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tural; and though it may now seem indecent or obscene to our customs and ideas, it was not so with respect to their customs and ideas. Some of their idolatrous personifications were beautiful and instructive objects, grand moral and physical lessons. If Venus bad her votaries, Diana and Minerva were not deserted; and from the best of my observation. and consideration, I verily believe, that there was more of honour, chastity, cleanlinesss, and every thing good and delightful to mankind among the Pagans, than there has been among their shabby and corrupted imitators the Christians. Tbe gross, the ignorant, the brutish, the unmeaning, the grovelling, the lying, the stultifying mythology of the Christians has no comparison, but in the more depraved part of the existing Hindu mythology. The elegant mythology of the Grecians, as Mr. Gibbon elegantly and truly terms it, was calculated to produce, what it did produce, every noble feeling, every elevated sentiment, and a contempt for every thing low and base. To the superiority of such a mythology over that of the Christians may be attributed all that superiority of character which the ancient exhibit over the modern Grecians-all that dignity of carriage--that noble demeanour-that manlike composure--that sublime idea, which the old Grecians and Romans exhibit in contrast with the Christians. There is no historical fact more clear, than that Christianity corrupted the Pagans, by corrupting their mythology. Christianity is nothing more than a base version of one part, and the worst part of the Pagan mythology; and it has entwined on its votaries all the vices, with none of the virtues of the ancient Pagans. Intelligence can no where be traced beyond the animal world; and there was, Mr. Allin, just as much of it in the Pagan statues, as in the Christian Paintings-in Jupiter, as in Jehovah-in Bacchus as in Jesus Christ-in Mercury, as in your Holy Ghost.
All that now comes will be mere repetition of what has been said about matter, motion, and miod. Truth every where lies in a nut shell. It is the pestiferous and fatal property of error to be expansive and difficult of condensation. Witness what a direful expansion of error has arisen
the word God, upon a' mistake or ignorance of the properties of matter. But it becomes necessary to use repetition, in dealing with a Christian, lest he fancy his multitude of words be invincible. When a man preaches a sermon, he does not compute the quantity of truth, or the true limits of his subject, but the quantity of time which custom requires bim to
fill in utterance. His purpose is theatrical, not instructive; he consults attitude, gesture, and impression, rather than the sense or bearing of bis words; and he feels, that he has an aqditory to be tickled with sound, from their want of capacity to criticise his subject. Such are the preachers and such the bearers of all Christian Sermons: how wide would be the difference if lectures on science were substituted! This being the case, I introduce the bulk or pith of this sermon, and make notes on it as I proceed, as the most clear and effectual mode of refutation. After an attack upon his brother idolator, Mr. A. proceeds:
On traversing the field of nature, it soon becomes obvious, that there exist substances capable of being extended and divided, and presenting almost infinite varieties of figure, magnitude, and motion; the objects of some one or more of the senses; to the whole of which substances philosophy has given the name of matter. Of this matter it is universally allowed, the human body is entirely composed: all the organs that constitute it, and all the parts of those organs; all the fluids that wind throught it their meandering way, the food on which it subsists, and the air it respiresall are material: reduced to their primitive elements, they are ablutely dead;t and in themselves are devoid of voluntary motion, and thought, and sense. But in men we find perception, consciousness, thought, reason; and the question instantly presents itself to the inquiring mind, Do these properties result from matter, or have they a distinct, an independent, immaterial cause? The existence of the properties themselves is unquestionable; there must thercfore exist some substance, or being, of which these are the properties, and from which, as their cause, these effects proceed: and as we have previously remarked, it is the province of reason and philosophy to search out this cause, and to ascertain, as nearly as possible, its precise nature”.
It is has been often and truly observed, that did the thinking, reasoning powers of man result from matter, they must be, either essential properties of its nature, or produced by some particular form, or union of its parts. That these powers are essential properties of matter; that is to say, that no portion of matter either
· No further dead than they were before they had passed through that body still alive enough to pass through some other living body, to accomplish again what they had before accomplished : with all their former motive properties.
R. C. Very good ; but until we are sure that we have exhausted every material cause or phenomenon, we have no ground whereon to speak of immaterial causes. It is our ignorance of the former that leads us to invent tbe latter. As a proof of the absurdity and contradiction of their theory, these Iminaterialists are continually calling their immateriality a substance !
does, or can exist, without possessing them, has never, I believe, been asserted: indeed the assertion would be so repugnant to reason, and so directly opposed to fact, that to make it, might well be deemed an evidence of the completest idiocy, or of the grossest perversion of mind. It would be in effect to assert, that the earth on which we tread, and the houses we inhabit; the food we eat, and the air we breathe, are all as rational as ourselves; and that to cut off the hand of a man, must be as injurious to his thinking powers, as to destroy the contexture of the brain. Nor is this all: not only are not the thinking, reasoning powers of man essential properties of matter, but farther, we know of no material substance, or element, in which these powers are inherent, or with which they are inseparably connected. Give to the man of scientific research any portion of matter, and let him reduce it, as nearly as possible, to its first principles: let him denominate those principles, gasses, or metals, or light, or caloric, or whatever else he pleases: does he find any one of them the subject of thought or reason? Impossible. Let him examine the nature of the electric fluid, to the instrumentality of which, as some philosophers seem to have taught, the visible creation owes all its variety of contexture and form. Does reason reside here? If it does, the lightning is the most rational substance in this lower world. Let him analyze the nervous system in the human body, with which system sensation is unquestionably connected. Does the substance of which the nerves are composed, or the fluid that circulates through them, possess thinking or reasoning powers ? That it does not, is demonstrated by this unquestionable fact; that a member when separated from the body, though it retains the same nerves, and nervous fluid, as when in union with that body, yet possesses no powers of thought or reason". The inevitable conclusion is, therefore, that these powers are neither essential properties of matter, nor inherent in any material elements within the compass of our present research.
Here, then, the question presents itself; Do these properties result from any particular form, or union of such elements? This question, the Deist, and the materializing Christian, have generally agreed to answer in the affirmative and it niust be allowed, that, reasoning from partial, instead of general principles, and concluding from partial observation, some plausible things have been advanced; while on the other hand, our ignorance of the pre
3 How so? Are they not inseparably allied to animal matter, or rather, to a living animal? Are they found separate from an animal? If not, what is the inference? "That i: all begins and ends in sensation.
R. C. 4 It is like lopping off the branch of a tree-you kill the branch but not
Touch the spinal marrow and then see what your thought and reason are worth. As far as the nervous system is the seat of sensation it constitutes inind.
cise nature of vegetable and animal life, and of the cause of some appearances in the human constitution, has prevented that luminous and setisfactory reply, which to some may seem desirable. At the same time, we shall not despair of convincing every intelligent, attentive, and candid individual, of the superior, the spiritual nature of the human mind. We allow, indeed, that some peculiar conformation of matter is necessary to render it the fit recipient of animal life, and to prepare it for the due performance of animal functions: we allow that a yet greater peculiarity of conformation is necessary to render it the fit habitation for a rational soul, and a fit instrument by which such a soul is to exercise, and improve, and manifest its powers'. Were the mind united with the adamantine rock, in the same manner as it is with the human body, it is probable that it would be alike inactive and inaccessible; it would neither act, nor be acted upon; it would neither receive, nor communicate ideas. For the development of its powers in a material world, aud through a material medium, the apparatus and mechanism of the body are required; with such a body, the mind, therefore, is here united: but that it is not produced by any bodily mechanism, nor by any conformation of matter, the following reasonings may evince.
There is, as we have already hinted, no material substance or element within the whole conipass of our present knowledge; no fluid, however subtile, no spirit, however pure, which has, of itself, thinking or reasoning powers. There is no more of these powers in the purest ray of light, than in the clod of clay; in the most violently effervescing spirit, than in the most stagnant pool; in the swiftest beam emanating from the sun, than in the immoveable and impenetrable rock, Nay, farther: between the thinking, reasoning powers of man, and these material elements, there is neither similarity nor relation: but the powers of mind are equally removed from them all’. This allowed, be it observed, that no
• Here then, a subsequent argument, that an effect cannot be superior to its cause, is overthrown. Our preacher makes his body essential as a cause to the exhibition of mind or soul and proclaims the effect superior to the cause! It will by and bye be seen, that according to our ideas of relation or value, many an effect is superior to its cause.
R. C. 6 How truly ridiculous such an observation! What a striking proof of a bad cause! And how vain is ability even in such a cause! That which cannot receive nor communicate ideas, can be no mind. Mr. A., in his flight after phantoms, has fabled a mind in the adamantine rock, without ideas, that is, without a mind! 0! Spirituality! O! Immateriality! 0! Parson Allin! Alas! for your auditors !
R. C. 7 Of course, there is no mind where there is no sensation. That compound, be it what it may, that produces sensation, produces mind and all its phenomena. This is not only theoretically but practically clear.
union of elements can give a permanently active property, or power, which, in its own nature, is essentially different
from all those properties that these elements separately possesse. True indeed, a fluid holding some earthy or metallic substance in solution, may be caused to deposit, and thus re-produce that substance; still it returns nothing but what it before contained. Substances compounded of different materials may be decomposed, and thus resolved into their primitive elements, but no new element is thus created. By the union of two substances different in certain properties from each other, as in colour, density, and form, a third substance, different in these respects from both the others, may be produced; but no property entirely or essentially new is thus created. That profound reasoner Dr. Samuel Clarke, has justly observed, “ Whatever can arise from, or be compounded of any things, is still only those very things of which it was compounded; and if infinite compositions or divisions be made eternally, the things will still be but eternally the same. All the possible changes, compositions, or divisions of figure, are still nothing but figure; and all the possible compositions of motion can eternally be nothing but mere motion.” In one word, we have said that from nothing, nothing can proceed: but to suppose that the human mind is produced by any union of material elements, when it is acknowledged to possess permanently active powers essentially different from any possessed by these elements in a separate state, is to suppose that the whole may give a property which is not in all the parts of which it is composed; that the effect may rise superior to the cause by which it is produced; that is to say, an effect may be produced by a cause inadequate to its production; and as an inadequate cause is no cause at all, that the mind is produced by nothing, and has no cause of existence'.
If, however, these absurdities are too palpable to be admiited if man possesses thinking and reasoning powers—if these powers are neither essential properties of matter, nor inherent in any material element within the compass of our present knowledge and if no union of elements can give a power, essentially different from all those powers which these elements separately possess—then, the human mind is produced by no modification of matter; by no
8 This is not correct if we substitute temporarily for permanently. We know nothing of mind other than as temporary. We know nothing of immortal mind, nor, strictly speaking, of immortality. Removing this vaguem ness of expression, I deny the assertion, and say, that there are many compounds with powers and properties superior to, and distinct from, those of the separate elements. Every reader can make the application. ,
9 We give you the cause in the sensations of animals. Every effect is superior to its cause, or no two ingredients could produce a third. Admitting distinction to be superiority.