תמונות בעמוד


On the locality of the worship, suggested in the text, by the declaration that every one from his place shall serve the Lord, Mr. C. observes, that the Jews shall worship, principally “from the place of their fathers' sepulchres; and all other nations from the place of their residence."

The extent of the worship predicted is intimated by the expression, EVEN Then. In concluding his discourse, Mr. C. observes,

1. That the moral state of the Pagan world is such as to exite the compasionate regards of all the friends of truth:

2. That the propagation of the Gospel is the great means of famishing the gods of the earth, and establishing the worship of Jehovah: and

3. That the divine determination does not excuse us from exertion: but on the contrary affords us the greatest encouragement to persevere in missionary labours.

On the whole, the sermon before us is much above the common run of occasional discourses; is free from bombast and rant; contains considerable novelty; and will undoubtedly promote the glorious cause which gave it birth.

Our friend Codman, we hope, will increase in strength; and more boldly than ever teach the inhabitants of Boston and its vicinity, who made them.

ARTICLE III.-An Inaugural Oration, pronounced March

18th, 1818, by Joshua Bates, A. M. President of Middlebury College, Vermont: 1818.

The future happiness and dignity of our country will depend, in no small degree, upon the Presidents of the American Colleges. They form the minds of our clergymen, civilians, physicians, and other literary men; and these give a tone to the morals of society. Let the learned professions be occupied by enthusiastic, superstitious, ignorant, or immoral, heretical teachers of re. ligion; by unprincipled lawyers; and by shallow, ill bred, deistical pretenders to the healing art, and the mass of the people will be rotten to the core. Let the President of a College, in which the professional men of any commonwealth are educated, be an artful, skeptical, irreligi. ous, but insinuating man of prominent mental endowments, and the professional men reared by him, will generally be such as are precisely fitted to corrupt society. We rejoice, therefore, that Mr. Bates has taken charge of the College in Middlebury in Vermont, just as much as we lament that the Transylvania University should be blighted, and be prepared herself to blight the flourishing state of Kentucky.

President Bates is a pious, judicious, solid man; but Mr. Hulley is a bag of wind. The former defends the cause of God his Saviour; the latter emits his poisonous breath, like the serpent which charms its victim, to benumb those faculties of the youthful mind, which are fitted for the service of Immanuel. Mr. Bates is what he appears to be: Mr. Holley is “ fierce for moderation,” and outrageously mad for liberality.

That some of our infant seminaries, which are destined to future greatness, may be furnished with suitable principals, it is requisite that some of our churches, or colleges of ancient standing, should make sacrifices in relinquishing their pastors or professors. It would have been a less evil for the Church in Cedar Street, in NewYork, to have lost Dr. Romeyn; or Princeton College, Professor Lindley,* than for the fountain of science in Kentucky to be poisoned with rampant Socinianism. This doctrine, we know, is unpleasant to those congre, gations, that enjoy the labours of an active, eloquent, and faithful bishop of souls; but from a desire to promote the interest of the Church in general, they ought to be willing to perceive and acknowledge its truth.

The Inaugural Oration before us has excited these reflections, and we hope they will be regarded by some of our readers, who may be called in providence to educate

* Dr. Romeyn and Professor Lindley were invited successively, but unsuccessfully, before Mr. Holley, to the Presidency of the Transylvania University.

young men for the chamber of sickness, the bar, the bench, the legislature and the pulpit.

The Oration is designed to exhibit the importance and advantages of a good common education, for all men; and of a liberal one, for those who are employed in any of the liberal professions. We heartily subscribe to nearly every sentiment expressed by the author. Our only exceptions we shall state. He says (p. 3.) “ The great philosopher of human intellect, by a thorough analysis of the understanding, and a complete investigation of its properties, has successfully refuted the ancient doctrine of innate ideas, and thus justified the inference, that the contemporaneous doctrine of 'intuitive knowledge is unsupported by sound philosophy." Undoubtedly he refers to Locke, for he asserts, (p. 15.) that he “ analyzed the human mind.” Locke performed much, but he was far from analyzing half the human mind. In modern times Dr. Reid has advanced in this mighty work as far beyond him, as he surpassed all his predecessors. If any man deserves the high praise of having analyzed the human mind, it is this Scotch divine; but we are apprehensive that the work is not yet done; that “a complete investigation of its properties," has never been made.

Locke has proved, we confess, that there are no “innate ideas” in the human mind; but he nevertheless uses the word idea in different senses, and often for an image of external objects transmitted to the mind through our organs of perception, when in fact no such images exist, and no such objects of thought ever employ the mind. An idea we define to be any operation of the faculty of conception, or of the understanding. Any conception, apprehension, understanding, or notion, of a thing, is an idea. It will be obvious, therefore, that there are no ideas, that is, acts of conception, born in a man; for the mind of man must exist before it can act; or man must be born before he can have any ideas; and if he can only have ideas after he is born, they are not innate.

Will it hence follow, that the “doctrine of intuitive knowledge is unsupported by sound philosophy?" Innate and intuitive knowledge are two different Things. Any knowledge which man has from intuition; or from any act of the mind which is figuratively called, a looking into or upon any subject, is denominated intuitive knowledge. Any knowledge which is the result neither of reasoning, nor experience, nor instruction, is intuitive; and that we have some knowledge of this description, even without any innate ideas, may be satisfactorily evinced. We judge, or know some propositions to be true, so soon as they are stated to us, and we apprehend their meaning, not from any induction, or testimony; not from any previous experience; but because the conviction of their truth, instantly and inseparably follows the understanding of them. Thus we intuitively know, that the whole is greater than a part, that a circle is not a square, and that every effect must have an adequate cause. Without the aid of ra. tiocination, or experience, or instruction, moreover, we know that we exist and are conscious. Reasoning is an act of the mind in which we infer a conclusion from premises; and these premises are judgments which we have formed by some previous reasonings, or else have obtained by intuition. Now if all premises are inferred judgments, we have an interminable chain of argumentation, and no man that reasons at all could ever have be. gun to reason. But this is an absurd conclusion: and since every chain of ratiocination must have had some commencement, some judgments must be independent of reasoning; some propositions must have been seen to be true; or some knowledge must have been intuitive. The fact is, the greater part of our judgments, and we may add, of our knowledge, is intuitive. The “ great philosopher of human intellect” will be more likely to convince President Bates, then any modern writer: let the language of Locke himself therefore be heard.

“The mind perceives, that while is not black, that a circle is not a triangle, that three are more than two, and equal to one and two. Such kind of truths the mind perceives at the first sight of the ideas together, by bare intuition, without the intervention of any other idea; and this kind of knowledge is the clearest, and most certain, that human frailty is capable of. This part of knowledge is irresistible, and like bright sunshine, forces itself immediately to be perceived, as soon as ever the

mind turns its view that way; and leaves no room for hesitation, doubt, or examination, but the mind is presently filled with the clear light of it. It is on this intuition that depends all the certainty and evidence of all our knowledge, which certainty every one finds to be so great, that he cannot imagine, and therefore not require a greater; for a man cannot conceive himself capable of a greater certainty, than to know that any idea in his mind is such as he perceives it to be; and that two ideas, wherein he perceives a difference, are different, and not precisely the same.” Essay on the Human Understanding, Book IV. ch. 2. sect. 1.

This passage may suffice to prove, that the proposi. tion, man has no intuitive knowledge, is not a legitimate inference from the doctrine, that man has no innate ideas: and so far we approve of it. The sentiments of Locke cast into our philosophical mould, would appear thus: "The mind perceives a white object and a black one; and no sooner conceives of the meaning of the proposition, white is not black, than it judges it to be true, without any reasoning upon the subject; and without being able to assign any other reason for the judgment than this, that the mind is so constituted as always to judge thus. No sooner do we apprehend the meaning of the terms used in these prepositions, A circle is not a triangle, Three are more than two, One and two are equal to three, than we constitutionally assent to their truih. To be convinced we need but look upon the subject; we need but intuition. Let any one conceive of a circle and of a triangle, and he will no sooner frame the statement, and conceive of the meaning of it, than he will decide in bis judgment, that a circle is not a triangle. Every judgment of this kind, which immediately follows intuition, or the bare conception of the meaning of a proposition, is an intuitive judgment; and this kind of knowledge is the clearest, and most certain, that human frailty is capable of. It is irresistible, because constitutional. We as naturally and necessarily assent to constitutional judgments, as we perceive the bright sunshine, when our eyes are directed to the orb of day.”

What Mr. Locke means by perceiving a truth at the first sight of two ideas together, without the intervention of any other idea, we are unable to determine. We con

2 R

No. 3.

Vol, I.

« הקודםהמשך »