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structure of the eye a congruity to light, or in that of the ear to sounds, long before these organs receive any impressions. Education, therefore, is to the mind, what cultivation is to the plant or seed. It is that methodical training which leads to the gradual evolution and expansion of powers and principles and propensities, connate with the mind, and essential to its constitution. It cannot create new powers: but as a bad education may increase and cherish evil propensities, and produce bad fruit from the growth of evil seed; so a good education may foster virtuous propensities, and produce good fruit from the evolution of good seed.

Whatever, therefore, is received from without, must have a connatural affinity with some primary taste, capacity, or feeling within. For, if it have not this affinity or congruity, it can no more be assimilated and appropriated to the mind's improvement, than light can be perceived by the ear, or musical sounds by the eye. Every Sense has its peculiar and appropriate object or quality in nature; and so has every appetite; and the same may perhaps be said of every passion and emotion.

Every internal power has also its object in its external relations; and external impressions can never produce a practical effect further than they quicken, rouse, and animate the internal power to which they are appropriate, and upon which they act. Hence, by communicating or imprinting new thoughts, we only bring into the mind something possessing a close

adaptation in its nature, to the constitution of that inherent faculty to which it is applied, analogous to the nourishment which is conveyed to a plant, and assimilated to its substance. The outward senses, I need not repeat, take cognizance of the qualities of matter; the inward faculties, of intellectual abstractions in physics as well as of moral relations in human conduct. Thus, the eye has a natural affinity for light, the tongue for tastes, and the ear for sounds; and we might as well imagine that discord and har mony, bitter and sweet, odoriferous and putrid effluvia, should make the same impression, prior to experience, or be equally agreeable to their respective organs of sense; as that vice and virtue, right and wrong, truth and falsehood, gratitude and ingratitude, should, when first presented intelligibly to the mind, be indiscriminately and equally acceptable to the internal faculties or principles, which take cognizance of these different relations.

It must be obvious, then, that virtue is naturally lovely and vice hateful,-and it would be idle to set about explaining what these words mean,-in short, that virtuous actions are as universally agreeable, and vicious the contrary, as, to the generality of mankind, sugar is sweet, and gall is bitter. And it is the decree of Heaven and the constitution of human nature which make it so; and which have established these immutable distinctions.

We are compelled, therefore, to conclude, that there must be original affections, dispositions, talents,

-in other words, native seeds, implanted by the Creator, in every mind; without which it might labour in vain upon the imported materials, to fabricate Truth and Science. But, whatever is thus imported must be congenial to its nature, and possess a fitness and congruity. Thoughts and impressions in the mind, acquired by education, are rather impulses from without by the Senses, acting on its own inherent energies, than any abstract metaphysical substances, under the name of ideas, introduced to its acquaint

ance.

What can we conceive but that a cold and insensible marble tablet, destitute of every original bias, might just as well receive one impression as another? And surely no reason can be assigned, why, on such a principle, one set of notions could be more congenial to the natural feelings than another; why falsehood should be less acceptable than truth, or gratitude than ingratitude, or vice than virtue; till men should be instructed by experience to give the preference to truth and virtue, as matter of expediency or cold conventional agreement, and not the effect of sacred immutable obligation, or rather of warm original impulse in the mind.

It is undoubtedly true, that certain qualities in human actions, related to the virtues, such as gratitude, generosity, humanity, fidelity, integrity, &c. are embraced and cherished by the affections of man, like the very life-blood by the heart; and the sympathetic

bound of feeling in the nind of almost every human creature, is as responsive to the impulse.

Education, surely, cannot change the original bias or instinct of the human heart so entirely, that the foundation of what we call Virtue, and Innocence, and Gratitude, and Mercy, can be subverted; so that their opposites shall claim unreserved respect in any human society. The human mind is not left so unprovided, even by nature, that it must depend on the learned and experienced to teach it the simplest maxim of moral duty. Discipline, undoubtedly, may do much in fostering the good, and checking the evil tendencies; but it cannot make the choleric man placid and torpid in his sensibilities, nor the cold and deliberate, impetuous and quick of apprehension. It cannot convert a natural genius for one art or science into a genius for another. So that it is absurd tö speak of education constituting all the difference we find in human character. Natural and insuperable obstacles are opposed to an equality of talent, or of natural and moral sensibility in our fellow.

creatures.

SECT. III.

Illustrations of the same Subject.

I shall now proceed to show, by a few illustrations, that the general view, which I have attempted to lay down, is not entirely a fanciful picture of my own;

but that it has at least the recommendation of being sanctioned by the forms of expression and authority of some eminent writers.

The reader will soon perceive that I do not confine my view to the seeds of moral truth only : and that the words seed, rudiment, and fountain, are severally employed as the original or element from which every kind of truth must spring.

"It is sufficient," says Bishop Butler, speaking of good will in man towards man, "it is sufficient, that the seeds of it be implanted in nature by God. There is, it is owned, much left for us to do upon our own heart and temper; to cultivate, to improve, to call it forth, to exercise it in a steady uniform manner, This is our work; this is virtue and religion."*

Though, in the following passage, Hooker may perhaps allude to the seed of virtue being planted in the mind by man instead of his Maker; yet the possibility of its growing up to perfection as a plant from its seed, is fully implied in the expression, "The seed of whatsoever perfect virtue groweth from us, is a right opinion touching things divine.",

It is observed by D'Alembert, as the passage is cited and translated by Stewart, in his Elements, that "Truth in metaphysics resembles truth in matters of taste. In both cases, the seeds of it exist in every mind; though few think of attending to this latent treasure, till it be pointed out to them by more curious inquirers."+

Sermon on Hum. Nat.

+ Elements of Philosophy, vol. 2.

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