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THE INTELLECT OR UNDERSTANDING.
INTELLECTIVE OR INTELLECTUAL STATES OF THE MIND.
INTELLECTUAL STATES OF EXTERNAL ORIGIN.
01. The mind susceptible of a threefold division. The Human Mind, regarded as a whole, is undoubtedly to be considered as constituting a nature or existence which is truly, and in the strictest sense, one and indivisible. At the same time, if we would have a correct and thorough knowledge of it, it is necessary to contemplate it in three distinct points of view. Accordingly, the leading Divisions in which the Mind presents itself to our notice, are the Understanding or Intellect, the Sensibilities, and the Will. The states of mind which are the results of the action of these leading mental departments, are appropriately expressed by the phrases INTELLECTUAL, SENSITIVE OG SENTIENT, and VOLUNTARY States of the mind. -It is the object of this Abridgment to examine, in as brief a manner as possible, the Divisions which naturally come first in order, viz., the Intellect and the Sensibilities. The limits which we find it necessary to assign to the present undertaking, do not allow us to enter into an examination of the distinct and important department of the Will.
02. The Intellect susceptible of a subordinate division. We begin with the Intellect or Understanding; that department of the mind by means of which we perceive, compare, and reason; and which, in its various modes of action, is the source of all our knowledge. The Intellectual part of man may be considered under two points of view, viz., the External Intellect and the Internal Intellect; in other words, intellectual states of External, and intellectual states of Internal origin.-Intellectual states of External origin depend for their existence upon the existence and presence of external objects. If the mind were insulated and cut off from the outward and material world, or if there were no such outward world, we could not touch, nor hear, nor see. All those mental states which we express when we speak of the diversities of touch, and smell, and taste, of sound and sight, are immediately dependent on the existence and presence of something which is exterior to the intellect itself.
But there are other states of the Intellect, such, for instance, as are expressed by the words TRUTH, FALSEHOOD, POWER, INTELLIGENCE, MERIT, DEMERIT, CAUSE, OBLIGATION, &c., which are not thus closely connected with external things. And these, in distinction from those of External origin, are denominated intellectual states of Internal origin.
03. Of the connexion of the mind with the material world. As a general statement, the knowledge which is External in its origin is acquired first; the knowledge which is Internal is subsequent. The mind, whatever may ultimately be found to be the extent of its powers of perception, appears, in the first instance, to be wholly destitute of any actual knowledge; and is first brought into action, and is put in the way of acquiring knowledge, by means of its connexion with the material or outward world.
This leads us to remark, that there is a correspondence, a mutual adaptation, between the mind and outward material things. They appear to be made for each other. The Creator has obviously established a close relation between them; and it is a striking and important fact, that, in this connexion of the mental and material world, as we have just had occasion to intimate, we are probably to look for the commencement of the mind's activity, and for the beginnings of knowledge.
The soul, considered in its relationship to external nature, may be compared to a stringed instrument. Regarded in itself, it is an invisible existence, having the capacity and elements of harmony. The nerves, the eye, and the senses generally, are the chords and artificial framework which God has woven round its unseen and unsearchable essence. This living and curious instru