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conceive of matter without extension, as of the soul without thinking? In regard to all questions of this kind, we must carefully observe that it is not by the conceptions of our limited faculties, that the works of an infinite Creator are to be estimated. If the phenomena which we observe, lead us irresistibly to the conclusion that the thoughts of the soul are suspended during sleep, and in some other states and conditions of the body, it forms, no sufficient objection against the doctrine, that it is inconceivable to us in what manner the soul can cease to think. It is equally inconceivable to us in what manner the soul can think during sleep, or how it can think at all, or perform any other operation. But while it remains so intimately united with the body, and is found on all other occasions so tenderly to sympathize with it, why in the circumstance of taking repose only should it be conceived to act separately and independently of it? If the body is wounded, the soul is pained, if the body is in health the soul rejoices, and if in sickness, the soul pines and languishes. Why should it be supposed that it does not also partake of that singular state of existence which takes place in sleep?
And, in fact, without entering at all into the scheme of materialism, or Hartley's doctrine of vibrations, and vibratiuncles or minor vibrations, by which he attempts to explain all the operations of the human mind, but which is subject to the misfortune, that there is not one solitary fact which can be exhibited to show that in any case whatever there is any vibration in the nervous system; I say, without entering at all into the scheme of materialism, or Hartley's doctrine of vibrations, which may or may not be materialism; may we not consider ourselves as having good ground to conclude, that in every case in which there is performed an operation of the mind, there takes place at the same time a correspondent operation in the body? In our present state of existence we find the mind and body, so intimately blended together, that as far as our knowledge of facts extends, we are sure that no changes take place in the one which do not produce a kind of correlative or consentient change in the other. The soul, although not of the same substance with matter or the result of the organization of its parts, seems always to make use of matter as the instrument by which it performs all its operations. That God can, and does in some instances, form souls which are capable of thinking and acting without the aid or cooperation of material forms, seems highly probable to reason, and is expressly asserted by revelation. But in the condition in which the human soul finds itself in this life, it is constrained to operate with those imperfect instruments with which it is furnished in the organs of the human body. Without the eye it can obtain no notices of colour, without the ear of sounds, without touch of feeling, and so of the other senses.
That is to say, it is by some unknown and inconceivable alteration produced in these senses by their several objects, that perceptions of these qualities are conveyed to the mind. When the eye
inelts with tenderness or flashes with rage, must there not be some strange alteration produced in the fluids that compose that organ to make it capable of such various expressions? The sentiment of rage not only exists in the mind, but there is a correspondent change produced in the body by which that sentiment is displayed. The same observation will apply in case of all the sentiments, affections, or passions, which are exhibited in the human countenance. We see a sword, plunged before our eyes, into the bosom of a friend. Should we not feel on such an occasion, a pain in the heart, or in that part of our body, which corresponds to that which was wounded in our friend? And, setting aside the doctrine of animal spirits, by which such phenomena were formerly explained, how could this pain at the heart be produced but by some action in that part of the body? On the other hand, let a wound be made in our own body, or che gout or rheumatism affect us, and a pain is immediately occasioned in the mind. From these known facts, together with many others that might be enumerated, we think that there is good ground for concluding, that as on the one hand there is no operation of the body performed without a correspondent operation of the mind; so on the other, there is no operation of the mind, without a correspondent action upon the body. All the operations of the mind are performed, as we have reason to believe, through the instrumentality of the corporeal organs.
When we perceive, therefore, when we remember, when we imagine, reason, will or accomplish voluntary actions, the soul must attain all these ends, during its present intimate incorporation into the body, by means of peculiar actions in the several bodily organs appropriated to those purposes by the infinite wisdom of the Creator. If the human body is not a perceiving, imagining and reasoning machine, accomplishing all mental operations by its own actions, as the materialists will have it, it must be admitted to be a machine admirably organized to become the instrument by which the soul effectuates all these purposes. And would not this opinion receive additional support from contemplating the nice and exquisite construction of its parts? What an array of materials do we find entering into its composition, what delicacy and refinement, are discovered in the fabrication of those materials by the heavenly Artist! What a nice and exquisite adjustment of the parts to each other; what wonderful operations are perpetually going on in the lungs, the heart, the blood vessels, the brain, the very bones themselves, and the whole system! Anatomists, who most nicely examine the human frame, find perpetually new wonders rising to their view, and are apt to embrace the doctrine of materialism from the circumstance that they find no great difficulty in conceiving, that a structure so curiously and wonderfully wrought, may be capable of all those incomprehensible operations usually as
cribed to mind, Let them, however, be saved from tendencies of this nature by recollecting, that admitting the utmost refinement in matter, and the most exquisite skill in the ad. justment of its parts, still there is an infinite distance be. tween any effect which can be produced by mere matter, and motion, and thinking, imagination and reasoning. There is all imaginable difference between conceiving of mind, as performing all its operations through the instrumentality of the organs of sense, and conceiving of all those operations as being nothing more than mere modes of motion in the corporeal organs. The one we are assured is performed in some cases, as in perception by the senses; the other we are equally assured can never be a just doctrine, in as much as in the train of our ideas we are convinced, that modes of motion in our corporeal organs can make no kind of approximation to thinking.
Taking the above stated theory to be true, of the soul's always acting, in its present state, through the instrumentality of the corporeal organs, and medical science could furnish us with unnumbered facts to consirm it; and without the necessity of materializing the mind, as some philosophers have done, we may account for the phenomena before mentioned, as the state of the soul in sleep, in dreaming, a swoon, a deliquium, of suspended animation by drowning, of alienation of mind, of ecstasies, trances, and all those idle superstitions of the vulgar which relate to spectres and apparitions. I the case of sleep, of a swoon, deliquium, and suspended animation by drowning, as the soul finds the in. strunients with which it acts in a state of torpor it cannot operate, and is in the same condition in regard to all its faculties, as it is in reference to perception by the eye, when that organ is dimmed by a gutta serena, in a state of com. plete quiescence and inaction. What will be its condition, at its total release from the earthiy tenement, reason can only conjecture, and revelation alone inform us; but while it is bound in the fetters of its bodily organs, nothing could seem to be more certain, than that it cannot perform its functions without them. As to the singular and curious circumstance of dreaming, we think, that upon the principles we have prescribed, it may be explained, as well perhaps, as the human faculties are able to explain it. It evidently appears to be a partial and imperfect mode of thinking, that operation of which alone the mind is capable while the corporeal organs are drowned, and stupified in sleep. Let us proceed, however, as far as we are able to solve the phenomena of dreaming, so familiar, and yet so peculiar and interesting