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plied that term to characterise the specting the constitution of nature. Berkleian theory. But let Berkley So late as the days of Sir Thomas speak for himself; and in his own Browni, that learned and eloquent writings, not in the commentaries of 'writer informs us that the physihis scholars; and it will be found cians had long been generally supthat he dogmatised (we do not posed to entertain opinions unfamean in the invidious, but in the vourable to the truch of Christianity; proper sense of that word) as ster- and he published his Religio Medici dily as Zeno or Epicurus ; tnough to rescue himself from the imputaperfecily free from the austerity tion which attached to his profession. of the one, and the pride of the And, in our own time, the greatest other.
In later days, symptoms naturalist in Italy professed Atheism. of an unlavourable disposition to. It may therefore, perhaps, be fairly wards Christianity have certainly said, that, in respect of any supposed bien visible in the works of some of tendency to sceplicisnı, the evidence the most celebrated metaphysical of history is full as strong against writers in Scotland, and upon the natural philosophy as against inetacontinent; and this probably is the physics; yet who ever dreamed of real explanation of ihe evil report proscribing the natural sciences? 'which has gone forth against aieta- Let us at least be just, and either physics. But we suspect that this condemn the researches of Galileo is exacıly one of those hasty con- and Newton, or acknowledge that clusions from first appearances which neither the philosophy of mind nor we have just now condemned. Spe- the pliilosopliy of nature have any culative men have for some time natural alliance with scepticism, past turned their attention a good though sceptics may occasionally be deal to the philosophy of mind, and found among the students of both. it has happened (froin causes which The end of all knowledge is to are perfectly explicable) that specu- enable us better to understand the lative men, during the same period, will of God, and more perfectly to bave had a sort of vanity in profess
obey it. Unsanctified by these ing scepticism upon religious sub- principles, neither wit nor learning jects; but it does not therefore can be of any lasting benefit to their follow that metaphysics and infi- possessors, and may but swell the delity have any natural alliance. It sad account they must one day renwas not always thus. In the an- der. Let us not be misunderstood. cient world, the infidels were found If we recommend metaphysical siuamong the natural philosophers; in dies, or any other studies not strictly the schools of Epicurus, not in those religious, it is not for their own sake of Plato and Aristotle. In the mid- that we recommend them. Every dle ages, metaphysics were assi- thing is trifling which bas not sone duously cultivated by the stoulest respect to our everlasting destiny doctors of the church: Aquinas and and it natiers really very little, if Abelard, and Ockham, and all the the amusement of the present time pillars of orthodoxy, were deep in is our only object, whether that is the philosophy of Aristotle, and sought at a puppet-show, or in the fought as fiercely about universals as schools of philosophy. Lise resemo if the fate of religion had depended bles a well-constructed drama. There on the controversy; while those, must be variety of incidents; and who, neglecting such matters, quiete some little episodes may fairly be ly cultivated researches into physics, admitted. But unity of action is inJaboured under a pretty general so- dispensable, and every lesser part spicion of infidelity: Galileo was must tend upon the whole to swell sent to a dungeon in his old age, not the interest of the great catastrophe. for any speculations upon mind, but in the pursuits of learning, if we for the discoveries he had made re- would be wise to any purpose, the
glory of God must be our great aim; from being always correct, his lathe advancement of praciical holi- bours were so considerable as to ness in our own hearis, and in the have purchased for him, both in this world, an object continually present country and upon the continent, the to our thoughts. Directed toward's character of the father of the intelsuch ends, the value of learning is lectual philosophy. The following unquestionable, and is indeed now are his leading opinions respecting doubted only by weak and ignorant the origin of our knowledge. He enthusiasts. Different pursuits may insists that the mind naturally is unbe suited to different understandings furnished with any of the materials and conditions of life: some studies of knowledge; in contradiction to may be in their nature more practi- the schoolmen, and to Des Cartes, cally profitable than others : but in who held the doctrine of innate ideas. the circle of useful sciences, we can. Through the medium of the senses not hesitate to include the philoso- (he says), we acquire all our ideas phy of the human mind; we see of external objects; and (agreeing many reasons for expecting advan- with ihe schoolmen in their opinion tages to result from its cultivation, that the external objects themselves and none of any real moment for are not united to the mind), he deproscribing it.
scribes the ideas thus received to be Mr. Stewart, after dismissing the copies or images of the objects. The topics discussed in his preliininary other class of our ideas he conceives as chapters, employs about an hundred to be derived from the “perception and fifty pages in noticing ditferent of the operations of our own miods theories which have prevailed re- within us, as it is employed about specting the sources of human know. the ideas it has got.” These ideas, ledge. It is certainly to be lamented thus acquired, " the understanding that these inquiries should have en- has the power to repeat, compare, gaged too exclusively the attention and unite ; and so can make at pleaof metaphysical writers; so that, by sure new complex ideas ; but it has many persons, the whole science of not the power to invent or frame the philosophy of the mind is ima- one new simple idea in the mind, gined to be confined to this. the not taken in by the ways before least satisfactory and least useful, mentioned *.” part of it. Yet the subject is curious This fair structure, stately and imin itself, and is rendered still more posing as it was, when the band of so by the efforts which some very Locke erected it, has suffered some powerful and original thinkers have loss of its early splendor. It has made to clear its obscurity. It would been assailed by more modern artists, be a very serious undertaking to and though enough of it remains to follow Mr. Stewart systematically testify to the magnificence of the dethrough this dark, illimitable ocean;" sign, a considerable portion of the but we may track bis voyage, and building has been levelled with the admire the skill with which he keeps ground. First came Leibnitz and his reckoning, notwithstanding a Lord Shaftesbury, who insist that cloudy sky, shifting winds, and cross many things are imate in the mind, currents.
particularly the intellectual powers The first Essay, which is divided ihemselves, and the simple ideas into four chapters, treats principally which are necessarily unfolded by of the account which Mr. Locke their exercise. A part of this, gave of the origin of human know. doubtless, is true; but the truth is ledge. This great man
So obvious that it may, perhaps, first who applied the canons of phi- safely be affirmed, that Mr. Locke losophy, which Bacon had recom- never dreamed of denying it. That mended, to metaphysical researches; and though his conclusions were far • Locke's Essay, Book ü. Chap. 1, 2.
our faculties, as conception, memory, passages.
“ As for our senses, by and the like, are not ideas acquired them we have the knowledge only by sensation or reflection, is just as of our sensations, ideas, or those plain as that the powers of perceir- things which are immediately per. ing and reflecting are not so acquir- ceived by sense, call them what you ed
. It is mere trifling, to say that will ; but they do not inform us that Mr. Locke has not marked the dis- things exist without a mind, or untinction. He was not bound to mark perceived, like to those which are it. It is involved of necessity in the perceived.” On the contrary, statement of his theory. For the there can be no notion, or thought rest; by what sort of logic is it that but in a thinking being, so there ideas
, " unfolded by the exercise of can be no sensation but in a senour faculties *,” can be shewn lo be tient being ; its very essence coninsate?
sists in being felt. Nothing can But a much ruder shock was soon resemble a sensation but a similar afterwards given to a large part of sensation in the same or some other Mr. Locke's system by the hand of mind. To think that any quality in Berkley. Locke, believing firmly a thing inanimate can resemble a in the independent existence of the sensation, is absurd, and a contradicexternal world; yet seeing that the tion in terms *.” Whoever will be mind could take notice only of its at the trouble of considering attenown perceptions, imagined (accord- tively these passages, will see, that, ing to the old doctrine of the schools) as against Mr. Locke and his fol. that these perceptions, or ideas, must lowers, they are conclusive. How be exact resemblances of material far they render doubtful (supposing things: and though he made a dis- that to he possible) the independent tinction between the primary and existence of the material world, secondary qualities of matter, hold- which Dr. Reid and others say is ing the former, as extension, solidity made known to us in quite another and figure
, to exist in the external manner froin that described by Mr. things themselves; but the latter, as Locke, is an entirely different quesheat and colour, tó exist only in the tion. mind ; yet, on the whole, his doc- To another part of Mr. Locke's trine was, that our knowledge of the system, Mr. Stewart bas bimself material world is obtained from the furnished some considerable objec' ädeas or images of it introduced tions. They are borrowed, in subthrough the senses; "the one being stance, from Leibnitz and Lord the perfect resemblance of the other Shaftesbury, but are arranged so as they are in a mirror t." This is much more skilfully by the writer what is generally called the ideal who has adopted them than they theory, which, though manifestly by- had been by their first assertors, pothetical
, incapable of proof, and that he seems to have acquired some almost unintelligible, bas maintained right to be considered as the proper its ground in this country against all owner. Locke maintained, that all opposition, and is to this day gravelyour ideas are originally acquired Laught to the young students of at from the perception of external obleast one of our universities. Against jects, and of the operations of our this theory Berkley's metaphysical own minds; or, as he often ex. Writings were principally directed; presses himself, from sensation and and the substance of his argument reflection. This is, in effect, sayis pretty well given in the following ing that consciousness is exclusively
the source of all our knowledge; * We quote from Mr. Stewart's translation, and it would follow as a necessary of taber version, of the passage in Leibnitz' inference, even though he had not Works; the original is very obscure. Locke's Essay, Bouk i. ch. 8.
* Principles of Human Kuowledge, 18. Carst. OOSEry. No. 129.
distinctly so stated it, thats the un- Shaftesbury *. But Mr. Stewart, derstanding has not the power of in- with the caution of an able comventing one new simple idea." The mander, who knows the country in difficulties attending this doctrine, which he is acting, and the am-' will be sufficiently explained by the bushes that may beset him, is not following extract from Mr. Stewart. only careful to avoid the impropriety • There are a variety of notions so con
of terming the ideas which he spenected with our different intellectual facul.
cifies innate ideas, but avoids giving ties, that the exercise of the faculty may be any opinion as to the manner in justly regarded as a condition indispensably which they are acquireil; only afnecessary to account for the first origin offirming, in contradiction to Mr. the notion. Thus, by a nind destitute of Locke, that they cannot be traced the faculty of memory, neither the ideas of immediately to consciousness. time, nor of motion, nor of personal irlentity We feel very little disposition to could possibly have been formed; ideas, enter into this controversy. It is which are confessedly among the most fami- of small importance how the ideas liar of all those we possess, and which can- mentioned by Mr. Stewart are acnot be traced immediately to consciousness quired; whether, as seems most by any effort of logical subtily. In like manner, without the faculty of abstraction, likely, by a rapid and almost inwe never could have formed the idea of tuitive act of the understanding, or number; nor of lines, surfaces, and solids, by some less intelligible process, as they are considered by the mathemati- which we call a law of our constitucian ; nor would it have been possible for us tion, because we know not what else to comprehend the meaning of such words as to call it. We agree with him in classes or assortments, or indeed of any of the thinking that they cannot be traced grammatical parts of speech but proper 10 consciousness; and we think, too,
Without the power of reason or that Mr. Locke was rather rash in understanding, it is no less evident that no affirming, that the understanding comment could have helped us to unriddle the import of the words, truth, certainty, We do not, however, agree, that all
cannot frame one new simple idea. probability, theorem, premises, conclusion ; nor of any one of those which express the various the words mentioned by Mr. Stewart sorts of relation which fall under our know- and Lord Shaftesbury express simledge. In such cases, all that can be said, ple ideas. Time is not a simple nois, that the exercise of a particular faculty tion, for it implies succession : so furnishes the occasion on which certain sini- does motion : so does personal iden-ple notions are, by the laws of our constitu- tity. Order is not a simple idea, for tion, presented to our thoughts ; nor does it it supposes the arrangement of sevesem possible for us to trace the origin of a
ral things ; so does administration : particular notion, any farther than to ascer
and the idea of Deity is one of the tain what the nature of the occasion was,
most complex in nature.
But exo which in the hrst instance introduced it to our acquaintance."
istence is a simple idea ; and it is It is manifest, that the objections quired, except by a rapid act of the
not easy to see how it can be achere stated against Mr. Locke's
understanding immediately consetheory, are the same in kind with those above mentioned to have been
quent upon perception.
Mr. Stewart appears to attach inurged by Leibnitz and Lord Shafiese bury, when they insist that certain portance to the observations which
we have above extracted; not on innatc ideas are necessarily unfolded by the exercise of our faculties.
account of any anxiety be feels reExistence, personal identity, and truth, jedge, but for a reason far beuler
specting the origin of our knoware the ideas mentioned by Leibnitz. suited to his just and comprehensive Order, administration, and the notion of a God, are specified by Lord understanding. That part of Mr.
See Letters to a Student at the Univers Essay I. chap. ii. page 15
sity. Letter &
Locke's theory, which represents that rule should be, is of no im-
would be utterly destroyed; many
pose of cuoverting the American Indians, rule previously established. What
which he proposed to superintend perso
nally; and he went there bimself for the • Sce the dialogue in the second volume purpose of forwarding the scheme ; but it's of Mr. Hume's Essays, which immediately failed ultimately through the inactivity of precedes the history of natural religion. See others. also Essays, vol. i. note (F.); and vol. ij. + Preface to the Dialogues between Hglas Appendix, concerning Moral Sentimenti and Philonous.