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their co-operation, in producing complex operations. These truths will be illustrated in the examination of the real or imaginary faculties enumerated by Dr. Cogan.
He writes, Ist, of a faculty of possessing Ideas. This is our faculty of Conception, Understanding, or Intuition; for by an idea we mean an act of the mind, in conceiving, apprehending, or understanding any thing. Dr. Reid has abundantly evinced, that in the language of common sense, a notion, an idea, and a mental conception, denote the same thing. Dr. C. has written a good deal that is unintelligible on this subject; but taking the word in our own acceptation of it, we agree with him, that “ An Idea is the grand exciting cause of every passion and affeca tion.” p. 153. It is not, however, of every sensation.
His 2nd faculty is that of Perception; to which we have nothing to object; for we certainly perceive external objects, through the instrumentality of our five senses, and have, therefore five classes of perceptions. But we do object to his remark, under this head, that Perception is the basis of every other mental operation; for it is not true. Conception, memory, and consciousness, are no more dependent on Perception by the senses, than Perception is on them. Each of them is an original faculty of the mind.
With his 3d “faculty," of Attention, we have no acquaintance. ATTENTION we think the name of a complex mental operation, which includes a judgment that something may be perceived, or understood, or inferred, remembered, or known, and a volition to keep the bodily organs in a condition favourable to the expected perception, or the faculties of the understanding employed in such a way as we think most likely to secure the object of attention. Let an officer cry "attention” to his soldiers, and if they will to hear his commands, fix their eyes on him, and listen, that they may know his pleasure, they exemplify the mental operation of attention.
INQUIRY, instead of being a 4th faculty, is a complex mental operation, which includes a volition to frame propositions, and state them in the form of questions concerning any subject; together with the exertion of our
faculty of agency, upon our conception and judgment in doing what we have willed.
OBSERVATION is a complex mental operation, (and not a 5th faculty,) which may be resolved into a volition to perceive what may be perceived in relation to any external object, for some time. It is a voluntary, continued perception of objects. We see a man at once, but we observe him, if we continue, from willing it, to see him for any while. Hence a statement of any thing which we have perceived is called an observation.
Dr. Cogan names, as a 6th faculty, CONSIDERATION; which we conceive to be a voluntary, and for some time, continued conception, intuition, or remembrance of something. Thus we observe external things; and we consider our own and our neighbour's thoughts, feelings, volitions and actions. “Thus saith the Lord, consider your ways.”
REFLECTION, Dr. C's 7th faculty, we deem nothing more than a voluntary exertion of some one of our intel. lectual faculties, in relation to something before experienced, or known. Reflection most commonly denotes the turning again of the attention of the mind to itself, and its own conscious operations.
8ly. INVESTIGATion is the institution of an inquiry into any subject, from the desire or the determination to form some judgment concerning it.
gly. Contemplation is a voluntary, general, and serious consideration of any object. It is “an extensive survey” of something, as from some elevated, and sacred temple. 10ly. MEDITATION is the consideration of
sub. ject with a view to some future conduct or event. Thus, we meditate, what we shall say or do, when we are brought into judgment. “Meditate on these things: think on them before hand, that you may hereafter think, speak, feel, and appear, as it will be desirable you should.
Illy. Dr. Cogan's faculty of UNDERSTANDING is our faculty of Conception, by which we form notions of any object. We sometimes style it as he does. When this faculty is employed in conceiving of images, it is
called the Imagination; for imaginations are but a species of conceptions. Dr. C. and many others, require for the work of imagination, a distinct faculty, without any sufficient reason.
12ly. COMPREHENsion is nothing more than an ex. tensive and firm understanding of any thing. It is a name used to denote a particular operation of the faculty of Conception.
isly. Dr. Cogan mentions the faculty of ConcepTION. There is such a faculty, but not distinct from that by which we have ideas.
14ly. Discernment is the name for any act of conception which has some difference between two things for its object. We should discern between good and evil.
15ly. DISCRIMINATION is the name of any act of the judgment which has some difference for its object. We discern, when we apprehend a difference; we discriminate, when we frame a judgment in relation to that difference.
As the 16th faculty, Dr. C. gives us ABSTRACTion. It must be confessed, that the greater part of me. taphysical writers of the modern school consider abstraction as the work of the faculty of abstraction, to which they assign the work of manufacturing abstract ideas. If abstraction is a simple mental operation they are correct; if it is a complex one, we have yet proof of no more than seven intellectual faculties. In abstracting we“ separate, in idea, qualities and characteristic peculiarities, from the bodies and subjects to which they essentially belong; and consider them as if they possessed a distinct and independent existence.” p. 175. And is this one simple act of mind? It rather appears to us, that in abstraction we perceive, or conceive of objects, and their attributes; that we resolve to banish some of these attributes from our cousideration at particular times, and to consider the remainder; and that our faculty of agency is obedient to our will in this matter. We will also to contemplate an attribute without regard to any one particular object of which it is an attribute, and we do what we will. These attributes when thus abstracted from the objects to which they belong, receive names. Thus we perceive a green
leaf, a green window-blind, a green grasshopper; we perceive a leaf, and its attribute, expressed by the adjective green, and so of the rest; and since we find the same at. tribute belonging to several different objects, we determine to conceive of the attribute, while we banish from our attention those objects, and that we may speak of this attribute as common to many things, without any consideration of the things themselves, we call it green. ness. It is greenness which we attribute to the leaf, the window-blind, and the grasshopper, when we say they are green.
Abstraction implies the conception of a whole thing, and of its parts, and attributes, together with the volition to think of a part, or an attribute, without regard to the whole. If this can be done with any one faculty, we have not yet discovered it in ourselves, and we doubt if others have in themselves.
In the 17th place, Dr. C. treats of the ASSOCIATION OF Ideas, for which he thinks we must have a distinct facul. ty. This likewise is a complex operation. We not only discern and discriminate between objects, but we compare them. We perceive, or conceive of, the attributes of several different objects, and judge many objects to be similar in one, or more, of their attributes. Upon the discovery of some similarity in objects, we resolve to put them together in the same class of things. Thus we put all things which have the attribute of green, into the class of green things. This is really the process of association or classification; and we not only associate ideas, but feelings, judgments, and all other mental operations, as well as material and spiritual substances. This classi. fication is of peculiar service to the memory; for the re. collection of a single object in a class is often followed by the spontaneous remembrance of many other things in the same bundle of ideas.
In the 18th place, Dr. C. gives us Reason, and in the 19th, Judgment. We are happy to recognize our friends, and hope our readers will receive them, in conjunction with five other intellectual faculties, as their guides, udder God, to perfect bliss. To these are immediately addressed all the means of grace, that are ultimately design
ed to meliorate our hearts; and whenever these means are rendered effectual by the Spirit, to the sanctification of our thoughts, our emotions, by an established law of the mind, will become holy also.
ARTICLE II.-A Plea for Sacramental Communion on Catho,
lick Principles. By J. M. Mason, D. D. New-York, 1816, pp. 400, 8vo.
It is worse than in vain to decry the peculiarities of an author, as if they must necessarily be faults. They may constitute the chief excellencies of his performance. Indeed, it is the general fault of authors that they have no distinguishing traits of style; because they have none of thought; but write in a very common, dull, stiff manner, like the great herd of professional scribblers, who write for pay and not for their own pleasure, nor from a desire to do good. Those who have no peculiarities, may depend upon it, that they will not be read, unless it is by a few partial friends, who may love their persons, and therefore consent to doze over their pages.
of the work before us, we are happy to remark, that it is in general written with classical accuracy; and as for the singularities presented, they “smack,” (to use one of his favourite terms) of Dr. Mason. If he were just like the great mass of good men, we should be heartily sorry for it. We love a variety, and thank God for it. No one need inform us what productions are from Dr. Mason's pen: they speak for themselves, and bear the impression of his character.
His Plea is principally designed to convince the Associate Reformed, the Associate, and the Reformed Pres. byterian Churches, that receive the same confession of faith, form of government, and directory for worship, that they ought to manifest their love to each other, by a friendly intercommunion with their brethren in the ordinance of the Lord's supper. Each of the two last mentioned denominations has hitherto thought ito be its Vol. I.