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Ø 102. The soul has fountains of knowledge within. We have traced the history of the mind thus far with continued and increased satisfaction, because we have been guided solely by well-known facts, without any desire of exciting wonder by exaggeration, and with no other feeling than that of knowing the truth. With cautious endeavours not to trespass upon those limits which the Creator himself has set to our inquiries, we have seen the mind placed in the position of a necessary connexion with the material world through the medium of the senses, and in this way awakened into life, activity, and power. Inanimate matter seems to have been designed and appointed by Providence as the handmaid and nurse of the mind in the days of its infancy; and for that purpose to have been endued with form, fragrance, and colour. Material eyes were given to the soul, (not made a part of its nature, but assigned to it as an instrumental and auxiliary agent,) that it might see; and material hands, that it might handle; and hearing, that it might hear. By means of these and other senses we become acquainted with whatever is visible and tangible, and has outline and form; but there are also inward powers of perception, hidden fountains of knowledge, which open themselves and flow up in the remote and secret places of the soul. In other words, the soul finds knowledge in itself which neither sight, nor touch, nor hearing, nor any other sense, nor any outward forms of matter, could give.

“The natural progress of all true learning,” says the author of Hermes," is from sense to intellect." Having begun with the senses, and first considered the sensations and ideas which we there receive, we are next to enter more exclusively into the mind itself, and to explore the fruitful sources of knowledge which are internal. And in thus doing, it is a satisfaction to know that we are


treading essentially in the steps of Mr. Locke, whose general doctrine undoubtedly is, that a part of our ideas only may be traced to the senses, and that the origin of others is to be sought wholly in the intellect itself. 0 103. Declaration of Locke, that the soul has knowledge in itself.

After alluding to the senses as one great source of knowledge, “the other fountain,” says Locke," from which experience furnisheth the understanding with ideas, is the perception of the operations of our own minds within us, as it is employed about the ideas it has got; which operations, when the soul comes to reflect on and consider, do furnish the understanding with another set of ideas, which could not be had from things without, and such are perception, thinking, doubting, believing, reasoning, knowing, willing, and all the different actings of our own minds, which, we being conscious of, and observing in ourselves, do from these receive into our understandings ideas as distinct as we do from bodies affecting our

This source of ideas every man has wholly within himself. And though it be not sense, as having nothing to do with EXTERNAL objects, yet it is very like it, and might properly enough be called INTERNAL SENSE. But as I call the other Sensation, so I call this Reflection; the ideas it affords being such only as the mind gets by reflecting on its own operations within itself.”

Ø 104. The beginning of knowledge is in the senses. In order to have a clear understanding of the particular topic before us, let us briefly advert to certain general views, already more or less attended to, having a connexion with it. In making the human soul a subject of inquiry, it is an obvious consideration that a distinction may be drawn between the soul contemplated in itself, and its acts or states, or the knowledge which it possesses. The inquiry, therefore, naturally

arises, Under what circumstances the acquisition of knowledge begins ?

Now this is the very question which has already been considered ; nor can it be deemed necessary to repeat here the considerations which have been brought up in reference to it. It is enough to express our continued re

liance on the general experience and testimony of mankind, so far as it is possible to ascertain them on a subject of so much difficulty, that the beginnings of thought and knowledge are immediately subsequent to certain affections of those bodily organs which we call the SENSES. In other words, were it not for impressions on the senses, which may be traced to objects external to them, our mental capabilities, whatever they may be, would in all probability have remained folded up, and have never been redeemed from a state of fruitless inaction. Hence the process which is implied in the perception of external things, or what is commonly termed by Mr. Locke sensation, may justly be considered the OCCASION or the introductory step to all our knowledge.

$ 105. There may also be internal accessions to knowledge. But it does not follow from this, nor is it by any means true, that the whole amount of knowledge in its ultimate progress is to be ascribed directly to an external source. All that can be said with truth is, that the mind receives the earliest part of its ideas by means of the senses, and that, in consequence of having received these elementary thoughts, all its powers become rapidly and fully operative. —And here we come to the SECOND great source of knowledge. The powers of the mind being thus fairly brought into exercise, its various operations then furnish us with another set of notions, which, by way of distinguishing them from those received through the direct mediation of the senses, may be called, in the language of Mr. Locke, ideas of reflection, or, to use a phraseology embracing all possible cases, ideas of INTERNAL ORIGIN.

These two sources of human thought, the Internal and External, however they may have been confounded by some writers, are entirely distinct. The ideas which arise in the mind, solely from the fact of the previous existence of certain mental operations, could not have been suggested by anything which takes place in the external world independently of those operations. Of this last class, some instances, with illustrations of the same, may properly be mentioned here.


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