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we are able, in this limited sphere, to form system to which it belongs, prevail in all some satisfactory conclusions as to the other and the most remote systems, so as to plants and animals of those other spheres make the visible universe, in the strictest which move at such immense distances from sense, one system, indicating one origin, us.”—“ We see that matter has originally and showing the presence of one controlbeen diffused in one mass, of which spheres ling Power. Thus the law of gravitation, are portions. Consequently, inorganic mat with all the conditions it implies, and the ter must be presumed to be everywhere the laws of light, are demonstrated to be in resame; although, probably, with differences gions incalculably remote ; and just so far in the proportions of ingredients in differ as the physical constitution of the other ent globes, and also some difference of con- planets of our system can be either traced, ditions. Out of a certain number of the ele. or reasonably conjectured, it appears that, ments of inorganic matter are composed amid great diversities of constitution, the organic bodies, both vegetable and animal : same great principles prevail in all ; and such must be the rule in Jupiter and Sirius, therefore our further conjecture, concerning as it is here. We therefore are all but cer the existence of sentient and rational life, tain that herbaceous and ligneous fibre, that in other worlds, is borne out by every sort flesh and blood, are the constituents of the of analogy, abstract and physical ; and this organic beings of all those spheres which are same rule of analogy impels us to suppose as yet seats of life. Gravitation we see to be that rational and moral agents, in whatever an all-pervading principle: therefore there world found, and whatever diversity of form must be a relation between the spheres and may distinguish them, would be such that their respective organic occupants, by vir we should soon feel ourselves at home in tue of which they are fixed, as far as neces their society, and able to confer with them ; sary, on the surface. Such a relation, of to communicate knowledge to them, and to course, involves details as to the density receive knowledge from them.”—Physical and elasticity of structure, as well as size, Theory, p. 176. See also pp. 248-9, 250, of the organic tenants, in proportion to the where the author expands these ideas, but gravity of the respective planets ; peculiari- at too great length for quotation, ties, however, which may quite well consist with the idea of a universality of general
3. The mind immortal, but depending types, to which we are about to come. Elec on organization. tricity we also see to be universal ; if, therefore, it be a principle concerned in life and
“ There is, in reality, nothing to prevent in mental action, as science strongly sug- with an immortal spirit, at the same time
our regarding man as specially endowed gests, life and mental action must everywhere be of one general character. We
that his ordinary mental manifestations are come to comparatively a matter of detail, looked upon as simple phenomena resulting when we advert to heat and light ; yet it is from organization : those of the lower ani. important to consider that these are univer- mals being phenomena absolutely the same sal agents, and that, as they bear marked in character, though developed within relations to organic life and structure on
much narrower limits."—Vestiges, p. 244,
“ Man we believe to be immortal, (reveearth, they may be presumed to do so in other spheres also. The considerations as
lations apart,) not because his mind is sepato lighi are particularly interesting; for, on
rable from animal organization, but because our globe, the structure of one important such as to demand a future development of
his intellectual and moral constitution is organ, almost universaily distributed in the animal kingdom, is in direct and precise his nature.”—Physical Theory, p. 273. relation to it. Where there is light there
“ There are those, probably, who would will be eyes; and these in other spheres not wish even to see the materialist confuwill be the same, in all respects, as the tęd, if it must be on the strange and offeneyes of tellurian animals, with only such sive condition, a condition so derogatory to differences as may be necessary to accord
the dignity of man, of our acknowledging
a brotherhood of mind, such as shall inwith minor peculiarities of conditions and of situation. It is but a small stretch of the clude the polypus, the sea-jelly, and the argument to suppose that, one conspicuous animalcule of a stagnant pool.” But sciorgan of a large portion of our animal king; its way through evil report and good re
ence knows no aversions, and must hold on dom being thus universal, a parity in all other organs, species for species, class for port. Truth, in the end, will not fail to class, kingdom for kingdom, is highly like- justify itself, in all its consequences and ly; and that thus the inhabitants of all the relations.”—Physical Theory, p. 274. other globes of space bear not only a gene. 4. The brain is a voltaic pile or galral, but a particular resemblance to those
vanic battery. of our own." -Vestiges, p. 123-4-5. See also pp. 29, 30.
“ The nervous system, the more com“It is also now ascertained that the great prehensive term for its organic apparatus, laws of our own planet, and of the solar is variously developed in different classes
and species, and also in different individu “ In every mental process, and in every als : the volume or mass bearing a general movement of the affections, there is an atrelation to the amount of power.”_" There tendant organic action: a subsidiary operaare many facts which tend to prove that tion of the medullary mass, and of the artethe action of this apparatus is of an elec- rial system, not to say of the vital organs ; tric nature : a modification of that surpris- and inasmuch as this accompaniment is ing agent, which takes magnetism, heat necessarily clogged with the conditions and light, as other subordinate forms, and that attach to inert matter, the mind is so of whose general scope in the great system far bound down to those conditions, and is of things, we are only beginning to have a restrained from moving at any other rate right conception. It has been found that than that at which the body can safely folsimple electricity, artificially produced, low, and duly perform its part. Reason (in and sent along the nerves of a dead body, man) is not reason absolute, but a reasonexcites muscular action. The brain of a ing faculty, dependent, to a great extent, newly killed animal being taken out, and upon, and characterized by, the particular replaced by a substance which produces cerebral conformation, and by the constielectric action, the operation of digestion, tution or temperament of the individual. which had been interrupted by the death The same manifestly is true of the purest of the animal, was renewed : showing the and most elevated of the moral sentiments.' absolute identity of the brain with a galva- — Physical Theory, pp. 64-5. nic battery.”—Vestiges, pp. 249, 250.
“ All we are conscious of is the volition; It is interesting to observe the progress and all we learn from physiology is, that mus- of Mr. Taylor's mind, (on the supposicular contraction requires a certain galva- tion of his being the author of the Vestinic influence ; of which influence the brain ges,) in the province of Metaphysics. appears to be the secreting viscus, and the From a passage of the Natural History nerves the channel.”—Physical Theory, of Enthusiasm, it is evident that he sought,
“ Now this exceptive case, acci with Reid, Stewart and others, all the dentally made known to us, naturally sug- phenomena of mind in personal consciousgests the belief that what the brain sup- ness; while he treated the phrenologist plies is galvanic excitement merely; or a stimulus, of whatever kind, equivalent to
with marked contempt. (Nat. Hist. of that furnished by galvanism,”—Ibid, p.
Enthusiasm, p. 273: Leaviti's Ed. 1831.) 275. “ But now let it be supposed that the In his Physical Theory, however, as we nervous system, connecting the brain and have seen, he asserts the dependence of spinal process with the entire muscular mind for its manifestations on cerebral apparatus, serves no other purpose than that volume and conformation; and in a pas. of conveying, from the former to the latter, sage we have not quoted on account of a copious efflux of galvanic power; which its length, he avows his belief that the power the cerebral mass incessantly gene. phenomena of mind are not to be sought rates.”—Ibid, p. 211. “ The tremendous (voltaic) apparatus which fills the cranium,
in personal consciousness alone, but in a has relation, as we suppose, to the inert: comparison with those which present ness and the inelasticity of the animal themselves in brutes; that is, of course, body.”—Ibid, p. 213.
on the principle of Gall. Again, as he 5. Phrenology the true science of advances from Reid and Stewart in the mind.
Natural History of Enthusiasm, to Gall in
the Physical Theory, so now we see him Gall, however, has shown, by induc- advancing from Gall in the Physicial tion from a vast number of actual cases, Theory, to the utmost limits of materialism perception ; and that even this is subdivi. in the Vestiges of the Natural History of ded into portions which are respectively Creation. In the Theory, the brain, in his dedicated to the reception of different sets opinion, is a voltaic pile or galvanic batof ideas ; as of form, size, color, weight, tery which supplies to the nerves, at the objects in their totality, events in their pleasure of the mind, a copious stream of progress or occurrence, time, musical electricity. The mind itself is not a resi. sounds, &c. The system of mind invented dent of the brain, but exists diffused by this philosopher, the only one founded throughout the body. It is not the brain, upon nature, or which even pretends to or admits of that necessary basis, shows a por: perfect
nor the electric current; but something
distinct from both. (Physical tion of the brain acting as a faculty of Theory, pp. 276-7-8.) Between the pubof wonder, one for discriminating or ob- lication of the Physical Theory and that serving differences, and another in which of the Vestiges, he has obtained more resides the power of tracing effects to light. Mind is no longer distinct from eleccauses.”—Vestiges, p. 255.
tricity; it is electricity: as such, the velo
city of its action may be measured as It appears from the preface to the Physyou would measure the velocity of a cart- ical Theory, that the earlier works of wheel. (Vestiges, pp. 250-1, and Note, Mr. Taylor, from which so large a share compared with the italic portion of an of his reputation as a religious writer other note on p. 245, quoted with has been derived, were the fruit of susapprobation from Hope, On the Ori- pending, for a season, his favorite stugin and Prospects of Man.) We pro- diesma digression from the general direcceed :
tion of his selected literary course; and 6. The consistency of his views, espe- he informs us that having achieved by cially his fundamental idea, with Revela- that digression all it was possible to tion.
achieve, he returned to his original path On this point both the Vestiges and the _" to the favorite and peaceful themes Physical Theory disclose an extraordinary of his earlier meditations and studies;” solicitude. In both, a strong desire is declaring himself “ most happy to find manifested to convince the reader of the himself in a region not exposed to author's deference to the authority of storins.” The result of this agreeable Scripture, and to leave an impression on relapse was the composition of the his mind of the author's elevated religious Physical Theory of a Future Life; and character. In both, there is betrayed the from this, in connection with the preface, same consciousness of handling a deli- we readily divine what the themes of his cate topic, and giving utterance to views, earlier meditations and studies were; the boldness of which may perchance namely, NATURAL History, with special startle some who are not as conversant reference to the origin, progress and ulas himself with the secrets of nature. In timate destination of man. both, we have the same methods of soft The influence of this study on the ening and insinuation ; the same appeals mind is well known. Men, pursuing it from present ignorance and prejudice to with any degree of enthusiasm, and the knowledge and liberality of the future; unhappily not subject to a conservative the same dependence on time and pro- religious faith-and in proportion as they gress to familiarize the extraordinary facts are not subject-imperceptibly acquire the of science, and reconcile them with the habit of looking at every event in the severest interpretations of the sacred vol. social and political, and every fact in the ume. In fine, notwithstanding all that material, world, through the medium of has been affirmed, and more that has been second causes : as if it were the effect of intimated by the press as to the scepti. general laws impressed, at the beginning cism of the author of the Vestiges, it is of things, by The Deity on mind and all but absolutely certain, that he is a pro- matter.
Those utterances off nature, sessed believer in Divine revelation, and which to other men, perhaps not less enregards the doctrines taught by him as lightened and profound, are the signifibeing consistent with it. This is the cant and awe-inspiring symbols of a case, we need scarcely say, with the au- presentGod overshadowing and surround. thor of the Physical Theory; and this ing, are to them mere signs of certain peculiarity, while it identifies the two, formularies, written in the text-books of satisfactorily explains their anxiety to the physiologist, the geologist or the avert the imputation of being hostile to astronomer. With them, a special Provi. the Sacred Scriptures; of which anxiety, dence, that sublime consolation of the and the unique manner in which it betrays Sacred Scriptures, which has smoothed itself in the two works, we confess our. the path of many a struggle with the selves unable by extract to give any ade- world's fierce storms, thrown around tried quate conception. They should be read constancy impregnable defences, drawn --especially the following references. - melodies of the heart from prison-vaults, Vestiges pp. 118-19, 142, 290. Physical shed“ poppies and roses” Theory, pp. 13, 172-4, 220-1, 269, 270. of the unhappy, and diffused through the
chamber of the dying martyr of many III. Having, to this extent, devoted our sorrows the fragrance of crushed spiattention to coincidence of style and of ces,” ceases to be a special truth, and is ideas, we shall now conclude our series struck from the roll of recognized facts : of proofs, by dwelling, a few moments, even miracles, the avowed testimony and on a few of an incidental nature, not earnest expostulation of God himself without weight in a discussion of this against the sovereignty of general laws, kind.
are either discarded as the obsolete device VOL. III.NO. II.
upon the lids
of a crafty priesthood, or explained away of these exceptions, Mr. Taylor, asby referring them to the operation of suredly, is not one. Fresh from “ the some obvious or unknown physical themes of their earlier meditations and
In short, under the materializing studies,” we perceive their influence on influence of these studies, some of the his mind in the very first of his episodi. noblest names written in the annals of cal productions, the Natural History of science, have ultimately recognized no Enthusiasm ; the title of which, if noGod, or him only of Epicurus—a God thing more, betrays already a developed, remote, absorbed in the contemplation of (to use a favorite term of his own) a dehis own perfections, indifferent alike to veloped tendency to look at every subthe existence, circumstances, wants, cares ject through a physical medium ; in his and cries of his creatures.
Spiritual Despotism, so simple a thing Let us be understood.
as its progress must have its geological speak of a materializing influence exerted periods, epochs, eras and cycles; and in by these studies, we are far from mean his Physical Theory, this tendency to the ing a necessary influence. As none are earth, earthy, assumes a portentous asmore attractive, so, in our opinion, none pect. It trenches on the spiritual and are naturally more healthful, bracing and supernatural at almost every point of invigorating. We believe that their their circles from centre to circumfernatural tendency is to kindle the imagi- ence: still, however, with some degree nation, enlarge the understanding, and of timidity; with reservations, with purify the heart; to exalt our concep, qualifications, with saving clauses. His tions both of nature and of God; and doubts, as yet, are half suppressed, or paralyzed be the arm that would hang a cautiously insinuated, or covertly implied, single impediment on the limbs, or lay a as if he were himself half afraid of his single obstruction in the way, of the own possible conclusions. He is appamost ardent, bold, and even adventurous rently yet unprepared to take his stand inquiry. Rather would we quicken its and speak out boldly ; his courage falters diligence, and multiply its facilities : in view of the point to which he but rather would we throw open every door, half perceives himself hastening ; he bas fling wide every window, and list every quaffed an intoxicating cup, but so much veil in the vast temple of nature, and, like only as rather to bewilder than determine Wisdom,“ cry at the gates, at the entry his vision. Some glimmerings of reof the city, at the coming in of the doors, ceived thought remain: some old moral • Unto you, O men, I call, and my voice restraints are felt. He has much in him is unto the sons of men.” Still in the that " partakes of the nature of insurmidst of this general enthusiasm, we rection, but the “mortal instruments” would drop a word of caution to the are not yet ready for the outbreak. The worshiper : for, unhappily, that which
“council” deliberates, but cannot decide. is not merely good, but transcendantly Sufficient, however, has transpired, to good, in this world of anomalies, becomes, to assure us that a decision is certain, by its perversion, death. As food which, and to make known its tenor to the multo a healthy man, brings strength and en
If Mr. Taylorjoyment, only the more debilitates the speaking always on the supposition that diseased and aggravates his sufferings, so it is he, which we think, indeed, has the same truth which, to a proper ad- been clearly shown-continues, after justment of the moral powers, imparts a “resuming his earlier meditations and deeper conviction of Divine existence and studies,” and matures another work in government, and inspires a more awful the line of the Physical Theory of a Fureverence for the Divine character, com ture Life, we have, in this, the premoniing in contact with a deranged moral tory signs of its appearance, and a prosystem, causes a wider estrangement from gramme of its contents. Rationalism the Divine: a deplorable scepticism. Of will have reached its crisis. Developthe manner in which this extraordinary ment by law, confined, in the Physical result is reached, or how it is truth pro- Theory, to the future new creation, will duces these singular effects, it is un extend to the past old. Man naturally necessary to speak. We are not writing passing into a higher order of being, will a metaphysical treatise, but stating a fact, as naturally have passed from a lower. for the confirmation of which we may In fine, consistency and the obviously adduce, if we please, with a few brilliant progressive influence of his meditations exceptions, the entire annals of science. and studies, demand from Mr. Taylor
titude in suspense.
that he should land precisely at that his amanuensis, dictates his crazy phi. point on the shore of inquiry, where, on losophy for publication, and calls upon the supposition of his being the author sane men to receive it as an oracular reof the Vestiges of the Natural History sponse from the tripod. Alas, the man! of Creation, we find him. There is, It is as if we again saw Lucifer, son of therefore, on his own showing, the the morning, sinking from the constellastrongest antecedent probability that he ted splendors of the
empyrean to quench wrote this work. If, in connection with anew his lustre in the utter dark. The this probability, we consider, what ap- example is pregnant with admonition. pears to be the almost unmistakable simi But the practical inference, german to larity of style and the identity of titles, (the the matter under consideration, which we Natural History of Creation, the Natural draw from identifying the author of the History of Enthusiasm) already adverted Vestiges in Mr. Taylor, is his total into; (and they are by no means common competency to compose a reliable work titles ;) if, still farther, we consider the on such a subject. This, manifestly, fact that the real though suppressed title required a man profoundly versed in geof the “ Physical Theory” is, the Ves- ology, physiology and astronomy; not tiges of the Natural History of the future 'merely in their general ideas, but particucreation, it is believed we can scarcely lar. He should be familiarly and midoubt that both“ Vestiges” and “Theo- nutely acquainted with all the facts in ry” sprang from the same brain, and each of those sciences, and in the differwere suggested by the same course of ent departments of these sciences, hitherto Physical investigation.
ascertained ; and in order to estimate the We have but little to add : if we have value of these facts, he should be quite justly attributed this work to Mr. Tay- as familiarly acquainted with the various lor, there are vestiges of the natural his- processes of experiments by which they tory of his mind from which we may were ascertained. Then, too, if these draw the most impressive moral lessons. facts are to be harmonized into a cosmiWe learn the hazard of speculation when cal theory consistent with revelation, an it treads along the extreme boundaries of equally profound knowledge of the Hehuman knowledge; especially when it brew language and literature is requisite. passes beyond them. Remote from the In fine, there is needed by the man who region of positive facts, they of necessity would undertake a work on the subject offer merely a few faint traces of truth, of the Vestiges without presumption, a or dim analogies on which to exercise its kind and amount of scientific knowledge, power. From the practice of dealing almost infinitely beyond the possible atwith these alone, it comes imperceptibly, tainments of Mr. Taylor. During the though surely, to regard them as the longer portions of his life, he has been highest class of proofs; and so from the engaged in writing such works asthe slenderest, most attenuated thread, mere Natural History of Enthusiasm, Saturday gossamer, it weaves a fabric which, Evening, Spiritual Despotism, and the ihough easily demolished by the breath Physical Theory. He has had no time, of a sleeping infant, it presses on man. therefore, to acquire the necessary scienkind as a substitute for finer, durable, and tific knowledge of which we speak; nor withal, comfortable textures. Thus has if he had, will his long devotion to the comit been with Mr. Taylor. Possessing an position of these works form a very acintellect acute, penetrating, comprehen- ceptable guaranty, to those who undersive, powerful, which, properly directed, stand the difference between moral and might have largely contributed to the demonstrative reasoning, of his qualificaprecious stores of science and literature, tions to construct a physical theory of the he rashly, in an evil hour, abandons the creation. What he has written, then, on sphere of legitimate inquiry, and com- the supposition of his being the aumits himself to the chaos of conjecture, thor of the Vestiges, is destitute of the where, assailed by
first element of influence on sober minds. “ A universal hubbub wild listened to Science speaking from her
It has no authority. We might have Of stunning sounds and voices all confused, throne, but to a mere tyro, babbling about Borne through the hollow dark,”
he knows not what, whose presumption be soon loses his self-command: his is in proportion with his superficial atbrain reels: he falls into an ecstacy of tainments, we confess, it is a few grains lunatic conceit, orders the attendance of worse than our patience can bear.