the holiest and happiest influences of piety may be exerted and made effectual.

Phrenology, then, is not a substitute for revealed religion-it does not present itself as a rival or an enemy, but as an ally or ministering servant. It is obvious that if all which is claimed for it be true, it is capable of exerting a most important influence on the faculties and moral powers of our race, and with experience for its interpreter, it must form the basis of intellectual philosophy.

The developement which it makes of the faculties, as connected with the organisation of the brain, illustrates the wisdom of the Creator in common with the wonderful structure of the rest of the frame; and, indeed, it has still higher claims to our admiration, in as much as the faculties of the mind are more elevated in dignity than those of the inferior members. If it should be objected, that we ought not to attribute to God a structure in which evil propen. sities are included, we answer that they cease to be evit if they are controlled by the superior powers; and after all, the introduction of moral and physical evil into this world must be referred to the will of God, nor does it at all change the conditions of the problem, whether our moral errors arise from our organisation or from external influences, or from both. In either case we are responsible, because power, either inherent in our constitution, or imparted through the influence of religion, is given to us, sufficient to resist moral evil and to perform our duty. It appears, then, that phreno. logy is neither an unreasonable, an unphilosophical, nor an immoral or irreligious pursuit.

The connection which it proves between the brain and the mind, is founded upon our personal experience and daily observation. There is nothing in the nature of the brain which can enable us to understand how it is made the residence or instrument of the mind, nor can we in the least comprehend in what way the mind will subsist after the death of the body, or in what the intellectual essence consists. We are indeed instructed, from the highest authority, (and the thought, with its illustration, is equally beautiful and sublime, in a philosophical as in a moral view,) that “the seed which we sow* is not quickened unless it die ; that we do not sow the body that shall be, but that God giveth it a body, as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body; so also in the resurrection of the dead; it is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised

[ocr errors]

Baro grain, it may chance of wheat or of some other grain.”

in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body; there is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” (St. Paul.)

of the future association of our minds with thal new and spiritual body, we can no more form a distinct conception, than we now do of the existing connection with our living acting frames. They obey the mandates of God's vicegerent, the immortal mind, which is truly and locally enthroned in the superior region of the head, to rule the inferior body, employing its members as servants to fulfil its commands, and in that manner to accomplish the will of the infinite Creator. Great dignity is thus imparted to our reason and to its temporary residence in the head, its truly regal palace. But the human mind soon finds the limits of its power in every department of nature. It comprehends, indeed, the celestial mechanism, and demonstrates the existence and the ratio of gravitation and projec. tion, but understands not their nature and origin; it penetrates the chemical constitution of bodies, and ascertains the laws by which the heterogeneous atoms rush into union, while it cannot fathom the essence of the particles, nor even prove the reality of matter. The miod commands the hand to move, and it instantly obeys, to perform its behests of anger or of love-while the mind itself perceives not the nature of the influence, nor the manner of its moveinent; and thus phrenology forms a perfect parallel with all we know of nature and of nature's God. With us, rests the knowledge of the effects; with him, the cause and the manner of the connection. Philosophy, then, equally with religion, bows before the throne of the Supreme; and while it renders grateful homage for the glorious illumination which he has poured into our minds, it acknowledges with profound humility, that our light at last ends in darkness-that none, by searching, can fully find out God, nor comprehend the Almighty unto perfection; for it is higher than heaven, what canst thou do; and deeper than hell, what canst thou know !

Phrenology, then, stands exactly like the other sciences of observation, upon the basis of phenomena, and their observed correspondence with a theory which is deduced from them. The mental energy of Gall, of Spurzheim, of Combe, and of many other philosophers of high intellectual powers and wide observation, has been, through many years, directed to the investigation, and they have declared that they find a prevailing correspondence between the size and conformation of the brain and of the cranium, and the energy of the intellectual faculties, moral sentiments, and animal propensities of man.

As it is a fair pursuit-a legitimate branch of physical, mental, and moral philosophy-let it, then, have free scope, until additional observations through a wider range of time, and made by many other men, equally, or even better, qualified for the investigation, shall either establish or overthrow its claims.

This apologetic plea for pbrenology has been thrown in, not because we have made up our minds to go for the uhole, but because we would strenuously maintain the liberty of free investigation. Philosophical is as sacred as civil and religious liberty, and ali three are indispensable to the perfection of man's faculties, to the improve. ment of his condition, and to the just comprehension of his duties. In suggesting the considerations that have been presented, we do not assume or deny that the minute divisions of the mental, moral, and animal faculties indicated by phrenology, as the science is now taught, are all fully made out. On this question we would not hazard an opinion, for here phrenology would demand a trial by its peers—by a jury of superior minds, qualified to decide by their acumen, their general knowledge, their large observation on this subject, and their strict logical discipline; but all intelligent and candid persons can judge of the general correspondence of the theory with the phenomena; they can observe that there is an intel. lectual, a moral, and an animal conformation of the head, which, as the one region or the other prevails, greatly influences the character and conduct.

This general developement, this characteristic conformation, we think, is clearly discernible when we examine many individuals ; it is, therefore, this leading revelation of mental power, of moral affections, and of animal propensities, which we believe that Gall, Spurz. heim, and Combe, and other able and enlightened phrenologists, have it in their power to indicate, with a prevailing certainty, sufficient to justify particular courses of treatment with the insane, with felons, and (with great care and prudence) even with pupils and children,

Il, then, we are right in this conclusion, phrenology does not deserve the sneers, the ridicule and contempt of which it is still made the theme; nothing is easier than to cherish our own selfesteem, by indulging in such cheap effusions of self-complacency; and to guard against any possible verdict of credulity, by an early vindication of our superior sagacity in foreseeing the reductio ad absurdum, which those who predict such a result will be very prone not only to expect but to desire. Many excellent people, with the best moral and religious feelings, are often alarmed by the discoveries of science; we do not speak of science, "falsely so called," but of real science, which is only another name for truth. Truth is the noblest attribute of the Creator himself; we are too apt to forget that it is as distinctly recorded in his works as in his word, and if we would know what he has revealed for our instruction, we must faithfully read and understand the volume of creation, as well as that of revelation; both are his work ; both are true, and both are worthy of our most assiduous study. We fail, therefore, in moral courage, if we fear to advance in the ways of truth, and to follow where she leads, whether in nature or in revelation.

Every important science has at first been received with scepticism, if not with obloquy, contempt, or hostility. Astronomy, assailed by ignorance and bigotry, long maintained a defensive attitude against the civil and ecclesiastical powers of that age, which boasts a Galileo, a Keplar, and a Newton; but for almost two centuries, this, the noblest of the physical sciences, has been fully victorious. Geology has sustained a warfare of many years, but having vindicated her cause, begins to feel assured of permanent peace. Phrenology is still marching in an enemy's country, and the issue may appear more doubtful; but we are assured by her learned professors, that she is gaining efficient allies, and every year increasing in power.



[Communicated by Dr. Andrew Combe to the Edinburgh Phrenological Journal.]

A young lady of high musical and intellectual powers, and of a very active mind, and who has for some months past been subject to frequent attacks of hysteria in all its ever-changing forms, and who suffers almost constantly in a greater or less degree from headach, complained on Saturday, 22d April, 1826, of feeling acute pain at the external angle of the forehead, precisely in the situation of the organs of Tune, which are largely developed, and upon which, in describing the seat of the pain, she placed most accurately the points of the fingers. Next day, the same complaint of pain in that region was made; and about two hours after I saw her, she was suddenly seized with a spasmodic or rather convulsive affection of the larynx, glottis, and adjoining parts, in consequence of which a quick, short, and somewhat musical sound was regularly emitted, and continued with great rapidity, as if the breathing had been very hurried. On examination externally, the os hyoides at the root of the tongue and

[ocr errors]

the thyroid cartilages were seen in constant motion, and in the act of alternately approximating and receding from each other. The will was so far powerful in controlling this motion, that the young lady was able to utter a few short sentences at a time without much difficulty, interrupted, however, by two or three movements. After this singular state had continued for about two hours, she herself remarked, that it was becoming rather too musical, and wished that it would cease, which it did at the end of another half hour, from accidental pressure of the finger in pointing out the motion to another person; she was then as well as usual, only somewhat fatigued.

On Monday, 24th of April, she still complained of pain in the situation of the organ of Tune; and stated that she had been dream. ing a great deal of hearing the finest music; that she felt quite excited by it, and could not even now get the impression out of her head. The day passed on, however, and nothing remarkable occurred.

On Tuesday, I found that I had been rather anxiously expected. During the night, the young lady had been tormented with the recurrence of the musical dreams, during which she heard and performed the most beautiful airs, with a distinctness which surpassed those of the preceding night. These dreams continued for son e hours, and left such an impression that, on awaking, she thought she could almost no.e down one piece of composition which had particularly pleased her. But what is very remarkable, the excessive excitement of the faculty of Tune had now reached a height that could not be controlled; the patient selt, not to say a desire only, but a strong and irresistible passion or craving for music, which it was painful beyond endurance to repress. She insisted on getting up and being allowed to play and sing; but that being for many *reasons unadvisable, she then begged to have a friend sent for to play to her, as the only ineans of relief from a very painful state; but shortly after, the craving of the faculty became so intolerable that she got hold of a guitar, lay down upon a sofa, and fairly gave way to the torrent, and with a volume, clearness, and strength of voice, and a facility of execution, which would have astonished any one who had seen her two days before, she suog in accompaniment till her musical faculty became spent and exhausted. During this time, the pain at the angles of the forehead was still felt, and was attended with a sense of fulness and uneasiness all over the coronal and anterior parts of the forehead. Regarding all these phenomena as arising from over-excitement chiefly of the organs of Tune, I directed the continued local application of cold, and such other

« VorigeDoorgaan »