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also in every individual, but never in equal perfection in the same person,
4. Prichard remarks that the peculiarities of an individual are usually transmitted to his immediate descendants; in some instances they reappear in a subsequent generation. A genius for poetry is as certainly dependent on original organization as is an ear for music. No general superiority of intellect will enable a man to turn with equal success to either. Men are known by their handwritings as well as by their faces, the former are undoubtedly characteristic. Painters distinguish in the works of the great masters the peculiar style of each of them. As there are different temperaments of the body, each of which is disposed to its peculiar disease, our different intellectual organizations dispose us to different mental maladies. Some writers consider that peculiarities both of body and mind are to a certain extent hereditary.
5. “ Gall was struck even when a boy with the diversities of disposition and of character amongst his brothers and sisters, and their companions. He remarked that each was distinguished by a peculiar turn of mind. One was noted for the beauty of his writing, another for his quickness at arithmetic, a third for his aptitude in learning languages, a fourth for remembering everything that he read in history. This diversity was apparent in all that they did. The style of composition of one was remarkable for its flowing and elegant periods, of another for its baldness and dryness, of a third for its condensation and vigour. Many displayed talents for arts which had never been taught them; they excelled perhaps in drawing or in the execution of works of mechanism. Some sought for amusement in noisy sports, others preferred cultivating their gardens, a few placed their chief delight in rambling through fields and forests, and in collecting flowers. One was of a social and affectionate disposition, another was selfish and reserved, a third was fickle and not to be depended
6. Hence to a certain extent it is that, one man possesses a rich and beautiful fancy which is at all times obedient to his will ; another possesses a quickness of recollection which enables him, at a moment's warning, to bring together all the results of his past experience and of his past reflections which can be of use for illustrating any proposed subject; a third can without effort direct his attention to the most abstract questions in philosophy, can perceive at a glance the shortest and most effectual process for
arriving at the truth; and can banish from his mind every extraneous idea .... a fourth unites all these powers in a capacity of perceiving truth with an almost intuitive rapidity, and in an eloquence which enables him to command at pleasure whatever his memory and his fancy can supply to illustrate and to adorn it."
7. “The characters and dispositions of animals, as well as the features and expressions of their countenances, are .... varied and . . . . diversified as those of men. And if we fail to perceive the nicer shades of difference, it is .... because we have not enjoyed sufficient opportunities for observation and experience. Who does not know that every dog, horse, or ox.... has an individual and appropriate character of his own; and differs .... from other individuals of the same species? The shepherd, it is well known, can tell every sheep in his flock by the expression of its face.” In the various breeds of dogs qualities originally implanted by education, and peculiar to each breed, descend from one generation to another. This may be seen, for example, in the pointer or the hound. A thorough-bred shepherd's dog will naturally take to the peculiar qualities of its race, which almost assume the character of instinct. “ The wide difference,” says Prichard, “ in habits and instincts which we perceive on comparing the do mestic dog with the .... nearest approximation to the original type that can be discovered, .... can only have been the sum or result of a series of changes, carried on through many generations." “The offspring of domesticated animals," says T. A. Knight, “ inherit in a very remarkable manner the acquired habits of their parents .... In the dog it exists to a wonderful extent.”
8. Were society constituted conformably with the Divine will, the peculiar talent of each member would operate for the common good. If we mistake not, there is for every human being a station designed by God. The greater the talent, the greater the responsibility. Unhappily these great truths are little regarded. But it cannot be questioned that even
This scale of beings.” 9. The idiocrasies of men, their capacity of association with each other, with the angels, and with God, are the grand distinctions between them and the animal world:
“For since the claims
The hand of Nature on peculiar minds
The transcript of Himself.” 10. “We cannot for a moment suppose that God will abolish this variety in the future world .... To one person this, to another that field in the boundless kingdom of truth and of useful occupation, will be assigned for his cultivation, according to his peculiar powers, qualifications, and tastes .... Each individual will there develope more and more the germs implanted within him by the hand of the Creator ;” and thus make continual progress in wisdom, in love, and in felicity.
11. “ The discovery of what is true, and the practice of that which is good, are the two most important objects of philosophy."
-“ The former part of life,” says Bishop Butler, “is to be considered as an important opportunity which nature puts into our hands; and which, when lost, is not to be recovered. And our being placed in a state of discipline throughout this life for another world, is a providential disposition of things exactly of the same kind." The idiocrasy of each individual is obviously designed with reference to his or her peculiar vocation both here and hereafter. As in the best state of society it would be necessary for each member to be Divinely taught, how much greater is the necessity for the good man in the present state earnestly to seek assistance from above. Every man should therefore ask himself
Is the intellectual and moral discipline I am undergoing that which will best capacitate me for present and everlasting happiness? Assuredly there is no error more grave than to suppose the mansions of the blessed are of easy attainment! (See Appendix, Note A.)
12. EVERY one must be sensible that ideas and trains of thought are continually passing through his mind. All our thoughts necessarily proceed from something extrinsic or intrinsic. From the first arises the perception of ideas. In the second the action of the will produces their connexion.
13. This arises from objects acting on the senses.
1. Suppose the reader to look at the stars, a sensation is received on his eye whereby the mind perceives the stars. 2. Suppose some one to be much displeased and vividly to intimate it by his countenance, this is another mode by which we acquire ideas. 3. Revelation informs us that the mind is acted on both by evil and by good spirits, good men are especially taught by the Holy Spirit. 4. If the reader be spoken to about the stars, an impression is made through his ear by vocal sounds. 5. If he read about the stars, the impression is made through his eye by written or printed signs. The different modes of acquiring ideas from extrinsic action then are1. Direct action on the senses
5. Signs received through the eye The 1, 2, and 3, may be called the direct; the 4 and 5 the inindirect modes. The information acquired by language is necessarily subject to its imperfections (128 to 132).
14. In perception then the action or influence of the external object and the energy of the mind are necessary. Thus the mind becomes conscious of a thing, as when one feels hungry, sees a horse, or hears a voice. An idea is that which exists in the mind, as when one sees the horse, or thinks of it when out of sight.
CONNEXION. 15. To prevent tautology we shall use the words connexion and association synonymously. A perception may give rise to two or more ideas. The mind by its own operation can discover truths new to it. And when two or more ideas from either cause have been connected and sufficiently impressed, the will has the power of recalling or variously combining them.
The memory is simply the receptacle of the aggregate of the connexions thus made and duly impressed. All is connexion.
16. By reasoning and judgment we compare two or more ideas and determine wherein they agree or disagree, or in what way they are connected or related. By simple attention we exercise the powers both of perception and association, comprehending reasoning and judgment.
17. The thought of the stars being present in the mind may cause such a train as follows to arise :
6. The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament showeth His handy-work.
Where their voice is not heard." 18. A thought or train may arise from a motion of one's own body. Suppose a child on retiring for the night to be in the habit of saying his prayers, the action of kneeling may cause thoughts proper for prayer to arise, which might not happen to a child otherwise habituated. 19. Akenside thus notices the connexion of ideas,
" Let the mind
Or all are sadden'd with the glooms of care.” 20. “It is evident,” says Hume, “ that there is a principle of connexion between different thoughts or ideas of the mind .. They introduce each other with a certain degree of method. Even in our wildest and most wandering reveries, nay, in our very dreams .... there was still a connexion ....Were the loosest and freest conversation to be transcribed there would immediately be observed something which connected it in all its transitions.”
21. When we repeat a passage that we have committed to memory the preceding thought suggests the succeeding one and no other. Thus, in the Lord's prayer, “Our Father, Which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name,” &c. Any one may convince himself of the difficulty of recalling the passages in any other order by trying to repeat the prayer backwards. Leyden, who could remember an Act of Parliament, was unable to recall any particular part without repeating all that preceded.