Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

none.

an evident priority in point of time between the Cause and the Effect, with regard to things of SENSE, yet, as a principle of Reason, these two notions can have

For Reason is a faculty of the soul, and an inhabitant of ETERNITY, where the laws of time cannot have place, which an inspection of our table will render intuitive. Consequently, these two notions must be CORRELATIVE, and stand in perpetual Relation to each other. Whatever period of time the natural production may require to evidence its resulting from a Causeas the seed sown to produce the future tree, the oak and the acorn

still this in no way interferes with the law of the mind, called Cause, Effect, and Relation between them.

Who, on beholding that famed pile of antiquity, Stonehenge, but instantly detects his mind at work to account for the origin, use, and erection, of this stupendous ruin, and feels assured that it was constructed for some purpose or other. The incessant restlessness of REASON, in exerting this law of trying to discover a Cause for every Effect, is here strongly evinced. Nor will all the previous accounts furnished by diligent enquirers satisfy the reflective mind, nor arrest its progress in the prosecution of its own indi

genous law.

Neither will it be satisfied with the

[ocr errors]

supposition that these ponderous masses of stone were heaped together as a place of worship, a Druid's Temple, or a monument to the renowned Hengist; or assume, with the legend, that they were miraculously transported from the Giants' Causeway by the patron Saint of Ireland. That which has already puzzled so many of the learned will long continue to give exercise to that ever-restless faculty, REASON; and, as this example belongs to the department of History, it will be long, very long, before it produces conviction in favour of any one statement : can it ever!

Thoroughly satisfied that this ceaseless searching after a Cause is an original law of the mind, we cannot wonder at finding it exercised on all occasions, even from the inspection of a mite to the profound investigation of the attributes of the Sublime Author of the Universe. So predominant is this ever-striving faculty, REASON, in its efforts to account for every thing, that we cannot behold the most trifling thing in nature without perceiving its active influence in operation. On seeing that well-known machine and useful time-measurer, a watch, the mind instantly flies to the notion of its Cause, and assures itself at once that there must

have been a watch-maker, who stood in relation to the watch. This may be illustrated in the following

manner:

CAUSALITY.

REASON.

permanent.
1. Cause
2. Effect
3. Relation between them.

SENSE.

changeable.
1. Watch Maker.
2. Watch.
3. Relation between them.

The watch may long remain in Time, a powerful evidence of the necessity of an Author. The originator of the watch may, however, have long since paid the debt of nature, and the matter that once embodied his soul may be employed in some new office. Not so the principle of CAUSALITY, whose unchangeable nature could not endure a moment in the blue sphere of our Diagram, but, on the contrary, must inhabit the yellow abode of its kindred spirits, where alone the perfectly pure, incorruptible, and permanent, nature of this principle can subsist, and be in ETERNITY. If the watch could not change and go to decay, it could not be a thing of nature, that is, of SENSE. If a principle could ever change, it could not be a principle, that is, a permanent object of perfect REASON. The principle of CAUSALITY must ever have been the same, because it

[ocr errors]

a

is an original law of the mind — the same for Adam,

for the present and for all future generations; always consisting of three elementary parts, ούτος, έτερος, συνεχής

Cause, Effect, Relation.

It is inconceivable what confusion of thought every where prevails for want of this necessary distinction between the operations of Reason and the affections of SENSE. This distinction is so happily displayed in our Diagram as to be readily seized by the infantile thinker, and thoroughly confirmed by the adept in the art of reasoning. We believe that it is not generally understood that TIME can have a limit; but, if ETERNITY is where Time is not, how can it be otherwise ? More science will correct such errors, and then we shall approach nearer to truth in our conclusions. Another error, whose baneful effects pervade the whole territory of thought, seems to be the supposition that Time itself is in constant succession, whereas the very contrary is the case.

TIME is an elementary principle of the mind, and, being a mental law, must of course dwell in ETERNITY, along with all the other original constituents of that instrument of thought, the human mind, whose total number amount to Twenty. It is, indeed, true that the things in TIME, that is, the things of nature, or the affections of SENSE, are all constrained to obey this principle of the mind-succession ; but surely, both principle and thing cannot be equally in succession. For the thing must be in TIME, and the principle must be in ETERNITY. How admirably does our Diagram indicate this Truth, by placing all finite and successive things in the centre blue; while Time, like an imperceptible speck, is lost in the immense ocean of boundless infinitudeETERNITY.

We have now traced the principle of the necessary compound of three elements to constitute one thing, through the limited sphere of the affections of SENSE, to the boundless region of the operations of REASON, and have in every instance uniformly found it to be a principle - that is, a fundamental and original truth, a first position from which all thinking flows, an original tenet on which all religion and morality is erected, and without which nothing at all could exist--all would be void nothingness, and blauk desolation !

The essence of a principle is that it is universally applicable, in all cases, and is as inexhaustible at its commencement as in its final appropriation. This essence is happily illustrated in the principle of the divisibility of space; and may be equally exemplified in the divisibility of matter. For that cannot be matter

« ElőzőTovább »