitutional powers
is clear, because we can not have any conception of the Creator but as
of a mind like our own, infinite in the extent of such capacities. This,
then, is _one_ respect in which the first pair could be in the image or
likeness to God.

The other only conceivable respect in which they could resemble their
Creator is by _their own voluntary action, and this can not be conceived
of as created_.

Man is the sole producing cause (see page 158) of his own _voluntary_
acts, which alone decide moral character. Should God create these, man
would cease to be their author and cease to be a free agent.

It is thus manifest that a mind can be _created_ in the image of God, so
far as we can conceive, only in its constitutional powers of intellect,
susceptibility, and will.

This being established as the meaning of the word when it is said that
Adam begat Seth "in his own image," if it has reference to the mind
alone, or chiefly, then it means that the mental organization of the
child was like the parent's, and thus like the Creator's.

In the New Testament, the chief passages which are supposed to bear on
this subject are in Romans, chapter v. These are the main texts:

Verse 12: "_Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and
death by sin, and so death passed upon all men for that all have

Verse 19: "_For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so
by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous._"

Here we again are to discriminate between _facts_ and _theories_. The
_facts_ here stated are, that by one man sin entered into the world, and
death by sin; that death comes on all men because all sin; and that by
one man's disobedience many were made sinners.

Then come the _theories_ as to _the mode_ by which many were made
sinners by the sin of one man.

Here the Bible is silent. But theologians have manufactured the _theory_
that when Adam sinned the constitution of his mind was changed, and then
that this nature was transmitted to his descendants. All this is without
a word of proof.

Others have assumed that all mankind were existing in Adam, and "sinned
in him, and fell with him," which is both unintelligible, and equally
without support from the Bible.

These, it is believed, are all ever claimed as direct Scripture evidence
of a depraved constitution of mind consequent on Adam's sin. Two other
passages are quoted as having an _indirect_ bearing on this subject.
They are as follows:

2 Peter, ii., 4: "_For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but
cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness to be
reserved unto judgment_"--

Jude, 6 verse: "_And the angels which kept not their first estate, but
left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under
darkness unto the judgment of the great day._"

In regard to these passages, we are to notice, as before, first, the
_facts_ revealed, and, next, the _theories_ instituted in regard to

The facts are, that there are two classes of angels, those that have
sinned and those that have not; that those that sinned kept not their
first estate, but left their habitations; that God cast them down to
hell, and that they are reserved in chains of darkness unto the judgment
of the great day.

These are all the facts disclosed. Not a word is said as to the _cause_
or _reason_ why some sinned and some did not, nor as to the mode or
manner by which these events were brought about. Here the _theories_
come in.

Those who maintain the depravity of the human mental constitution frame
their theory on these passages thus:

It is here taught that there are a class of minds that have never
sinned. There must be _a cause_ for this diversity from man's
experience. _This cause is a perfect mental constitution._ This, it is
seen, is _a mere assumption, without a word of proof from the passages
quoted_! What is quite as remarkable is, that this theory is maintained
in the face of the concession that both Adam and the fallen angels were
as well endowed as the unsinning angels in regard to mental
constitution, and yet that they all sinned just as the descendants of
Adam have done.

This dogma has been sustained by certain misconceptions that should be

The first is in the use of the term "nature." As this word is ordinarily
used, it signifies that constitution, received from the Author of all
things, which makes certain results or effects _invariable_. Thus, when
a fountain invariably sends forth bitter waters, it is called its
"nature" to do so; when a tree invariably produces bitter fruit, this is
called its "nature." Now if it was a fact that the human mind never
acted right, but invariably wrong, it would be proper to apply this
term, and to say that in its "nature" it was totally depraved.

But this is not the fact. "Sin is a transgression of law," and every
child, from the first, sometimes obeys and sometimes disobeys the
physical, social, and moral laws of God. No child ever _invariably_
breaks them, but sometimes obeys and sometimes disobeys.

But theologians have mystified the subject by assuming the very thing to
be proved, and then "reasoning in a circle." Thus they assume, not only
without, but contrary to evidence, that all human minds _invariably_ act
wrong from the first; therefore there must be a cause, and this cause is
the "nature" received, directly or indirectly, from the Creator. Then
they assume that, as every mind is "totally depraved" in its "nature,"
it can no more produce holy acts than a corrupt tree can produce good
fruit, or a bitter fountain send forth sweet waters.

Another misconception which has embarrassed this subject has arisen from
the supposition that it is irreverent, and contrary to the Bible, to
allow any limitation to _almighty power_, even in "the nature of

But it can be clearly shown that every person who maintains that there
is a Creator who is "perfect" in wisdom and benevolence, does, by this
assertion, maintain that very limitation to which the objection is made.
This is shown by means of accurate definitions.

Thus "_perfect wisdom_ is that which adapts the _best possible_ means to
the _best possible_ ends."

"_Perfect benevolence_ is that which produces the _greatest possible
good_ with the _least possible_ evil."

That is to say, a Creator who is perfect in wisdom and goodness has done
the best that possibly can be done for the great universe of mind in all
its infinite and eternal relations. This being so, certainly "_He has no
power to do better_."

The only way this is evaded is by using different words that mean the
same thing, and then refusing to define these words, or to accept exact
definitions of them from others.

The infidel, who allows a God of perfect goodness and wisdom, and the
strict Calvinist, who is shocked at hearing that God "_has no power_" to
make a better system, or one that has less of evil, say the very same
thing themselves, only in more vague and misty modes of expression.
They, therefore, are precluded from objecting to positions that involve
such a limitation, when it is the very one which they themselves assume.

To affirm that almighty power can make black white and yet black at the
same time, or a straight line crooked and still straight, even the
strictest upholders of the extent of almighty power would hesitate to
affirm, because they are contradictions and absurdities. But they teach
equal contradictions who claim that a mind can be _created_ with
knowledge, habits, and experience, when it has had neither instruction,
training, or experience.

Instead of claiming these absurdities as included in our ideas of this
attribute of Deity, we are rather to assume that by almighty power is
signified "a power to do all things _except contradictions and

Thus has been presented what is claimed as the evidence in the Bible in
favor of a depraved mental constitution in the human race, and it is
maintained that it amounts to _nothing at all_.

This being so, then we appeal to the principle of reason and common
sense (p. 25), "that _nothing is to be assumed as true unless there is
some evidence that it is so_."

Moreover, in Chapters xxii. and xxiii. is exhibited the evidence of
reason and experience that the human mind is perfectly organized, and
thus the highest evidence of its Maker's wisdom and benevolence.

So we can again appeal to another principle of reason, that "_we are to
consider that right which has the balance of evidence in its favor_." If
there is no evidence to prove the mind of man depraved in organization,
and all the evidence of reason and experience is in favor of its perfect
organization, is it not to be assumed that it is thus perfect?

To this might be added the teachings of the Bible in the same direction.
But this is deferred to the future volume. In the present illustrative
example, the aim is simply to exhibit the fallacy of _one_ of the
theological theories that has been incorporated as a part of the
teachings of the Bible, thus lessening the respect and confidence
accorded to it, and impeding the true religious development of our race.

How it has happened that a dogma, which is so contrary to the moral
feelings and the common sense of man, and, at the same time, unsupported
by revelation, should have become so incorporated with the teachings of
the Christian Church, will be set forth in the next article.

_History of the Dogma._

The history of the dogma of the depraved constitution of the human mind
imparted directly or indirectly by the creative agency of its Maker has
become a matter of profound interest.

So far as appears, _theories_ on the _philosophy_ of religion did not
agitate the apostolic age. Christianity first spread among the humbler
classes. They felt that they were sinful and miserable in the present
life, and looked with dread and dismay to the dark passage of the grave
and the destinies to follow. They were taught to "believe on the Lord
Jesus Christ," and that thus they would become good and happy now and
forever. This they understood to mean, not a mere intellectual
conviction, but a _practical faith_, in which Christ was received as
their supreme Lord and teacher _by conforming their feelings and conduct
to his teachings_.

But, after a while, the philosophers and rulers became Christians, and
then commenced the two grand evils: first, the _theories of philosophy_,
and, next, the _enforcing of these theories by pains and penalties_.
About A.D. 400 commenced the discussion of the theory under
consideration. _Pelagius_, a learned and devout man of Great Britain,
aided by his friend Celcius, promulgated the common-sense views on the
nature of mind derived from reason and experience, mainly as set forth
in this volume, and claimed that these views were sustained by the
teachings of the Old and New Testament. He and his friend traveled and
disseminated these views in Great Britain, France, Africa, Italy, and
Palestine, over which Christianity to a great extent prevailed. The
celebrated Augustine, a man of great goodness, talents, and learning,
became their leading antagonist. He set forth the philosophical theories
afterward adopted and taught by Calvin in the form which is now
denominated _the system of High Calvinism_.

This system starts with the assumption (without proof) that the Creator
_could_ form mind on a more perfect model than that of our race, and
that he _proved_ it by forming the minds of angels and of our first
parents on this pattern. But, as a penalty for one act of disobedience
by them, first their own mental constitution was vitiated. Next, in the
language of standard Calvinists, "Such as man was _after_ the fall, such
children did he beget; corruption, by the righteous judgment of God,
being derived from Adam to his posterity, not by imitation, but by the
propagation of a vicious nature. Wherefore all men are conceived in sin,
and are born children of wrath; unfit for every good connected with
salvation; prone to evil, dead in sins, and, without the Holy Spirit
regenerating them, they neither _will_ nor _can_ return to God, amend
their depraved nature, nor _dispose themselves for its amendment_."

Men being thus terribly incapacitated for right action, so that they
have no power "to amend their depraved nature," nor even "to dispose
themselves for its amendment," the whole race became liable not only to
the pains and penalties of sin through this life, but to _eternal_ and
hopeless misery beyond the grave. Nor could any one of the race do a
single thing to escape this doom, or to induce the Author of their Being
to pity or help them. Instead of this, a certain portion of the race
were "elected" by God to be restored to the state from which their first
parents fell by "the Holy Spirit regenerating them," while all the rest
were left to eternal torments, "to illustrate God's justice and hatred
of sin!" Moreover, whoever was thus elected was sure to "persevere."
These tenets are usually called the "five points of Calvinism," viz.,
_original sin_, _total depravity_, _election_, _regeneration_, and
_saints' perseverance_.

Pelagius denied that there was any difference between the mental
constitution of Adam and his descendants, or any other connection
between his and their sins than always exists between the sins of
children and those of their parents. Of course, the vitiated nature
imparted directly or indirectly by God, and the tenets based on it, were
denied by him.

At this period all matters of doctrine were settled by ecclesiastical
councils. The first council on this matter was in Africa, and, led by
Augustine, they condemned the views of Pelagius. The two next councils
were in Palestine, and both sustained his teachings. Next, in Italy, the
Pope, then at the early period of pontifical power, first sustained
Pelagius, but finally, by the exertions of Augustine and his party, was
led to condemn him with the greatest severity. Finally, the emperors
were enlisted against him with their civil pains and penalties. The
result was, Pelagius and his followers suffered the perils and miseries
of civil and ecclesiastical persecution. "And thus," says the historian,
"the Gauls, Britons, and Africans by their councils, and the emperors by
their edicts, demolished this sect in its infancy, and suppressed it

It is very probable that, if Pelagius had had the power and adroitness
of Augustine, the edicts of emperors and decrees of councils would have
maintained _his_ views, and those of Augustine would have gone into
obscurity. But ever since that day the organized power of the Latin,
Greek, and Protestant churches have been arrayed to sustain the theories
thus inaugurated.

But the common sense and the moral nature of man have maintained a
feeble but ceaseless warfare against the tenets of the Augustinian and
Calvinistic creed, while now this "conflict of ages" is invigorated by
the intervention of a new power. The authority of councils, popes, and
emperors is on the wane, while _the people_ are fast advancing to that
position of umpires in the moral and religious world which they have
gained in the political.

In this long and unequal struggle, the principal actors since the days
of Pelagius have been, in the first place, _Arminius_ at the time of the
Reformation. While maintaining the foundation dogma of a depraved mental
constitution consequent upon Adam's sin, he strove to give some slight
feature of humanity and tenderness to the consequent system by
maintaining that there was _some_ way in which man, in spite of his
ruined nature, could attain some right feeling and action acceptable to
his Creator, and tending in some degree to remedy the dreadful calamity
inflicted on the race.

The historian thus narrates:

"After the appointment of Arminius to the theological chair at Leyden
(University), he thought it his duty to avow and vindicate the
principles which he had embraced, and the freedom with which he
published and defended them exposed him to the resentment of those that
adhered to the theological system of Geneva (Calvinistic), which
prevailed in Holland. The Arminian doctrines gained ground under the
mild and favorable treatment of the magistrates of Holland, and were
adopted by several persons of merit and distinction. The Calvinists
appealed to a _national synod_. Accordingly, the Synod of Dort was
convened (by the States-General), and was composed of ecclesiastical
deputies from the United Provinces, as well as from the Reformed
churches of England, Hessia, Bremen, Switzerland, and the Palatinate.

"It was first proposed to discuss the principal subjects in dispute, and
that the Arminians should be allowed to state and vindicate the grounds
on which their opinions were founded.

"But some difference arising as to the proper course of conducting the
debate, _the Arminians were excluded from the assembly, their case was
tried in their absence, and they were pronounced guilty of pestilential
errors, and condemned as corrupters of the true religion_!

"In consequence of this decision, the Arminians were considered as
enemies to their country and its established religion, and were much
persecuted. They were treated with great severity, deprived of all their
posts and employments, their ministers silenced, and their congregations
suppressed. The great Barnevelt was beheaded, and the learned Grotius
fled and took refuge in France."

Thus it is seen that, while Pelagius and his followers were wasted by
persecution in the commencement of the Calvinistic system under
Augustine, the attempt to soften its hard features by Arminius was put
down by the same method.

But, in spite of all such opposition, Arminianism gained ground, and the
Arminian and Calvinistic systems have existed side by side in most
Protestant communions. In the Church of England, and formerly in the
Methodist churches, these two parties have existed. So in the
Presbyterian, Congregational, and Baptist churches, there has always
been a division in reference to the tenets of Calvinism, some holding
them strictly according to Augustine and Calvin, and others more or less
modifying their sterner features by various theories and expositions.

The main point of difference between these two classes is in reference
to that most disheartening and deplorable tenet of men's entire
inability to "amend their depraved nature," or even to "dispose
themselves for its amendment." The strict Calvinist maintains that the
mind of man is so entirely ruined in its nature that no one but the
Author of mind can rectify it, while he can in no way be moved to this
act of mercy (justice?) by any thing the _unrenewed_ creature can do.
The Arminian sects hold that, though the "natural man" is utterly
incapable of any acceptable moral action in himself, yet, through the
atonement of Jesus Christ, he is endowed with "a gracious supernatural
ability," by which he can accept the offers of salvation. This, it is
supposed, is a statement that most Arminians would accept as expressing
their views.

In our own country, the earliest leader of an attempt to modify the
Calvinistic system was the celebrated metaphysician, Jonathan Edwards.
While maintaining, as did Arminius, the foundation theory of an utterly
depraved mental constitution of the race as a penalty for the first act
of disobedience, he first labored to prove this penalty to be _just_,
inasmuch as in some mysterious way the whole race existed in Adam, and
sinned just as he did, thus becoming the authors of their own mental
ruin and incapacity.

And inasmuch as our moral nature revolts from the infliction of
penalties for not doing what there is _no power_ to do, he originated a
metaphysical theory to this effect: that, in spite of the injury
resulting from this first sin of the whole race, there is full power and
obligation in every human being to obey all that the laws of God
demanded, but that man is _unwilling_ instead of _unable_. This
_unwillingness_ is the result of that first sin of the race; and so
great is its pertinacity, that no man ever did or ever will feel or act
right in a single case, from the beginning to the end of life, until
"regenerated by the Holy Spirit." Neither will they do any thing "to
amend their depraved nature," or to "dispose themselves to its
amendment;" nor will any man, before "regeneration by the Holy Spirit,"
do a single thing that has even any _tendency_ to gain this Divine aid,
but it is all dependent on "sovereign, unconditional election." Still
worse, the more efforts an unrenewed man makes to love and obey God, the
more wicked he grows, because he is _voluntarily_ resisting increased
light and obligation in refusing to regenerate himself, which, on this
theory, he had full power to do.

As it respects God, this theory, indeed, relieves his character very
essentially; but as to affording any comfort to man, it only adds a new
thorn to wound sensitive consciences. For no man could possibly help
feeling that when, according to High Calvinism, he had _no power at all_
to do right, he was relieved from some portion of obligation, even if,
six thousand years ago, he did join Adam in that sinful repast. But
President Edwards and his followers took away this small alleviation,
and put the whole blame entirely on the depraved and guilty creature,
both for the ruin of the fall and the refusal to remedy the evil.

This attempt to prove that _God does not require men to perform what
they have no power to do_, has been regarded as a most terrific heresy
by the strict Calvinist, while for nearly a hundred years New England
and the whole Presbyterian Church have been agitated by it. Again and
again, some of the wisest and best of their clergy have been arraigned
for this heresy, with the threatened or inflicted penalty of loss of
character, profession, and daily bread for themselves and their
families. Three times the author has seen a revered parent thus
arraigned. And in these ecclesiastical trials, she has herself heard
otherwise sensible persons maintaining that men were required by their
Maker to do what they had no power of _any_ kind to do, under the
penalty of eternal damnation, and that it was a dangerous heresy to
maintain that God did not thus require it.

Another attempt to modify the Augustinian dogma is found in the work
entitled "The Conflict of Ages," by the Rev. Edward Beecher. The theory
there presented was first started by the great and learned Origen in the
third century, and has been advocated by individuals ever since. It
assumes the entire and fatal depravity of the mental organization, but
relieves the Creator of all blame by assuming that every human mind was
created with a perfect mental organization, and placed in the most
favorable circumstances possible in a _pre-existent state_; and yet the
same sad results then occurred as our race are approaching, viz., the
existence of two classes of minds, the holy and the sinful. Meantime
this world was prepared as a merciful arrangement to afford a _second_
probation to those who ruined themselves in the pre-existent state.

This theory entirely relieves the Creator of all blame, but gives no
other help or comfort to the miserable race of man. It certainly _is_ a
comfort to feel that our Maker is not a being who ruins his creatures in
the very process of creation, and then exposes them to eternal, hopeless
misery as the consequence of it. But whoever believes this pre-existent
theory takes the load of a guilty conscience for all he considers as
wrong in his own mental constitution, and for all the dreadful

These several theories all were originated to escape from the inevitable
deduction of reason, that _God, as the author of a depraved constitution
of mind, is himself depraved_.

And yet neither of them avails but one of the two _pre-existent
theories_, that makes man himself the author of this ruin of his own
mind, either _in_ Adam or _before_ Adam, while neither of these is
supported either by reason or revelation.

Moreover, neither of these theories _could_ be established by revelation
for want of means to prove a revelation to beings who find themselves
endowed with _miscreated_ minds, as has been shown on pages 287 and 288
of this volume.

Another effort to change the hard features of Calvinism was by the New
Haven school of theologians. These gentlemen maintained that _a holy
nature_ and _a sinful nature_ were not what _could be_ created, inasmuch
as all sin implies a knowledge of what a morally right choice is and
power to make such a choice, while it consists not at all in a wrong
_nature_ or _constitution_, but solely in _wrong voluntary action_.

This is precisely what, as the author supposes, was the doctrine of
Pelagius in opposition to that of Augustine, and for the propagation of
which, popes, emperors, and councils drove Pelagius and his followers
from their churches.

A similar penalty seemed for a while to await the New Haven innovators;
for, as professors in a theological seminary connected with the most
influential university in the nation, their doctrine on this subject
occasioned a controversy that agitated all the New England as well as
the Presbyterian churches.

At the same time, an earnest controversy was in progress with the
Unitarian sect, which had adopted this tenet of Pelagius as a part of
their creed. Of course, the charge, both of Pelagianism and
Unitarianism, was rife all over the land against these innovators on the
established creed of the churches.

To meet this, these gentlemen maintained that they had not essentially
departed from the system of New England divinity as exhibited in the
writings of President Edwards. Thus they had two labors to perform--the
one to maintain the doctrine that sin consisted solely in wrong _action_
and not at all in _nature_, and the other to show that in this they did
not differ from Edwards.

In attempting the first, at one time and another, they have maintained
that mankind _since the fall_ are as truly created in God's image as
Adam was; that the nature of man is still like the nature of God; that a
corrupt, depraved, or unholy nature can not be affirmed of the human
mind in any proper use of these terms.

The inquiry, then, must arise, in many minds that are familiar with the
writings of President Edwards, how it is possible that men so
intelligent and so honest should maintain that on this subject they had
not departed from the system of New England divinity as exhibited by

To the author this enigma is solved by the character of Edwards's
writings, which, like those of many other metaphysicians who hold
theories contrary to common sense, are _contradictory and inconsistent_.
Thus it is seen that one class of very acute minds find in Edwards's
_Treatise on the Will_ the most complete exposition and defense of
_fatalism_, and thus the author regards it. Another class, equally
acute, claim this same essay as a full exposition and defense of the
contrary doctrine of _free agency_.

The Augustinian theory of a totally depraved mind, transmitted through
the Catholic Church to its reformed offsets, was received by Edwards. He
perceived that if God was the cause of this depravity, he is the author
of sin, and so he labored to prove that all mankind "sinned in Adam and
fell with him," and thus caused their own depravity.

He perceived, too, that requiring men to originate holy acts with a
totally depraved nature seemed to demand what they had no power to
perform, and thus made God unjust. So he brought forth his _Treatise on
the Will_ to prove that man had a _natural ability_ to obey God, and a
_moral inability_; and so at once he established _fatalism_ to one class
of minds, and _free agency_ to another.

Thus it is that the New Haven divines find language in Edwards that
sustains their views, while their antagonists find as much, or more,
that condemns them.

The ancient followers of Pelagius, the modern Unitarians, and the
leaders of the New Haven school of divines, all hold exactly the
position set forth in this work of the _perfect organization_ of the
human mind, while the only depravity maintained by them is that of
_voluntary action_. At the same time, it is believed that but a very
small portion of the younger clergy of _any_ theological school in New
England, or in a large portion of the Presbyterian churches, would
openly avow a belief in the depraved mental constitution of man as
created by God, either directly at or near birth, or indirectly by
hereditary transmission.

It is interesting, yet sad, to trace the dominant influence of the
Augustinian theory of a depraved mental constitution in originating most
of the leading sects of the present Christian world.

Man being assumed to be thus miserably miscreated, and his sole hope
being the gift of the Holy Ghost to recreate, the priesthood soon
claimed to be the only medium through which this gift could pass; and
having the eternal life and death of the soul in their hands, they
speedily thus gained that domestic, civil, and religious power which
made the papal hierarchy the most tremendous tyranny that earth ever

The question of the transmission of this power through properly ordained
persons was the chief feature of the Episcopal organization.

Most of the other large sects in this country are descended from the
Puritans, who, as it appears, were the first to institute "a church" as
consisting solely of persons who "profess" to be "regenerated" on the
theory of the renewal of a misformed or depraved mind.

The Greek, Roman, Episcopal, Scotch, and European Protestants recognize
no such organization, all being born into the Church; and this seems to
have been the case in the first churches of the New Testament, where
parents and _their families_, and all who joined their communities, were
considered as constituting the Christian Church, whether "regenerated"
or not.[4] So, in the Jewish Church, all who submitted to the initiatory
rite were members, without respect to religious attainments in
character. This new principle of organization, originating with the
Puritans, is retained among most sects in this nation, and is the
foundation of their separate organizations.

Thus the Baptists are separated on the question of the mode of
administering the _rite of admission_ to this Church.

The Presbyterians and Congregationalists separate on the question of
_appointing the officers_ of this organization.

The Methodists are an offset from the Episcopal Church, with reference
chiefly to modes of bringing men into their Church.

All agree that it is "regenerate persons" alone who are fully members of
this organization.

There are diversities of opinion as to the relation of baptized children
to this body, but none allow them to be admitted to its distinctive
ordinance except they profess to be "regenerated."

It is a matter for interesting conjecture as to the probable results on
Christendom had the theory of Pelagius been established by pope,
emperor, and councils instead of that of Augustine.

In that case we may suppose that the efforts and energies of the
churches, instead of to these rites and forms, would have been mainly
directed to the _right training_ of the human mind in obedience to all
the physical, domestic, social, and moral laws of the Creator.

Instead of instituting two standards of right and wrong, the "common"
and the "evangelical," as is now so generally done, children would have
been taught that all that was just, honorable, benevolent, and lovely in
their feelings and conduct was as acceptable and right to God as it is
to men. Their parents, instead of that sense of helpless inability
resulting from the belief that their little ones could feel and do
nothing but sin until new mental powers were given, and that the gift
was bestowed by the rule of sovereign "election," would have felt that
every successful effort to cultivate all lovely and right habits and
feelings was advancing their offspring nearer to God and their heavenly
home, and that, when their wisdom failed, the promise of "the Comforter"
was given to encourage them in this great work.

Thus they would expect their children to become "new creatures in Christ
Jesus" by the combined influence of the heavenly and earthly parents
gradually transforming their ignorance and selfishness to knowledge and

That the theory of Augustine, originally established in the Christian
churches by pains and penalties, is still sustained there by such
influences, is apparent from these facts.

Although there is a large amount of real virtue and piety that is not
within the pale of any sectarian organization, yet the vast majority of
conscientious persons are either enrolled in _the Church_, or intimately
connected with it in principle and feeling. All this intellectual and
moral power is organized into various denominations, each controlled and
led by a number of highly-educated, conscientious, and religious men.

With these denominations are connected high positions in the pulpit,
with great influence and liberal salaries; literary institutions, with
posts of honor and competency; and theological seminaries that are the
central ecclesiastical mainsprings of influence.

Then there are connected with each denomination large voluntary
associations for benevolent purposes, with officers who control large
pecuniary means. Finally, each sect has its quarterlies, monthlies, and
its religious newspapers, whose editors are speaking every day to the
minds of thousands and hundreds of thousands.

Now it is a fact that this vast array of wealth, position, influence,
and ecclesiastical power is actually combined to sustain these
theological theories. So much is this the case, that a minister,
theological professor, president of a college, secretary of a benevolent
society, or editor of a periodical or newspaper, could not openly deny
this Augustinian tenet but under penalty of the loss of reputation,
position, influence, and the income that sustains himself and family.
Our largest and best theological seminaries demand an avowal of belief
in this dogma as a condition of holding any professorship, and in some
of them it must be renewed by all the professors every few years.

At the same time, this dogma of a depraved mental constitution
transmitted from Adam is inwrought into all the standard works of
theology, the sermons, the prayers, the sacred poetry, the popular
literature, and even the Sunday-school and family literature of

The power of such influences is intensified by the present stringency of
sectarian organization. By those who have marked the tendencies of the
religious world, it will be remembered that, at the time the
associations for religious benevolence began their great work, all sects
seemed to be harmonizing and uniting in the efforts to send Bibles,
tracts, and missionaries to the destitute. At this period, the questions
that separated Christians in reference to modes of ordination, baptism,
and church officers, seemed to disappear as matters of small moment
among all whose great aim was to save the lost of every name and nation.

But, while this served to liberalize the feelings and opinions of good
men in all sects, it soon became apparent to the leaders that, if these
tendencies were not counteracted, the sects would all come together.

If this should happen, where would be all the great machinery that was
supported by these several denominations for their distinctive aims?

Soon the tide turned, and, though now there is less sectarian
bitterness, and most sects can allow each other to be Christians with
different names and badges, yet each is active for its own separate
interests more decidedly than ever. And now the _leading_ concern of
each denomination seems to be, to increase its own separate churches,
schools, colleges, theological seminaries, religious periodicals, and
benevolent associations, not because the salvation of the lost depends
on these distinctive matters, but chiefly as modes of increasing the
_extent_, _respectability_, and _influence_ of their sect. In order to
do this, the importance of the points which divide each from the other
must be magnified; for if there is but a trifling difference between an
Old School and New School Church, or a Baptist, Congregational, or a
Presbyterian, then, in small places, and especially in our new
settlements, all these would unite in one large, harmonious church, that
could properly support all its own ordinances, and send of its surplus
to supply the destitute. On the contrary, if these differences are
magnified, there will be two, three, or four small churches, all
contending with each other, poorly supporting their own ordinances, and,
instead of helping the destitute, sending to other churches of their own
sect for help.

Thus it is that we see vast sums raised every year to multiply these
needless, weak, and militant churches all over the land. There are facts
on this subject that should be deeply pondered.[5]

So in regard to education; although intelligence has diminished the
acerbity of sectarianism, it has led to a higher appreciation of
educational institutions as an element of _sectarian influence_ and
_respectability_. From this has come the struggle to multiply colleges
and female seminaries in each of the several denominations. Each is now
acting _as a sect_ in starting new institutions all over the land, that
demand immense investments for buildings, apparatus, and endowments, and
this without reference to the actual wants of the community. For
example, in Indiana, where the low state of common school education
makes such institutions least patronized, there are _eleven endowed_
institutions, with an aggregate income from these endowments of $14,000
_per annum_, besides tuition. In Ohio there are _twenty-six_ colleges
and professional schools, with an annual income from endowments of
$25,000; and yet, as appears in the public prints, $100,000 has been
subscribed in one city in this same state to start another college for
the Old School Presbyterians, who are expected to raise as much more
among that sect. Besides endowments to support teachers, vast sums are
expended in buildings, some of which are standing unused for the purpose
for which the money to build them was given. This is a fair specimen of
what is transpiring in most of the other states in raising new
institutions or increasing the funds of those already started. In this
way, two, three, and four colleges are often found as competitors in a
section that could properly patronize scarcely one.

After each sect has thus reared an institution, it must then struggle to
find pupils, and thus multitudes of young boys, who are to go into
future pursuits where such knowledge will be of little or no service,
are pressed into a Latin and Greek course, which probably the larger
portion of them forsake before it is completed, with little knowledge of
ancient literature, and far less of their own mother tongue. The waste
of educational benefactions in this way is little realized, while the
effect of congregating the young in boarding-school life, away from home
and parental influence, is most disastrous.

How can it be otherwise? To take the unformed youth at the most
excitable period of the nervous system, at the point where temptations
are strongest, and habits of self-control the weakest, away from
mothers, sisters, and home influences; herd them promiscuously with good
and bad; stimulate the brain to excess; end all the healthful domestic
exercise, and what could be expected but just such wrecks of health,
morals, home habits, and all that is good and pure, as is constantly
going on in such institutions?

If parents could hear the details that have come from mothers and their
young sons of the experiences of boarding-school and college life all
over the land, especially in reference to that most contaminating and
horrible literature and prints that no care can exclude, they would
understand only a small part of the evils included in such institutions
for the young.

Not only colleges, but female seminaries, and even private schools, are
becoming more and more sectarian, as especially patronized by some one
denomination, and relying on this for success.

All this sectarian influence in education is, in fact, operating to
sustain the Augustinian theories _by the pains and penalties_ that first
enforced them; for no teacher of a school, or college, or female
seminary could avow a dissent from theories so powerfully sustained,
without subjecting himself, his institution, and his sect to attacks
from other sects and institutions, as one mode of supplanting a rival.

It was this powerful array of antagonistic influences that for years
withheld the author from any public expression of some of the views set
forth in this work.

It has been stated in the introduction that, while teaching mental
science, in connection with the Bible, to highly gifted minds, an octavo
volume was printed, but not published, which embraced the leading
features of this work. In that, the principles of reason and
interpretation were _not_ applied to the theories of a depraved mental
constitution, which at that time were not, to her own mind,
satisfactorily solved, but to theories on the character and atoning
sacrifice of Jesus Christ, where relief was first experienced by the

On taking advice as to the publication of such a work, it became clear
that it would probably result in such powerful theological influences as
would end a connection with a public institution, and all labors as a

In obedience to the counsel of friends, it was concluded to go quietly
on as an educator, and work out practically all that could be done
without innovating on accepted opinions, and wait till time and
circumstances should afford more maturity and completeness to the
writer's own views; for it was soon perceived that no one ever objected
to having children trained exactly according to the author's present
views, provided nothing was said against the accepted theological
theories. So faithfully has this method been pursued, that it is
probable that there is not an individual with whom the writer has been
associated as an educator, who will not, for the first time, learn her
views on the Augustinian and Calvinistic theories from this work; while,
even in her own family circle, though opinions have been expressed
freely, all discussions on this subject have been avoided.

In pursuing the course of a practical educator, the first years were
spent mainly in the intellectual department, at the period when the
"higher branches" first began to enter as a part of female culture.
Surrounded by some of the most gifted female minds in the country as
both teachers and pupils, and all excited by the interest of pioneers in
the effort to elevate the standard of female education, there resulted
such an amount of intellectual activity and enthusiasm as has never been
witnessed by the author before or since.

Ignorant of the laws of health, and unaware of any danger from excess,
the result was such entire and irretrievable prostration of the nervous
system as forbade forever any farther labor as a practical teacher.

Extensive journeyings to restore health among a widely-dispersed family
connection led to frequent reunions with former pupils. Thence resulted
a deep conviction of the necessity of _training the domestic habits and
tastes_ of young girls as had never yet been attempted, and of the
extreme suffering and _ill health_ consequent on the neglect of it as _a
part of school education_. This led to two works on Domestic Economy,
one of which was designed as a text-book for girls at school, and the
other for their use after they became housekeepers.

Continued ill health, inducing frequent resort to health establishments,
where invalids from all classes were congregated, increased the
conviction that modes of education and other causes were fatally
undermining national health, especially that of women. Thus originated a
work on Health, and another on Physiology and Physical Training.

Incapacitated from labor as a teacher, the only field of effort to the
author was in more general efforts to interest her own sex to enlarged
and _organized_ efforts to secure the proper training of woman for her
distinctive duties, and also to provide _employment_ for her in her
appropriate profession.

Two small works addressed to American women on this subject were issued
by her, and two organizations were the result: one conducted by ladies
in Boston, and one by Governor Slade as General Agent of the Board of
National Popular Education.

As both of these restricted their efforts mainly to providing employment
for teachers already educated, the next attempt was to secure an
organization to prepare woman for her _distinctive duties_ on a more
complete and comprehensive scale.

In this attempt, it was perceived that the other sex have always secured
proper attention to any particular department of education by
_endowments to support highly-educated teachers to give their whole time
to that object_. Thus chemistry, agriculture, and the practical sciences
are made honorable, and are insured as branches of liberal instruction.
The question then arose, Why should not this method be taken to make
woman's _distinctive_ profession honorable, and to secure a proper
training for it?

The business of a woman is divided into three as distinct departments as
the liberal professions of law, medicine, and divinity for men, which
are so honored and endowed. Nor are they less important or universal.
For, in the first place, woman is to train the human mind at just that
period when principles, tastes, and habits are most firmly fixed; next,
she has the care of the human body all through its period of
development, when the physical habits are formed, and also in periods of
sickness for all ages. Lastly, she has charge of the whole circle of
domestic economy, and of all the _home_ interests of the family state.
Educator, nurse, and housekeeper, these three departments are not less
in importance than law, medicine, and divinity.

The leading feature, then, in this attempt was to secure an organization
of American women, who should aim to establish model institutions for
woman, that should prepare her _thoroughly and properly_ for the three
distinctive employments of her profession, by means of endowments to
support highly-educated teachers for this express object. In all other
female institutions, the training of the _intellect_ has been the
leading object; in these, the preparation of woman for her distinctive
duties was to be the leading object.

To the common remark that the mothers must do this _at home_, it is
replied, in the first place, that the mothers, to a great extent--_as
the general rule, having but few exceptions_--are not qualified to do
this; and, next, if they were, they have not the _health_, or they have
not the _time_, or they have not the _will_ to do so. When men wish to
perfect and honor any profession, they provide _endowments_ to sustain
teachers of the highest order. Thus, for example, though it may be said
that farmers can best train their sons for their own profession, still
agricultural professorships in our colleges, and teachers sustained by
endowments, are found to be indispensable to honor and raise that
pursuit to a _science_ and a _profession_.

While the young women of the nation see every thing else more honored
and provided for than the very profession and future business of their
lives, they will grow up to neglect and despise such duties.

The education of woman, to be what Heaven designed for the race, should
unite the _home training_ of the parents with the _school training_ of
the teacher. Instead of taking young girls from all domestic interests
and pursuits, and turning all the energies of their nervous system into
the intellectual department of the brain, there should be an equable and
healthful training, at once, of the bodily powers, the social and
domestic habits, the intellect, and the moral nature; and in effecting
this, the parents and the teachers should _work together_ harmoniously.
It is in reference to this that the tendency of this age and country to
conduct the education of the higher and middling classes in
_boarding-schools_ instead of _at home_ is most disastrous.
Boarding-schools should be the exceptions to meet the wants of a sparse
population. Instead of this, the country sends its daughters to city
boarding-schools, and the city sends to country boarding-schools, and so
_home_ education is becoming more and more neglected.

The consequences to the health, happiness, and moral interests of woman
are more and more disastrous.

In reference to this, the efforts of the above association have been
confined to establishing what it is hoped would become _model
institutions_ in the _centres of influence_ of the states where they
were located, in which the funds should _not_ be spent in providing
great buildings to take children away from all home influences and
domestic pursuits, but rather in providing such teachers and influences
as would have a direct bearing on the homes of the pupils, and aid the
parents in cultivating _home habits_, _home virtues_, and _home tastes_
and _pursuits_.

This brief history of the writer's efforts is given because its results
will now be seen to form a part of the "history of the dogma" which is
the subject of this section.

For, during the whole period of these efforts to promote the _right
training of the human mind by woman as the Heaven-appointed minister for
this end_, the influence of this dogma has been constantly forced on
attention as the real antagonistic force. That is to say, the whole
energies of the Christian Church, in its distinctive character, are
organized to remedy the evil _after the mind is educated wrong_, while
little is attempted by the powerful agency of _organization_ to secure
its _right education_. In proof of this, it will be seen that all the
great benevolent organizations for which collections are enforced from
the pulpit are for adults, with one only seeming exception. There is an
organization to send Bibles, another to send tracts and colporteurs,
another to send missionaries abroad, another to send home-missionaries,
another for the sailor, another for the slaves, another to educate
ministers, another to raise up colleges, another for temperance, and so
on. All these have as their direct aim those who are educated wrong, and
are to be redeemed from sinful habits. Not one has any direct reference
to the _formation of right habits in the daily training of every-day

The Sunday-school is the only seeming exception. But this is only a
weekly exercise of an hour or two, in which every sect secures the
training of its children in its own religious system, while this system,
in most cases, is based on the Augustinian doctrine of the inability of
children to feel or do a single right thing till they are "regenerated,"
while not only the teaching, but the Sunday libraries for children all
enforce this dogma. The practical influence of this, though counteracted
more or less by other influences, is fairly illustrated in the mental
history of the author in the Introduction.

Thus the Christian Church has all its organizations to _cure_ diseased
and miseducated mind, and not a single one to _prevent_ this ruin by its
right training.

This being so, this effort to promote the neglected and yet great end of
Christian effort has been looked on with indifference, or as a small
concern to receive its mite, while all others are to receive their
hundreds and thousands.

Moreover, the enterprise has been looked upon with jealousy by many
whose attention has been called to it as a _covert_ sectarian movement
to promote the interests of that denomination with which some of its
movers have been connected. Then, too, because it really has not favored
any one sect, it has secured the special favor and sympathy of none.
There has never been a time when its movers have not been made to
understand that success in raising endowments would be certain if the
anti-sectarian feature could be relinquished, and the enterprise could
assume a sectarian banner.

The most influential clergy of the large sects are engaged in
denominational enterprises, to found colleges or theological seminaries,
or to establish book or newspaper agencies _devoted to the interests of
their sect_. The great body of laymen who have wealth to bestow in large
sums are more or less influenced by their clergymen, either as personal
friends or as spiritual advisers. Especially is this true of the few
benevolent ladies who have such independent means as to be able to
furnish endowments.

And thus it has come to pass that this first attempt yet known to
organize Christians _as Christians_, to train woman for her great work
of forming the physical, social, domestic, and moral habits of childhood
by methods deemed indispensable by man for his professions, is on the
verge of failure, after four years of trial. And this is not owing to
the fact that the motives, or the plan, or the conductors of it have
been extensively distrusted, or in any particular disapproved. On the
contrary, the leading clergymen of most of the Protestant sects have
given their unqualified approval, while the Board of Managers embraces a
large proportion of the most distinguished female educators and
authoresses, with some of the most distinguished business men and
financiers of our land. At the same time, the agents and educators who
have performed for four years the details of the enterprise have secured
the entire approval and confidence of the public as to their

The real difficulty at the root of all is the indifference to the
training of the habits of childhood, resulting from the long-established
dogma of a misformed mind, whose propagated incapacity is not within the
reach of educational training. Meantime, the chief energies of the
Christian Church are now tending to the extending of sectarian
organizations, based on peculiarities as to baptism, ordination, and
church officers, which no intelligent person believes are either
indispensable to salvation, or even so important as to be subjects of
direct Divine commands.

It is this view of the subject that has at last brought the author to
relinquish any farther practical educational efforts, and now to attempt
whatever may be in her power in directing public attention to what seems
to be one grand impediment in the Christian world to the right training
and development of the human race.

In presenting this work to the special attention of the laity, the
author does not intend to imply that theologians are not to take the
lead in all discussions and investigations that are to guide and
enlighten mankind in their special department.

The aim is rather to lessen the general impression that the whole matter
is to be left exclusively to them; that it is a _professional_ concern,
in which a layman is to resign his own judgment as he does to his
physician or lawyer. Instead of this, there are some reasons why the
laity have superior advantages to the clergy in cases where
long-accepted theological errors are to be eradicated.

In the first place, they are free from the strong influence of _a
system_ into which the mind has been _educated_. The power of a system
over men who are trained to reason, and who reason on that subject which
involves all the greatest interests of existence both for time and
eternity, is most insidious and incalculable. To this is added the
reverence, love, and veneration felt by pious persons for those great
and good men who, like Augustine, Calvin, and Jonathan Edwards, have
been the revered masters of theological systems for ages. Under these
two influences, every new opinion is compared with _a system_, and when
it is seen to be inconsistent with it, all the veneration attached, both
to that and to its authors and advocates, stands opposed to any

The powerful influence of educational training, and of love and
reverence to a revered parent, has taught the author to understand and
sympathize with other minds similarly influenced.

From all such biasing influences the laity are far more free than their
clerical guides.

Add to this the fact that the "pains and penalties" attached to all
change in theological opinions have very little reach among the laity.
Any layman, if he adopts new views, can quietly withdraw from one
religious communion and join another more congenial, or remain
unconnected with any, while no man can call him to an account. But men
connected with parishes, colleges, and all educational institutions, are
subject to the supervision of councils, presbyteries, synods, and many
other organs of surveillance, making it indispensable that all changes
should be known to the public. Thus profession, reputation, and daily
bread become more or less involved.

And here it is but justice to express the author's convictions, which an
extensive acquaintance with the clergy of various sects has induced,
that there is not another body of men, of equal number and education,
who are so free from personal considerations of this kind in forming and
maintaining opinions.

The entrance on the clerical profession in this country involves the
sacrifice of all hope of wealth and its advantages, and includes often
poverty and a painful dependence on the vacillating favor of parishes;
so that, to a man of talents and worldly ambition, the command to enter
this profession is very nearly equivalent to that of the Great Master's,
"Sell all that thou hast and give to the poor, and come and follow me."

But while allowing that, as a class, this profession is, most of all,
free from biasing influences of the kind indicated, it can not but be
allowed that they are subject to like temptations as other men, and that
these considerations must have more influence with them than with the
laity, who are exposed to little or nothing of this kind.

To this, add the fact that men in other professions are far more
habituated to look at all questions in a _practical_ relation, and to
use the principles of _common sense_ more than the principles of _a

The writer has had frequent occasion to notice how the well-trained
reasoners of other professions throw aside the theories and systems of
theology, and settle down on the great practical truths of Christianity.

It has sometimes been a matter of wonder to perceive how little
attention is often given by some of the most gifted and well-trained
laity, even those that are devoutly religious, to questions deemed of
paramount and absorbing interest by the clergy.

In presenting this work to public attention, the author is not animated
with the expectation of any immediate or very striking results.

Long-established and time-honored opinions, especially when they are
entwined with the sacred hopes and interests of religion, are changed
only by slow and gradual transitions, and these, often, almost

It is the hope of the author to do something to promote at least a
_renewed discussion_ of these subjects, under more favorable auspices
than have heretofore existed.

The circumstances that favor and indicate such a renewal are, in the
first place, a gradual change that has been going on the last thirty
years in the theological world as the result of discussions on these
very subjects. Some of the most candid and acute minds that have been
interested in such discussions have, more and more, been led to feel the
difficulties involved in the accepted theory of Augustine; and though
few have come to such clear convictions on the subject as to feel
warranted in taking any public stand as innovators or reformers, many
are ready to examine and discuss in a very different attitude of mind
from what has ever before been so extensively experienced.

One striking indication of this change is the almost universal neglect
of "indoctrinating preaching" among the younger clergy in those sects
where, forty years ago, it was deemed indispensable to success to thus
establish the "five points of Calvinism."

A still more important change is an increase in that _practical_
preaching that urges on the consciences of men all their domestic,
social, and moral duties, _as constituting an essential part of
religion, as truly as the affections toward God and the special duties
owed to him_.

An equal or greater change is apparent among the laity. The strong
Calvinistic doctrines that used to be so reverently received are either
simply tolerated or quietly rejected. This is particularly the case with
mothers and teachers, both in the family and in the secular and Sunday
schools. Thousands of practical, tender mothers utterly refuse to teach
their little ones that a depraved nature has descended to them from
Adam, and that they can never perform any thing that is right or
pleasing to God till this nature is recreated; or, if they use such
language, it is with explanations entirely un-Calvinistic.

Instead of this, they teach their offspring that they can please and
obey their Heavenly Parent as truly and acceptably as they do their
earthly parents; that when they have so learned to love and please Him
(or to feel and act right) that it is their _chief desire_ thus to do,
they have a _new life_. This "new birth," they also teach, is the result
of that aid from the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, which both parents and
children so need that they can never succeed without it, and yet which
is promised to all who earnestly desire it, and seek it by proper

Multitudes of parents and teachers are pursuing this method in churches
whose ministers would entirely revolt from the idea of denying the
Augustinian theory or the system of Calvin resting upon it. Many are
doing this, unconscious that they are taking a course that is contrary
to the standards of their Church.

In conclusion, the author would ask attention to the chief points
presented in this volume.

The main question is, are these principles of reason or common sense,
and the rules for interpreting language here set forth, accepted as
guides in deciding the great questions of life?

Next, are the deductions gained by their aid as to what can be learned
without a direct revelation from the Creator accepted?

Lastly, is the Augustinian theory of a depraved mental constitution
consequent on the sin of the first parents of the race, as tried by
these principles, supported either by reason or the Bible; and, if not,
should not all men renounce it, both theoretically and practically?

In answering this last, it is to be remembered that the question is not
one of _fact_ as to the _depraved action_ of mind, but of the
_philosophy_ of this fact, or _the cause_ of this wrong action. A man
may not be able to form any satisfactory theory on this question, and be
content, as the early Christians used to be, to remain without one. The
repudiation of the Augustinian theory does not necessarily involve the
adoption of any other, while it does remove insurmountable difficulties
from just and generous minds in accepting the Bible as of Divine
authority while encumbered with what seems so contrary both to the moral
sense and the common sense of mankind.

       *       *       *       *       *

It has been the privilege of the author all her life to be intimately
associated, by family and other connections, with the ministers of
religion in a variety of denominations--those intelligent, excellent,
and pious men who, more than any other class, can understand that heavy
burden of spirit connected with that awful subject, _the eternal loss of
the human soul_.

Before closing, they will permit a few inquiries in reference to this
subject. The almost universal cessation of "revivals" of religion, the
diminished attendance of the masses on Sabbath worship, the decrease in
the relative proportion of the ministry, the diminution of spirituality
and the consequent laxness in the Church, the increase of skepticism and
infidelity of various grades, the terrific rush of worldliness on all
classes, as wealth, and luxury, and temptations of all kinds abound, are
not all these signs of the times of fearful import, foreshadowing either
some dreadful judgments, or the advent of some moral forces that are
appropriate to such a crisis?

In this position of the moral world, is it to be supposed that theology
alone, of all departments of science, has reached its culminating point,
so that there is no possibility of improvement? Is there not manifestly
needed far more powerful motives than any now wielded to stop the
inrushing tide of worldliness? In former times, when revivals abounded,
it was the principle of _fear_ that was first appealed to with such
wonderful results. But where now are such appeals made as once shook
men's consciences with fears of "_the wrath to come_?"

If such preaching abounds in any quarter of our nation, where is it? In
all her travels the writer finds it wanting, and the testimony of others
is similar.

Here, now, is the great question: Could the ministry _now_ preach the
_distinctive_ theories of Calvinism, and at the same time those awful
views of the _eternal loss of the soul_, warranted by Scripture
language, with any prospect of being sustained by the moral sentiments
of the great body of benevolent and intelligent hearers? Would not some
be driven to reckless worldliness, others to infidelity, others to
Universalism, others to another style of preaching, till the remainder
could scarcely maintain any preaching at all? Is not this perceived and
felt by many ministers, and is not this one great reason why that
terrible doctrine, on which the whole Gospel is based, is now so hidden
or so slightly recognized in the pulpit ministrations?

And yet, to the writer, it seems that this very doctrine, so plain and
awful in Holy Writ, could be so drawn forth by the light of reason alone
as to furnish a power of motive now almost unwielded. It seems as if the
terrible exhibitions of this volume in the chapters on _Habit_, and on
the _Wrong Action of Mind in a Future State_, might be wrought out by a
man of talent and eloquence so as to draw such audiences as once
thronged around Whitfield, and with equal results. What, then, could be
done with the added power of revelation, dissevered from obstructing

When the writer looks back on her own mental history for the last thirty
years, and feels how every step of her life, during the whole of that
period, has been regulated by the overmastering pressure of this
tremendous subject, and when she is sure that a conviction that no such
awful dangers beset our race would bring her life on to just that level
where so many Christians complain that they find themselves, the query
will often arise whether ministers who _say_ so little about the matter,
and those professed Christians who _act_ so little in consistence with
it, _really do believe it_? And yet, when her own difficulties in
expressing all that has been thought and felt are recalled, it is
understood how others too may have been equally embarrassed and

In regard to the main topics of this work, is not every minister called
to decide, _practically_, between these two theories?

The first is, that the great and leading aim of all Christian
organization should be _to train new-born minds aright_, and that it is
the special office of the ministry to influence the _educators_ of the
race to the right performance of this, their chief duty.

In doing this, it is to be assumed that the end for which we are made is
"to glorify God" by obedience to those laws by which "the most happiness
with the least evil" is to be secured to His vast eternal empire.

That, at the _first birth_ of a child, it is "impossible, in the nature
of things," for it to feel and act for the happiness of others till it
has learned to know what gives pleasure and pain to _self_, and to
understand that there are other beings who can thus enjoy and suffer; so
that a child, by its very nature, is at first obliged to be _selfish_ in
the _exercise_ of faculties which, _in reference to the great whole_,
are perfect.

That the "second birth" is the sudden or the gradual entrance into a
life in which the will of the Creator is to control the self-will of the
creature; while, under the influence of love and gratitude to Him, and
guided by "faith" in his teachings, _living chiefly for the great
commonwealth_ takes the place of _living chiefly for self_. For this,
the supernatural aid of the Holy Spirit is promised to all who seek it;
and, without this aid, success is hopeless. But the grand instrumentality
is the _right training_ of parents and teachers.

Then, in reference to that great change of character which
wrongly-educated mind must pass in order to gain eternal life, there are
three modes of expression in the Bible in regard to that, viz., "love to
God," "faith in Jesus Christ," and "repentance."

According to all uses of these terms, in _practical_ matters, _love_ is
nothing which does not include obedience or conformity of will and
action to the being loved. _Faith_, or _belief_, is nothing unless it
includes its fruits of obedience. _Repentance_ is nothing unless it
includes ceasing to do evil.

_Obedience_ to the laws of God, physical, social, moral, and religious,
is the grand, indispensable requisite. Now, when any person is so
engaged in striving to obey all these laws that it is the _first
interest_ of the mind, then there is a "new heart;" and so great is the
change from the life of self-indulgence and disobedience to one of such
earnest desire and efforts to obey God, that it is properly expressed by
the terms "born again" and "created anew."

The contrasted theory is, that the chief end of man is "to glorify God,"
without, perhaps, any very definite ideas of what this signifies; that
our whole race comes into life with dwarfed and ruined moral powers, so
that it is as impossible, before a "second birth," to feel and act
right, as it is for a corrupt tree to bear good fruit, or a bitter
fountain to send forth sweet waters; and that the great end of Christian
organizations is to secure and administer certain appointed methods by
which God re-creates these diseased minds. Thus all training, all
instructions, all good habits, are nothing as having any fitness toward
either preparing a child for eternal happiness, or inducing God to
re-create its mind. For it is "unconditional election," and not any
foreseen act, either of parent or child, that decides their eternal

Can any minister preach without assuming one of these two theories as
the very foundation-principle of his ministrations? And is this matter
any the less a _practical_ one to all the laity?

During the period in which the author has been engaged as a practical
laborer in the field of education, her chief earthly reliance has been
on the counsel, sympathy, and co-operation of _her own sex_; and in
closing a work especially dedicated to them, a few parting words may be

This work is offered, not as one of metaphysics and theology, to
exercise the intellect alone. It presents the grand practical question
of life to _woman_ as the mother, the educator, the nurse, and the
fountain of home sympathies for the race. It is the question over which
every Christian mother ponders with aching heart as every new immortal
is brought to her arms. It is the question where every Christian teacher
stands in awe, as, gazing into the dark futurity over the dim ocean of
eternity, each young mind is felt to be a voyager whose frail and
solitary bark is soon to be launched. The Protestant mother or teacher,
with the Bible in her hands, can not, as in the Catholic Church, throw
off this tremendous responsibility on to _her priest_. She may go to her
minister for aid, but at the last _she must decide for herself_ what is
that path which Jesus Christ decides to be right in guiding the lambs of
His flock through such awful dangers.

Here, then, is the great practical question on which depends the _life
of the soul_, and for ETERNITY! and every parent and every teacher must
decide on which theory the young minds committed to their care shall be

In contemplating the discussions that must ere long be renewed on these
great topics, and in such forms as to involve, not theologians alone or
chiefly, but _the_ _people_, and especially the most intelligent of her
own sex, the writer recalls with deep interest her early efforts as a
pioneer in elevating the course of female education. Then she supposed
herself the first, as she was among the first, to introduce such works
as Butler's Analogy, Mental Philosophy, and a Mathematical course as a
regular part of female education. And as she recalls the hundreds of
bright, vigorous, and independent minds under her care thus trained to
reason accurately, and now scattered as mothers and influential members
of society in almost every state in the Union, and then remembers, too,
how many institutions all over the land have for years pursued the same
course, she can not but thankfully believe that the Almighty Teacher and
Ruler was thus preparing her sex for these very responsibilities.

In relinquishing that educational enterprise which for years has
absorbed her time and strength, while as yet it is so imperfectly
understood and so little appreciated, she asks, with tender and grateful
memories, the attention, not only of her dear former pupils, but of that
multitude of noble and benevolent women who, at so many times and
places, have afforded her their sympathy and aid, to what is still
farther offered on this subject in the closing note.[6]

[4] The word "church" in the New Testament, in the Greek, signifies
"assembly" or "congregation," and not an organization of regenerate

[5] See Note C.

[6] See Note D.


NOTE A, page 17.

Some atheists imagine that they escape the difficulty by assuming that
matter is eternal, and thus uncreated. But the question is, not in
reference to the existence of matter, but as to the _organization_,
_contrivances_, and _changes of matter_, all of which prove the
existence of some Intelligent First Cause.

The theory of an "infinite series of changes and causes without a
beginning" is a contradiction in terms, as can be shown to any person
who understands the use of definitions, and no other person is prepared
to discuss such subjects intelligently.

Let it be remembered that the author, in this work, has not attempted to
present a complete exhibition of _all_ the intuitive truths, but only
such a portion of them as are adapted to the design of this work. At the
same time, by a close analysis, some here presented as distinct
intuitions could be shown to be specifics, under a more general
proposition. But in a popular work, and for the purposes aimed at, this
close analysis is inappropriate.

NOTE B, page 192.

"Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever," is an
expression equivalent to what is here maintained, if we assume that the
chief "glory" of God consists in the rectitude and happiness of his vast
empire of intelligent minds.

Various other terms used to express the ultimate end of the Creator in
his works, _accurate definitions_ would show to be simply different
words chosen to express the same idea as that here presented.

NOTE C, page 314.

In the _Home Missionary_ for February, 1856, is the following mournful
exhibition of the results of these sectarian divisions:

"_Subdivision a Source of Weakness and Destitution._

"Now it is but too evident that our American Christendom is prosecuting
its work, in some respects, at a disadvantage. True, funds have been
furnished with a commendable liberality; but, worse than a dearth of
money--which a few months of vigorous effort, or a prosperous turn in
the market might remove--there is a dearth of men. Fields are explored,
openings are found, communities are fast forming, and even make urgent
requests for ministers, but often there are no ministers to send. The
great exigency of the missionary work now is the want of capable and
devoted _men_.

"However we may charge this upon the lukewarmness of the churches, upon
the absence of correct views respecting ministerial support--and its
consequent meagreness--or on the prevalence among young men of a subtile
skepticism, we may not shut our eyes to the fact that the want must
continue as long as that unfortunate division of the field continues,
which must ever come from divided counsels and sectarian rivalries.
Destitutions are likely to last while alienations last.

"Every denomination naturally feels that it must be strong in the
centres of population; and so, without asking whether the Church of
Christ needs so many congregations there, we crowd our six separate
enterprises, of as many rival names, into a little place where two
churches would do more good than the half dozen.

"The evils that result from this course are many and various. One
consequence of it is a weakening of the unity and the moral force of the
Church as a whole. Another is the diminution of the numbers and the
strength of the several local societies, so that an amount of assistance
many times greater is needed, and this need is prolonged for years, when
often its period should have been reckoned in months. But a third
consequence of this overcrowding of one portion of the missionary field
is the _destitution_ of other portions. While many villages are so well
supplied as to leave pastors and churches leisure to quarrel, many rural
districts and young communities are almost totally neglected. If all the
preachers in the United States were evangelical men, well educated and
devoted to their work, they would no more than supply the real wants of
the country, upon a system of wise distribution. On a system, then, so
unfortunate as this, its destitutions are not supplied; and we hear from
all quarters the cry, Send more laborers into the harvest.

"_A Cause of Unwillingness to enter the Ministry._

"Again, a fourth consequence of our denominational divisions, and
another cause of destitution, is seen in the difficulty of persuading
young men of enterprise to enter the ministry. When we consider how the
field of ministerial labor is cut up into small parishes, affording to
men of superior capacity but a limited scope for some of their best
qualities--with scarcely the possibility of much improvement--promising,
also, only a meagre support and a moderate usefulness, we can not wonder
that young men who are conscious of the ability to occupy a larger
sphere, and whose nature thirsts after something stirring and an
opportunity for a hopeful struggle and for achievement, should often
shrink from the seeming narrowness and hopelessness of the work which is
here offered them. We need not praise the truthfulness of their
appreciation in all particulars, but have we, on the whole, a right to
anticipate a different decision? No. The result is manifestly one that
must be _expected_. There is not the least doubt that this diminution in
the size of parishes is also a diminution in the attractiveness of the
pastoral office. And so this very multitude of denominations, which has
increased the want of ministers, operates, in more ways than one, to
diminish the supply.

"_A Discouragement and a Weariness._

"But, what is yet worse, it tends to _injure_ the ministry. No preacher
but has felt, at times, the depressing influence of a small audience. A
large proportion of the missionaries at the West feel this at all times;
and often the intellect is jaded, and the heart is wearied out, from the
want of that natural stimulus which the presence of a multitude and the
pressure of an important occasion alone can afford. If it is
discouraging to find your people coming out in small numbers on rainy
Sabbaths, what is it to have nothing but small numbers the year through,
and year after year? How must this tend to check youthful enthusiasm,
and to dull the fires of intellectual and moral energy. If our brethren
of the West have not fallen behind themselves, it certainly is not due
to the inspiration of large audiences or of populous and able parishes;
for, with so many divisions in such sparse and unstable communities,
these can not be otherwise than small. Good men will labor on, indeed,
under all these discouragements; and the greatness of their faith will
make their work and achievement great. They may triumph over these
difficulties, but they contend at disadvantage; and the difficulties are
_real_, notwithstanding the highest fidelity.

"_Number and Policy of Denominations._

"There are more than _forty_ religious denominations in the United
States. Four of these--the N. S. Presbyterians, the O. S. Presbyterians,
the Congregationalists and Baptists, together with the Methodists and
Episcopalians--habitually esteem it a matter of obligation to be
represented in every community where it is possible to gather a church
of their name, and, in establishing these churches, deem it no part of
their duty to consider, in the least, the welfare of any congregation of
a different name that may have been previously gathered. We have six
great evangelical churches, each one of whom feels bound to push forward
its own growth, with a disregard of the interests of all other churches,
which is equivalent to an ignoring of their existence, and, in practical
effect, identifies the Kingdom of God with the denomination. It is very
much as though each one had laid it down as the fundamental principle of
its procedure--WE are the saints.

"_Waste of Resources._

"Now it is obvious that this system must bring about an unfortunate
distribution of labor and a great waste of power; in some localities
multiplying churches to excess, and leaving other regions destitute;
making the town congregations weak, from their very multitude, and
losing the happy moment in communities that are just forming from the
want of the right men to occupy them at the right moment; while many
laborers abuse as much time and strength in working against each other
as they use in working for Christ. So churches are born weak, and are
compelled to worry through a long and fretful infancy, are kept on a
diet irritatingly low, and compelled to struggle, with slow and
uncertain growth, toward a maturity which must come late, and may come


Here follow statistics, the details of which we omit, and give these as
the results, as seen in _three_ of the larger denominations, viz.: the
O. S. Presbyterian, the N. S. Presbyterian, and the Congregational.

In this table is shown the _number of churches_, with a given number of
members to each church.

                    | Not  | Not  |      |      |      |
                    | more | more | More | More | More |
                    | than | than | than | than | than |   Total
 Number of Members. |  50. | 100. | 100. | 200. | 300. | reporting.
 Presbyterian O.S.  | 1239 | 1907 |  763 |  278 |  101 |    2670
 Presbyterian N.S.  |  743 | 1180 |  432 |  163 |   70 |    1612
 Congregational     |  696 | 1219 |  752 |  245 |   83 |    1971
 Total of three     |      |      |      |      |      |
     denominations  | 2678 | 4306 | 1947 |  686 |  254 |    6253

"_Proportion of strong and weak Churches._

"More than _one fifth_, therefore, of all the churches connected with
these denominations may be counted as _very weak_, none of them having
more than twenty-five members, and the average falling considerably
below that number. Nearly _one fourth_ may be counted as _weak_, their
membership ranging between twenty-five and fifty; and these, taken
together with those that are weaker yet, constitute nearly forty-three
per cent. of the whole. More than two thirds of all the churches do not
contain over one hundred members. Those that exceed one hundred are
about thirty-one per cent., and those that exceed two hundred are not
quite eleven per cent. of the entire number.

"_Present Supply of Ministers inadequate._

"The whole number of ministers in these three denominations is 6150. The
number of pastors and stated supplies (errors excepted) is 4336, leaving
1814 to be classed as without charge, as professors, teachers, editors,
secretaries, etc.

"The number of churches in the three denominations whose membership
exceeds fifty is some five hundred less than the number of pastors and
stated supplies. If, therefore, each of the five hundred men remaining
after the largest churches were supplied were to take two of the smaller
churches, more than sixteen hundred churches would still be left
destitute; and if allowance be made for those not reporting, this number
must be taken as exceeding two thousand. Probably none of these contain
more than thirty-five members.

"_Deficiency due to Divisions._

"Now we need a thousand-fold _increase_ of our effective force in the
great harvest-field of the world; but have we any reason to expect that
the Lord of the harvest will hear our cry for laborers, and raise them
up indefinitely, in order to meet wants unnecessarily, nay, wickedly
created by our divisions? Would a spendthrift son expect to prevail with
an indulgent father to administer to his necessities on the plea or the
confession that he had squandered his former bounty, and, moreover, was
intending to make a similar use of what he then solicited? The
responsibility rests upon Christians of no one name, and it would seem
that if the people of God every where could but have a full realization
of the heart-rending inadequacy of all means yet employed for the
conversion of the world, or of the utter hopelessness of ever meeting
the vast want under such a waste of power, the work of economical
adjustment would at once and earnestly commence, and also a new
consecration--that the evangelization of the world may be carried
forward upon a scale commensurate with the providential openings for
missionary effort.

"That would be, indeed, a glorious revolution which should bring the
true disciples of Christ every where to this position--to a consecration
that should keep nothing back from the Lord, to a heaven-appointed
economy in the adjustment of forces, a _condensation_ of churches in the
same neighborhood, till the combined body could support a pastor,
furnish him with all needed facilities for the prosecution of his work,
and, at the same time, open to him an _adequate_ field of labor. All
supernumerary ministers in a given locality would thus be set loose for
effort where men are perishing for lack of vision. Then Apollos would
not interfere with Paul when he planted, nor Paul with Apollos when he
watered, nor would both either plant or water at the same point or time,
provided one could do the work.

"_Divisions unnecessary._

"But it is possible that some, calling to mind the large number of weak
congregations at the East--where denominational rivalry is less active
than at the West--may claim that this feebleness is but a part of the
necessary imperfection of human arrangements; that we must always have
the poor with us, and that it is not the sectarianism of the West which
so reduces our churches. It were sufficient to suggest, in reply, that
the weak churches in the older states are found where the communities
are weak, in barren or uncultivated districts, or in regions depopulated
by emigration, while a large proportion of the feeble churches of the
West are in populous, vigorous, growing communities, where nothing but
irreligion or division could keep the congregations from being numerous,
and where nothing less than the combination of the two could keep them
so small as they are. Yonder are three debilitated churches struggling
for existence against each other. Is it necessary to ask whether, if
they were joined in one, and were with one heart and voice contending
for the kingdom of God, the Christian strength of that community would
not be greater?

"_Proportion of weak Churches at the West._

"But facts are at hand which show that the relative number of feeble
churches is much larger at the West than at the East. Of the churches in
Illinois and Iowa connected with three leading denominations, the
proportion that must be accounted very weak--having not more than
twenty-five communicants--is almost twice as great as in the same
denomination taken entire, and amounts to nearly _two fifths_ of the
whole number reporting. These, again, taken with those whose membership
ranges between twenty-five and fifty, make up nearly _seventy per cent._
of the whole!"

       *       *       *       *       *

The author would ask attention to a few questions in view of these

The above table was formed from _reporting_ churches. There are 934
churches _not reporting_. Giving to these last the average proportion of
ministers and weak churches, and we find this result:

 Whole number of churches                      7187
 Ministers acting as pastors and supplies      4336
 Churches without ministers                    2851

That is to say, in three of our largest and most wealthy and intelligent
denominations, _nearly one third_ of their churches are without
ministers, and _nearly one half_ of them have not over fifty members,
and the majority of these members, no doubt, are women. Then the
relative number of ministers is _constantly decreasing_.

In this state of things, to what is the Church and ministry coming?

When young men of talents and energy see not only independence, but
wealth before them in other callings, where, in preparing, they will not
need to spend _nine years_ in dead languages and literature never to be
used; where they can have an abundant field of usefulness, and where
their minds can be _free_ from creeds and the supervision of
ecclesiastics and parishes, how long will any such seek the ministry?

Will not the ministry thus soon become the resort, first, of poor,
ambitious young men, who find in its official standing the surest mode,
with moderate talents and means, to gain the _highest social position_;
and next, of _ambitious young men of talents_, who, among such inferior
competitors, are sure of the best pulpits and highest salaries?

Again: How long will the _laity_ so freely pour out their earnings to
endow colleges and theological seminaries when such results as these are

NOTE D, page 336.

In resigning all farther agency in practical educational efforts, the
writer hopes, after so many years of devotion to it, she may be allowed
to speak with entire frankness her views as to the present modes of

The last thirty years have witnessed great efforts all over the nation
to improve and increase common schools, and to multiply higher
educational institutions. Although much has been said and written in
regard to physical and moral training in schools, unfortunately very
little has been accomplished.

It is the intellectual department of the brain that has absorbed
attention, as if this were the chief, or even the whole of man. Parents
stimulate, teachers stimulate, lecturers stimulate, superintendents
stimulate, school committees stimulate--all turning their full energies
on to only one function of the brain.

In our colleges, this _intellectual_ stimulating is divided and
subdivided, one professor for one department, another for a second, and
another for a third, and so on, till from twelve to twenty are thus
employed. Meantime the training of the body, or the development of the
social, domestic, and moral powers, have not even one to minister the
needful care.

Then, in preparatory boarding-schools for boys, taken from mother,
sisters, and home influences in the first blush of youth, all the school
stimulus is turned on to the brain to develop Latin, Greek, and
mathematics, while health of body and soul perish under abuse or

Then the boarding-school is taking the young girls through a kind of
college course at the most critical period of life, while their chief
nervous energies are exhausted in completing _a given course of study in
a given time_, and almost every law of health for body and mind are

Then, in our primary schools, especially in cities, where pure air,
healthful exercise, and home employments are least at command, all the
energies of school committees and superintendents of schools are
directed to securing a given amount of intellectual labor.

But what is the teaching of physiology on this matter? Through one of
its greatest writers, thus it speaks:

"If young children are compelled to sit quietly while their minds are
urged to undue action, _we take from them the noblest part of their
strength, and consume it in the function of thinking_. Thus growth is
retarded, the limbs imperfectly developed, the digestion (and thus the
blood) becomes bad, scrofula perhaps appears, and then ensues a great
predominance of the nervous system. Any _unequal_ development of our
faculties is injurious. It is certain that _mental exertions_ weaken the
more they are unaccompanied by bodily movements. Those who, _between_
mental occupations, take bodily exercise, can _do more_ than those who
neglect this exercise."

The grand evils of our present modes of education are, not that too much
intellectual training is bestowed, but that physical, social, and
domestic training are neglected. The result is a _universal decay of
national vigor and health_. Other causes, such as the use of stoves and
unventilated houses, improper diet and dress, with excess in other modes
of stimulating, have had a large share in the evil, but there can be no
doubt that mistaken modes of education are the chief causes of the
acknowledged fact that our national health is perishing at a frightful

There are facts that prove the Anglo-Saxon race, as developed in America
under the best circumstances, is the most perfect race on earth as it
respects size, strength, and beauty. The mountain regions of Kentucky
and Tennessee, where the climate allows all to live in pure air night
and day, with the simple food and habit of forest life, send out sons
that, appearing in foreign lands, are followed by admiring crowds as
specimen giants. General Washington's staff, though not picked men, were
most of them over six feet in height, with size and muscle to
correspond. The vigorous mothers and stalwart sons that achieved our
Revolution have given place to sickly mothers with a delicate and puny

The Greeks, though they educated the mind, took even more pains to train
the body, and thus they became the wisest, strongest, and most powerful
people on earth. We might do the same, and with far greater facilities;
but, should our present rate of deterioration proceed, two or more
generations would bring us out a race of deformed and unhealthy pigmies.
For facts to sustain such a prediction, the author begs leave to refer
to her _Letters to the People on Health and Happiness_.

The great point now urged is that woman should be _trained_, not, as
some would urge, to enter the professions of men, but _for her own
proper business_, in educating mind in developing the body of infancy
and childhood, and in conducting the economy of an orderly, happy, and
well-regulated _home_. These arduous and complicated duties demand able
assistance, and here is the calling of the female educator; not to carry
off children from their parents and home, but rather to aid these
parents in education in _all_ departments.

It is manifestly the Divine intention that parents should be the chief
educators of the race, and all plans consistent with this will succeed,
and all counter to it will fail. The boarding-school is not in
consonance with this Heaven-appointed plan, and the evils multiply
around it so fast that a nation of so much common sense as ours must
soon forsake it for the true method.

Again: in the grand object of educating humanity for an _eternal_
existence, the questions as to how ordination or baptism shall be
administered, or whether it shall be church elders or church committees
that rule, are to be made secondary, and the followers of Christ are to
unite for the education of the race, not as _sects_, but as

These views present the principles on which is organized the _American
Woman's Educational Association_.

Its main features are, that it unites all sects in education; that it
spends its funds, not for great buildings to deprive the young of
parents and homes, but to provide well-trained educators to assist
parents _in_ their homes; and, finally, its leading aim is to prepare
woman for her _distinctive duties_ as educator, nurse, and fountain of
home sympathies for the race.

In attempting this, the methods the other sex have employed to honor and
sustain _their_ professions have been claimed, viz.: institutions
governed by _a faculty_ instead of an individual, and teachers supported
by _endowments_ for this express object.

The following extract from the _fourth_ Annual Report of this
Association gives some of the results.

"We are now prepared to indicate what has been accomplished. We have,
then, in the first place, evolved and set forth a fundamental _idea_.
This is no small part of the success of any great movement. Whatever
were the difficulties of first learning to print, the triumph of
Gutenberg was nearly achieved when he first mastered the _idea_ of the
type. It was a secondary affair to work it out and set the world
vibrating to its power. We have got the _idea_, and done something
toward its execution.

"We have secured the existence of two institutions on our plan, one at
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the other at Dubuque, Iowa, whose united
catalogues will show some five hundred pupils the past year. Both are in
very successful operation, with efficient boards of teachers, silently
doing the work for which they have been established.

"We have united all the Protestant citizens in the noble work of
founding and patronizing these institutions, which they cherish as among
their most valued public establishments. We have shown that the _faculty
principle_ is as good for female institutions as for those of the other
sex, and that results may be expected from it for woman corresponding in
utility and dignity with those it has secured to man.

"We have shown that, by the _offer_ of the small endowment of twenty
thousand dollars, we can secure the establishment of one of these
invaluable institutions, and make it a permanent source of measureless
good--a most economical and wise expenditure of educational

"We have, in short, carried out our plan successfully just as far as it
can be done _before_ the endowments are actually furnished.

"We have made a beginning toward raising the first endowment, and are
able to report on hand and pledged nearly ten thousand dollars.

"Our movement has the confidence and full endorsement of many leading
clergymen, educators, and editors of our country. Our institutions have
the hearty co-operation of the religious bodies where they are located.

"At our last annual meeting, an urgent request was made to the
Association to aid in the establishment of a third institution at
Kalamazoo, Michigan. Without any pledge of immediate action, it was
agreed that, if the citizens should comply with our conditions, we would
aid them as soon as our means would allow. Those conditions have not yet
been met, and we have not, therefore, been called to do any thing at
that place.

"It has seemed desirable, moreover, that the endowment of the two
institutions already established should be completed before attempting
to found others."

The questions most frequently proposed to the conductors of this
enterprise, and the answers to them, will now be introduced.

How can the business of domestic economy be taught as a part of school

Not in great boarding-schools, where it never was or can be done. The
"Mount Holyoke" plan, now so popular, is widely supposed to embrace this
in its design. But the _teaching_ of this science is not the aim of
their domestic department. It is a measure for _reducing expenses_ by
saving hired labor, while certain social advantages are supposed to be
combined with it. But no pupil is to be _taught_ any thing in this
department. Meantime, introducing cooking, washing, ironing, and
house-cleaning as a regular part of school duty, makes a system of such
detail and complication, demanding so many rules and such strict
obedience as adds enormously to the already excessive pressure that is
put on the female brain. This is probably an insuperable difficulty
attendant on this system, that will forever forbid its introduction
wherever the _healthful_ development of woman has its proper regard.

How, then, is the object aimed at to be accomplished?

In reply we say, that, with institutions established for the express
purpose of training women to be healthy themselves, and to perform
properly all their duties as educator, nurse, and regulator of the
domestic state; with teachers supported by endowments for this express
object; with a board of managers embracing some of the most influential
ladies in the land, who are or have been both practical teachers and
housekeepers; with committees of influential ladies in each place where
such institutions are located to co-operate, the thing attempted can not
fail to be done, and in the best manner. Whatever ought to be done, can
be; and whatever can be done, will be, when energetic American women
fairly undertake it.

But will endowments for such institutions be furnished?

In reply, we point to the multitudes of needless colleges for the other
sex all over the land, for which the people are pouring forth such
abundant endowments, while _women_ are even more liberal, according to
their relative means, than men.

Since this effort commenced, one lady has endowed a professorship in
Brunswick College, Maine. Another lady has added $20,000 to the nearly
_one million_ endowments of Cambridge. These two are the first cases of
endowments for the _physical_, _social_, and _moral_ departments of
education. Woman, then, has first done for man what is now sought for
her sex.

In this same short period, sufficient for the endowment of a theological
professorship in Connecticut has been furnished by female benefactors.
In New Jersey a lady has given some $30,000 for a college. In New York
City another lady has endowed a theological professorship. In Albany,
New York, a lady has given $50,000 for a scientific institution for man.
In Massachusetts a lady has given more than enough to endow a
professorship for a college in Wisconsin. Many more cases can be given
of large benefactions, amounting in all to hundreds of thousands, given
by woman within a few years for the richly-provided professional
institutions of man, while as yet not one complete endowment for her sex
has been raised.

Why is this? Because it is so difficult to change long-established
customs and habits of thought. The idea that every thing must be done
for man's profession, and nothing for woman's, has so long been
dominant, that even our own sex have fallen into that belief and

But the American people are eminent for practical wisdom and common
sense. The time is certainly coming when the _true view_ is to possess
the public mind, and then the right practice will follow. The question
is simply one as to time, and as to _who_ are to be the first to provide
means for this great movement to promote the right physical, domestic,
and moral training of our race, whose names shall shine as benefactors
of our sex, as Harvard and Yale have shone for the other.

But it is asked, Why go to the West to establish such institutions?

Because the evils of sectarian strife affect educational interest most
severely there; because educational institutions are most needed there;
and because the moral soil, like the natural, bears fruit so quickly and
so abundantly.

But why not endow large boarding institutions already established?

Because it is contrary to the grand design of Providence to take
children away from parents to educate them; because it is more
economical to provide superior teachers and school-houses in cities and
large towns, than to turn funds into brick and mortar to congregate
great communities of the young away from parents, home, and all domestic
pursuits; and because those who need to go to boarding-schools can find
homes in private families in large towns.

But why not have our public schools on this model?

Because it can not be done until the public, by fair experiments, have
tested the value of such institutions. So long, too, as foreign lands
are emptying all classes into our country, and their children enter all
public schools, it will be impossible to bring the children of the
wealthy classes into them.

In conclusion, the author asks every true woman who reads this to help
in this effort for the _women and the children_ of our country. If she
has money to give, it can be sent to our agent, Rev. William L. Parsons,
No. 11 Cliff Street, New York.

If she has _time_ to devote to the work, let her send $1 25 by mail to
Harper & Brothers, New York, and she will receive, without farther
expense, the author's two works, one on Domestic Economy, and the other
on Physiology and Physical Training, designed as text-books for schools.
She can then _use her influence_ to introduce them, while the author's
profits, as they ever have been, will be devoted to this object.

The following is the Constitution of the association and the names of
the ladies and gentlemen who superintend the enterprise. Most of them
have been practical teachers, most are practical housekeepers, while
they represent seven different religious denominations:


ART. 1. The name of this Society is the AMERICAN WOMAN'S EDUCATIONAL

ART. 2. The object of this Association is to aid in securing to American
Women a liberal education, honorable position, and remunerative
employment _in their appropriate profession_; the distinctive profession
of woman being considered as embracing the training of the human mind,
the care of the human body in infancy and in sickness, and the
conservation of the family state.

ART. 3. The leading measure to be pursued by this Association is the
establishment of permanent endowed institutions for women, embracing the
leading features of college and professional institutions for the other
sex, _i. e._, they shall be conducted by a _Faculty_ of _Teachers_, each
being the head of a given department, and no one having control over the
others. An office corresponding to that of the President of a college
shall be optional with those who control each institution.

ART. 4. The mode of establishing such institutions shall be as follows:
An agent of this Association shall make this offer to some city or large
town in a section where teachers and schools are most needed.

First: That the citizens shall organize a Board of Trustees, in which
the various religious denominations of the place shall be fairly
represented; that these Trustees shall provide temporary accommodations,
and pupils enough to support four Teachers; that a Primary and a High
School Department be organized, and that the college plan of a Faculty
of Teachers be adopted.

On these conditions, the Association shall furnish the Institution with
a library and apparatus to the value of one thousand dollars. The first
Board of Teachers shall be appointed by the Association, with the advice
and consent of the Trustees, and thereafter the Faculty shall have the
nominating and the Trustees the appointing power.

Second: As soon as the Teachers have secured public confidence, and
proved that they can work harmoniously together, the citizens shall
erect a building at an expense of not less than ten thousand dollars,
and engage to give gratuitous tuition to twenty Normal Pupils. In
return, the Association shall provide an endowment of twenty thousand
dollars, the interest of which shall furnish the salaries of the three
superior teachers, each having charge of one of the three departments
set forth above as constituting the profession of woman. They shall also
aid in the literary instruction. These three teachers, with the
beneficiary Normal Pupils, and any others who may wish and are qualified
to enter, shall constitute the Normal Department. The Normal Pupils
shall act as Assistants in the Primary and High School Departments,
under the direction of the Principal Teachers.

ART. 5. With each institution shall be connected an organization of
ladies resident in the place of location, who, with the Teachers of the
Normal Department, shall carry out a system for raising up schools in
destitute places, and for securing employ and suitable compensation for
all teachers trained in the institution. When the home supply is
inadequate, the Teachers shall be sought from the Board of National
Popular Education, and other similar associations. All teachers thus
located shall be under the special care of this local Association, and
the boarding establishment of the Normal Department shall serve as a
temporary home to them in all emergencies demanding it.

ART. 6. Funds contributed for endowments shall be held in trust for this
Association by gentlemen Trustees incorporated for the purpose.

ART. 7. The whole control of the business and funds shall be in a Board
of Managers, who shall appoint their own officers, agents, and executive
committee. This Board shall have power to perpetuate and increase
itself, but the number from any one religious denomination shall never
exceed one fifth of the whole. Not less than seven different
denominations shall be represented in the Board, and a majority shall be
ladies who are or have been practical teachers. Any number of members
present, of the Board or of the Executive Committee, at any meeting of
either, due notice having been given of such meeting, shall constitute a
quorum. The Board shall meet annually at such time and place as it shall
appoint, and the presiding officer shall be appointed at each meeting. A
meeting may also be called at any time, at the request of any three
members of the Board.

ART. 8. Any person may become an honorary _life member_ of this
Association by the payment of twenty-five dollars, and an _honorary
patron_ of the enterprise by the payment of fifty dollars or upward.


 Mrs. Z. P. G. Banister,        _Newburyport, Mass._
 Mrs. L. H. Sigourney,          _Hartford, Conn._
 Mrs. S. J. Hale,               _Philadelphia_.
 Miss P. Fobes,                 _Monticello, Ill._
 Mrs. Gen. J. Gould,            _Rochester, N. Y._
 Mrs. E. Ricord,                _Newark, N. J._
 Mrs. H. B. Stowe,              _Andover, Mass._
 Mrs. Prof. H. C. Conant,       _Rochester, N. Y._
 Miss C. E. Beecher,            _Boston, Mass._
 Miss Mary Mortimer,            _Milwaukee, Wis._
 Miss C. M. Sedgwick,           _New York_.
 Mrs. Prof. D. C. Van Norman,        "
 Mrs. Marcus Spring,                 "
 Mrs. C. M. Kirkland,                "
 Mrs. Prof. H. Webster,              "
 Mrs. A. H. Gibbons,                 "
 Mrs. C. W. Milbank,                 "
 Mrs. Rev. Dr. Cheever,              "
 Mrs. Henry Dwight, Jr.,             "
 Mrs. James Harper,                  "
 Mrs. D. Codwise,                    "
 Mrs. Charles Abernethy,             "
 Mrs. Prof. Henry B. Smith,          "
 Mrs. Joseph F. Stone,               "
 Miss Caroline L. Griffin,           "
 Mrs. Rev. Abel Stevens,             "
 Mrs. Rev. W. L. Parsons,            "

The following gentlemen are the Officers under the Act of Incorporation
granted to the Association by the Legislature of New York in 1855.

 BENJ. W. BONNEY, President.
 WM. L. PARSONS, Cor. Secretary.
 HENRY A. HURLBUT, Treasurer.






I give and bequeath to the "American Woman's Educational Association,"
incorporated by or under an Act of the Legislature of the State of New
York, the sum of [space] Dollars, which I direct to be paid by my
executors to the Treasurer of said Association for the time being.

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