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STUDY OF THE MIND:
DESIGNED ESPECIALLY FOR THE
Senior Classes in Schools.
Here is a complete psychology for us to study, a book ever open, but alas! how
The Père GIRARD.
The most lamentable scepticism on earth, and incomparably the most common, is a scepticism as to the greatness, powers, and high destinies of human nature.—Channing.
What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason ! how infinite in faculties ! În form and moving, how express and admirable! in action, how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world ! the paragon of animals !-Shakespeare.
Know'st thou the importance of a soul immortal ?
There is but one object greater than the soul, and that one is its Creator.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
Gen. i. 26.
Thou, the Most High,
- hast made him a little lower than the angels,
PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, STAMFORD STREET.
MANY of the extracts copied into the following pages were long since taken without being designed for re-publication. To distinguish them by inverted commas is now impracticable. Part of what follows may therefore be considered a compilation.
The reader need not be told that we have the microscope to see that which without it is invisible. The telescope enables us to penetrate into space. The electric telegraph conveys intelligence with a rapidity scarcely conceivable. Our ships go not only to every accessible part, but beyond even the habitable limits of the globe. The steam-engine and the printing-press achieve wonders unheard of until modern times.
Notwithstanding these marvels a greater wonder remains to be noticed. The writer believes that amongst all the labours of the learned, there is not to be found any work that developes the laws which regulate the rise and succession of thought! As a comprehension of these laws is to every human being of unspeakable consequence; whatever else was neglected, their elucidation, one might have expected, would have excited always and everywhere the profoundest attention. WHAT TO EVERY MAN IS OF SO MUCH IMPORTANCE AS HIS INTERNAL STATE? Were he ill at ease in his own bosom, though master of the world, it would be to him of little value. And conversely, the consummation of everything relating to it would not disturb him, were he in possession of the peace “which passeth all understanding.” This peace mental philosophy assists us to attain.
The aim of the writer is to develope the laws above mentioned, as far as his abilities, and the limits he prescribes to himself allow (367). He presents the reader with such a work as he considers a dying father would desire to place in the hands of a beloved son. With the profoundest humility he hopes it will be attended by the Divine blessing
SECTION I. PROEM. 1. The Most High, being infinitely wise, and powerful, and benevolent, in calling the human race into existence, must have designed it for a happy one. Man is therefore so constituted that he can live only in society,—the great law of which is love; as expressed in sacred writ, “ Love is the fulfilling of the law.” It can only be obeyed by all the members of society individually and collectively loving God with their whole powers; and, as far as practicable, each member is bound to love every other as he loves himself (Matt. xxii. 37–39). Were this law duly obeyed, the whole race of man would make a continual progress in wisdom and virtue, and therefore happiness. The human mind is specially constituted by God for this high destiny. Any mental training that does not keep it constantly in view is unsound, as regards man's well-being both temporal and eternal.
2. Every one is born with an idiocrasy peculiar to himself or herself, impressed by the Most High, but influenced in a less or greater degree by the progenitors of the person (Jer. i. 5; Luke i. 15). His or her state is dependent:-1. On this idiocrasy. 2. On the extrinsic influences which act on him or her from birth. 3. On his or her own conduct, with reference to the first and second.
3. Bossuet classifies mankind into the imaginative, the retentive, and the reasoning. The three qualities are found in all persons in certain proportions, but seldom perhaps or never in equal vigour in the same individual. The contemplative and active powers are