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of the end of their actions-a consciousness, too, immediately directed to the welfare of man; not like the fixed and uniform operations of Instinct, which pays no regard to man, but, when acting in the brutes, is wholly employed in their self-preservation, or in providing for their young.
As no man, then, can clearly point out, by what delicate and hidden steps, even the human mind is conducted in passing from premises to conclusion; as he cannot trace what animal propensities, and feelings of his sensitive nature, and prejudices, and moral principles govern and influence his various decisions, constituting what he calls an act of human reason, farther than the end can be accounted for by the means; so neither can he comprehend the impelling motives of the brute, except by their visible actions. If these visible actions, therefore, correspond with his own ideas of what is excellent in feeling and judgment, they must either proceed from faculties like those of that part of human nature to which the brute is clearly allied, or from a much higher source. But as they do not appear to belong to Instinct, or a necessary and unavoidable impulse compelling them to act, nor yet to those more dignified principles of the human character, of which the brute shows no signs; they may be considered analogous to those principles which govern human beings themselves under corresponding circumstances; and consequently presuppose a limited degree of rationality, as we strictly apply the term.
Instances of sagacity in many other animals might also be collected ;-sufficient to show that when occasion seems to call forth their energies, a display of intellect follows which ought rather to be considered as a matter of course, than of very anomalous occur-` rence. For these instances of sagacity are too numerous in the brute creation to constitute what may be termed rare exceptions. We might with nearly as much propriety make extraordinary instances of sagacity in our own species, exceptions to the common rule, by taking uncivilized tribes as models from which to form a true estimate of the human character. Animals in the wild state fulfil the intentions of nature more perfectly than man in the civilized. And, again, many animals, when domesticated or trained to useful purposes, and associated with civilized man, display signs of affection, gratitude, and ingenuity, with other noble and excellent traits of character, which, considering they are not bound by the obligation of any moral duties, are truly wonderful.
It would be easy to add anecdotes of many other animals to those I have collected and I would just repeat the observation, that in contemplating the acts in question, there is every reason to think, the animals are in a good degree conscious of the end and design of such acts, perhaps as much so as many of our fellow creatures are, when lending their assistance to us in the same way. But this cannot be proved: nor can it ever amount to more than a high degree of probability; for the want of artificial signs,
without doubt very wisely, prevents all mental intercourse between man and the brute. So that we can never understand to what degree they are conscious agents, beyond the outward evidence of natural language. If it should be thought by some a mark of the irrational or brute nature not to comprehend the connexion of means and ends and to be unconscious of design, it is on the other hand sufficiently clear, that like the lower animals in many instances, multitudes of our fellow creatures suffer themselves to be employed in various operations, and frequently act without having any clear knowledge of the complicated means or end which the superior understanding, whatever it is, to which they submit themselves, has in view.
How far the words rational and irrational, have been used legitimately, to distinguish man and the brute, I shall not pretend to say. But if I may appeal to such an authority, there appears to me no ground in Scripture for the use of the word Reason, as it is applied in the present day, in this distinguishing sense. It occurs only in Daniel, as a power of the intellect, where it is said "Nebuchadnezar's reason returned unto him:" and the same Hebrew word, two verses before, is translated, Understanding; in other parts, Reason is used for mere argument, or discussion of opinion. Understanding is the term we meet with in Scripture, which refers to something higher than mere human or outward knowledge, and
is generally classed with Wisdom. "Buy wisdom and instruction, and understanding"-" He hath stretched out the heavens by his understanding""The inspiration of the Almighty giveth understanding."-" My people have no understanding."
It is clear that the word applies to knowledge, above that which relates to the common concerns of life: and, it moreover appears, that a mere reasoning or comparing faculty is not once referred to as the exclusive privilege of man.
I mention these few things to show that so far as we can gather from the use of terms, the Scripture affords us no light by which we can discriminate between the truly intellectual and animal nature, (for I do not now speak of the divine influence in man,) and that the words rational and irrational, as applied specifically to make a formal distinction between man and the brute, with regard to their respective faculties for acquiring outward knowledge, are inventions of the schools, rather by assumption than by proof.
I wish therefore to be understood to say, that there is no more ground for making an essential distinction between those outward faculties in man and the brute, which compare ideas in order to draw simple inferences, than for making a distinction in kind between their respective powers of remembering. So that, if the brute can remember by his creaturely, mind or animal nature, so may he reason, as far as