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infinite number of inferior and subordinate perceptions ? The Immaterialists have reason to triumph, when they reduce their adversaries to the necellity of answering these questions in the affirmative. On the other hand, when the Immaterialists confidently affirm, that perception is the property of an immaterial substance, which will continue to subsist after the dissolution of the present mortal and perishable frame, they seem to me to affirm what it is impossible to proveto affirm what is unsupported, or rather contradicted, by the appearances of nature, and the deductions of reason. Perception I believe to be a property superadded to matter, in a a manner somewhat analogous to gravity. The idea of innate perception, as well as of innate gravity, may be justly exploded; but perception may nevertheless be regarded as a property annexed to certain combinations of matter, by the Supreme Being, and as a property which will not fubfift separate from those organical systems, to which it is, by Divine Power, for a certain period united. The plain dictate of realon, in this case is, that at death the dust returns to the earth again, and the spirit unto God who gave it.
The arguments deduced from the confideration of the moral attributes of God, though scarcely amounting to probability, feem to me of more weight than this boasted demonstration. It must be owned, indeed, that the moral perfections of
the Divine Nature, and the doctrine of the immortality of the foul, cannot be employed as reciprocal proofs of each other. But I think that the phænomena of Nature, attentively considered, strongly indicate the boundless extent of the moral as well as the natural perfections of the Deity. As the power and wisdom of God are infinite, there is a strong presumption from analogy that his goodness is also infinite. We see that the course of Providence is upon
the whole favourable to virtue; we see a connection established, though a very imperfect one, between virtue and happiness, vice and misery, in the present life; and if there is sufficient reason to admit that this connection results from the eternal purpose of the Divine Will, what should prevent its final and complete accomplihment ? If virtue is the object of the Divine complacency and approbation, it will certainly be ultimately rewarded with happiness, however unfavourable present appearances may be.
" What shall separate us " from the love of God,” exclaims the Apostle Paul, under the animating influence of this perfuasion, “ Neither death nor life, nor angels, nor
principalities, nor powers, nor things present, “ nor things to come.”
I shall only add, that the Scripture doctrine refpecting a future state, appears to me to be conformable to the sentiments of the Materialists, and those nominal Immaterialists who reject the opinion of an intermediate conscious state between death and the re!urrection. It is impossible to
suppose that the Resurrection, upon which so much stress is placed in Scripture, as affording an immoveable foundation for “a most blessed and glo“ rious hope,” should refer merely to the resurrection of the body, which, according to the principles of the Immaterialists, ought rather to be deprecated as a real misfortune. At the same time I acknow. ledge, that several passages of the sacred writings, separately considered, seem not easily reconcileable to this hypothesis. It cannot, however, be pretended, with any colour of plausibility, even by unbe. lievers, that there could be any real inconsistency in the opinions of the first Christians, respecting a point of this nature ; and therefore the seeming import of a few detached passages, obviously inconsistent with the general tenor of the apostolic writings, need not prevent us from embracing, with a full assurance of faith, a doctrine supported by plain, repeated and unequivocal declarations.
ESS A Y XX.
OBSERVATIONS on GENIUS.
HAT is Genius? A certain writer of res
spectable abilities, who has treated this subject according to the too general practise of his countrymen, with much parade of systematic investigation, has composed a volume of five hundred pages, in answer to this enquiry; and if we may confide in the positive determination of Dr. Gerard, Genius is only another word for Invention: and having thus ascertained the import of the term, he tells us, what I should suppose few persons are ignorant of, that Imagination is that power of the mind to which Invention must be principally referred; and, as if this was a doubtful point, he expatiates largely upon it, and establishes and enforces it, by all the powers of reason and eloquence. Imagination, however, being at length demonstrated in all the forms of logic, to be that faculty which is the immediate source of Invention, the learned Professor enters into a minute analysis of those general laws of association, which
produce the several modifications of which the imagination is susceptible. We are informed, with an air of mysterious gravity, that the imagination does not act at random in associating ideas; but that there are certain qualities or relations of ideas, which fit them for being affociated ; and the author, after Mr. Hume, resolves those relations into resemblance, contrariety, vicinity, co-existence, &c. and we are told that habit, and the passions also, have an extensive influence on the associating principle. We are next amused with an account of the modifications of the affo. ciating principles, and many other abstruse me. taphysical disquisitions which seem to me very flightly connected with the main subject, and which, in my opinion, have been much more happily and fatisfactorily discuffed, though with much less oftentation of knowledge, by Locke, Hartley, and Hume. I fee not, for my own part, what light is thrown upon the question relative to the nature of Genius, by a long and tedious analysis of the faculty of association, which operates in perfect conformity to the fame general laws in all men, whether they are poffeffed or not of any extraordinary powers of imagination or Genius. But, to wave any farther observations on the mode in which the learned Professor has chosen to treat this subject, I shall content myself with objecting to the first step taken by Dr. Gerard in the investigation of this question; I mean, to his definition of the