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pointed out the natural phenomena by which man, kind were led to einbrace it, we shall next exhibit the evidences for this doctrine, which arise from the deductions of reason. And these naturally divide themselves into two parts. 1st. Those which arise from a consideration of the properties and nature of the soul itself. And 2ndly. The arguments sug. gested by the perfections of the Supreme Being, as the moral Governor of the universe, and by the powers and circumstances of man.
1st. With respect to the properties of the soul, there is great reason to believe that the reasoning power is a substance perfectly distinct from the body,* and possesses powers and enjoyments peculiar to itself. In the first place, this invisible being discovers itself to be the governor and director of the whole corporeal system. It is the thinking power that gives life and action to the different members, and puts a 'stop to those actions. The feet walk, and the hands work, according to its pleasure. These members appear in no higher rank or authority than the instruments
* The following lines of the poet forcibly represent the univer. sal impression of mankind upon this subject.
Am I but what I seem, mere flesh and blood,
only, of that high power which holds the supreme command. Sometimes the body may be acted upon by external force, so powerfully and irresistibly, as to counteract and control the will and direction of the supreme agent; but this power is still evident by the opposition and reluctance ever testified by the mind to all such violence.
A second proof of the thinking substance being independent, in some measure, of the body, is, its perpetual activity, its constant and increasing exercise. It has been laid down as a principle, by some; that the soul always thinks. During our waking hours we are conscious of this truth, because there is then no interruption to our thoughts: the mind is always employed. But the most material question is, does the soul continue to think during the sound rest of the body? This question has been much agitated, and from what we have seen upon the subject, the probability seems to be much in its favour.* We all know from the phenomenon of dreams, that the soul is busy, even in the hours when the body is at rest. The soul, then, if this be the case, stands in no need of the ordinary refreshments and recruits that the body requires. The renewal of its powers depends, not on food, nor sleep, nor any of the gross supports that are necessary for this earthly frame.
In various other instances, likewise, does the soul give strong indications of its distinct personality. Such indications it undoubtedly gives by that power which it sometimes exerts, when immersed in pro
* See Watts's Philosophical Essays, where this question is dis. cussed at large.
found thought-by abstracting itself, of being absent, as it were, from the body, and paying no regard to the impressions made upon it by external objects
by that vigour which it sometimes manifests in the · most excruciating disorders, and even at the ap
proach of death, when its earthly tenement is all shattered and decayed by the emotions often raised in us by the eminent virtues of great and good men, in distant ages and countries; and above all—by that astonishing, yet well attested phenomenon of sleep-walking, where, though the eyes are insensible to all external impressions, and sometimes entirely closed; yet the somnambulist directs himself with amazing certainty, through the most intricate windings, and over the most dangerous precipices, and without any apparent assistance from the organs of sense has been known to read, write, and compose. * Now from this view of the power and operations of our thinking part, what is the inference ? Are we to conclude that the soul is a substance distinct from the body; or that it is only the modification of organized matter, to which the Almighty has annexed the capacity of thought, reflection, and understanding? If the latter, it must necessarily share the extinction of the body by death, and there is an end at once, of all our natural hopes of immortality. If, on the other hand, the preceding remarks have rendered it probable, that we are endowed with a principle of perception, distinct from the body, the main point respecting the capacity of the soul to survive the
* An extraordinary and well authenticated instance is given of this in the Encyclopædie, article Somnambule. Another may alsa be found in the Encyclopædia Britannica, article Sleep-walking.
grave is established : and although it may be extremely useful and satisfactory to the mind, yet it is not absolutely essential to the argument, to prove that the soul is formed of a different kind of substance from the body; or in other words, that it is immaterial. For even granting, for a moment, that it is nothing more than a system of organized matter, yet since it is, by the supposition, distinct from the body, it does by no means follow that when the body dies, the sentient system will also be dissolved and perish. The same Alınighty Being that could superadd to dead matter, so extraordinary and so unlikely a power as that of thought, could also, if he pleased, with precisely the same ease, superadd to it the still further power of surviving the grave. A material soul, therefore, may still, for aught we know to the contrary, be an immortal one. But since an incorporeal essence bids so much fairer for immortality, since the belief that the soul is incorporeal, has so much better grounds to support it, we shall, after a few introductory' remarks on the doctrine of mind and body, state the result of the ablest investigations in favour of the immateriality of the soul.
All things of which we have any notion or idea, may be divided into mind and body.* By body is meant that which is solid, extended, inert, and divisible, and its several adjuncts are space, motion,
* This distinction was nut only maintained by Plato, Aristotle, and almost all the ancient Thessis, from 'Thales down to Seneca, but has been amply confirmed by the wonderful discoveries and superior light of modern philosophy. See Porteus' Sermons on a Future State.
number, and time. The only mind with which we are intimately acquainted, is our own; and we know that it is possessed of the powers of sensation, perception, retention, consciousness, reflection, reason, and will. These are totally different from extension, solidity, divisibility, and motion ; and therefore it is proper to distinguish the being of which they are powers, by another name than that of body.
Of bodies there are various kinds, possessing various sensible qualities, and from analogy it is reasonable to conclude, that there may be various classes of minds, endowed with different kinds or degrees of power. For this, indeed, we have stronger evidence than that of analogy. Brute animals evidently possess the powers of perception and spontaneity, with some degree of consciousness; but as they appear not to reflect upon their own conduct, or to have their actions influenced by motives, their minds are inferior to ours, though still perfectly distinct from mere extended, inert, and divisible substances. Mind, therefore, considered with respect to its powers, is evidently different from body, considered with respect to its qualities. This is, indeed, a truth which has seldom, if ever, been controverted; but it has been long and warmly disputed, whether mind and body be not both composed of the same first matter.
If we would know, then, whether we have in us a principle of motion which is not material, we must submit to the laws of induction; and by investigating the essential qualities of matter, endeavour to ascertain whether a material system can be rendered active. That we ourselves have active powers, we