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each case there is a law to be obeyed. But it is a law, not of despotism or caprice, but of reason and fitness, the offspring of the wisdom and beneficence of the Most High.
Are children called on to honour, protect, and maintain their parents, to whom they are indebted for life, education, and years of subsistence! In complying with the call, they but obey the impulses of Veneration and Adhesiveness, the dictates of reflection, and the mandate of conscience. Are we summoned to bestow charity, relieve pain of body or anguish of mind, save life, or perform our part in diffusing around us happiness and joy? In doing so, we but act in conformity to the prompting of Benevolence. Is it demanded of us that we neither testify falsely against our neighbour, dishonour bis bed, defraud him of his possessions, nor withhold from him what he is justly entitled to receive from us? In complying with these several claims and duties, we act as strictly in conformity to the native injunctions of Conscientiousness, Caution, Approbativeness, and our reflective faculties, as we do in conformity to the laws of our country. And were it not for the influence of the laws within us, those without would be inoperative and fruitless—as utterly so, as if they were designed for the government of our domestic animals. And when we are commanded to do homage to the GREAT SUPREME, we obey the requisition from the impulses of Veneration, Wonder, Hope, and Ideality, much more than from the influence of the call from without, whatever may be its character and penalty, or the source from which it comes. And were it not for our feelings and impulses to that effect, we could not obey it. In a word, had not the commandments, issued from Mount Sinai, been in strict conformity to our mental constitution, bestowed on us by the Creator, they would have been as inoperative and unproductive, as if they had been designed for the government of quadrupeds and birds. So true is it, that when, for his moral direction and government, man has no external law, he is a law to himself. And that law is inscribed on the structure and constitution of his mind by the finger of his Creator. In following the moral law, therefore, we but follow the emotions and injunctions of our nature, as literally and necessarily, as the weightier body sinks and the lighter one ascends. It is idle and unmeaning, therefore, or rather it is a perversion of what ought to be meant, (not to pronounce it Irreverent toward the Deity,) to talk about making man, by human means, either moral or religious. He is both moral and religious already, as he comes from the immaculate hands of his Creator-provided he so train and dis. cipline himself, as to give to his moral and religious faculties the control that belongs to them, by the constitution of his mind. And
such discipline, an acquaintance with phrenology enables him to attain for himself, and to bestow on others. Hence the falsity and deep injustice of the charge of friendliness to immorality and irreligion, preferred against phrenology by the ignorance or perversity, or both, of its reckless defamers. Without the aid of that science, the true foundation of neither morality nor religion can be under. stood; because without it the constitution of the human mind, the seat and nursery.ground of morality and religion, is not understood. We shall only add, that although man is as truly a moral and religious being, without education and training, as with them, he is not so to the same extent. His moral and religious faculties may be strengthened and improved by suitable discipline, but not crealed by it. As easily could the tiger have morality and religion implanted and made to flourish in him, by artificial means, as man, had not the latter received from his Creator the high and distinguishing endowment of moral and religious organs and faculties.
Having, on these principles, given a much more natural and intelligible, as well as a more just view of the foundation of morality, than had been previously given by any other writer, Mr. Combè proceeds to treat his subject under four different heads, the statement of which we shall submit to the reader in his own words. “I
propose, in the following lectures, to consider
“ 1st, The constitution of man as an individual; and endeavour to discover what duties are prescribed to him by its qualities and objects.
“ 2dly, I shall consider man as a domestic being, and endeavour to discover the duties prescribed to him by his constitution, as a husband and a father.
“ 3dly, I shall consider man as a social being, and discuss the duties arising from his social qualities. This will involve the prin. ciples of government and political economy.
“ 4thly, I shall consider man as a religious being, and discuss the duties which he owes to God, so far as these are discoverable from the light of nature."
The volume before us consists in all of twenty lectures, besides an Appendix; and we have yet spoken of only one of them. We need hardly observe, therefore, that our notices of the remainder must be so brief and imperfect, as to communicate to the reader an exceedingly limited and incompetent degree of knowledge of their matter and merit. For, contrasted with their moderate amount of letter. press, they contain an unusual abundance of both. We know of no other work of near the same size, the “Constitution of Man," by the same other, perhaps excepted, that does not fall greatly short of it,
in the extent, variety, and accuracy of the knowledge which it embodies respecting the human system, considered in its varied attributes and relations—physical and organic, intellectual and moral. And one of its excellences of a high order, in which it is nearly unique, is, heretofore intimated, its interesting and satisfactory representation of the harmony that should exist between those attributes or modes of being of human nature, the importance of such harmony, and the means by which it may be produced and preserved.
Our author's second lecture, “On the sanctions by which the natural laws of morality are supported,” is also altogether excellent -the matter sound, and the style and manner highly creditable. His definition of a moral action is concise, correct, and worthy to be remembered, as being in harmony with his whole doctrine.
“Every act is murally right which is approved by enlightened intellect, operating along with the moral sentiments of Benevolence, Conscientiousness, and Veneration; while all actions disapproved of by these faculties are wrong."
This lecture, throughout, is an able and satisfactory vindication of the “ways of God to man." It clearly shows that, even in this world, those ways are undeviatingly just ; that suffering, in some shape and degree, is the inevitable result of every violation of the natural laws, established by the Deity for the government of his works; and that, without such violation, suffering would be injustice and cruelty, and would not, therefore-could not, indeed—be per. mitted under a wise, and just, and benevolent administration of things. And, in illustration and proof of this doctrine, he adduces many facts and arguments not to be resisted. Nor can any thing be more salutary in its tendency than the result of this disquisition. How, indeed, can it be otherwise. It elicits and establishes truth, which cannot, in its influence, fail to be beneficial. The plain language of it is—“Transgress not, and be happy; infringe any of the natural laws of God, and here-even here—in this world of trial, and at no distant period of time, the penalty will be exacted of you -inexorably exacted, in some form and degree of suffering or sorrow." Let this doctrine be universally proclaimed and demonstrated, (and the task is an easy one,) and a speedy and striking reformation will be the issue. By such a course, if rendered general, and vigorously and steadily pursued and executed, vice will be much more discouraged and prevented, and virtue and morality more promoted, in a few years, than they can be by an adherence to the present course of proceeding in as many life-times. The demonstrable certainty of incurring immediate suffering, though comparatively light, is much better calculated to deter men from vice, than only a probability, however strong, of the infliction of a heavier punishment, at a remote period. All experience admonishes us of this—that it is not the grievousness and weight of the penalty, but its certainty and instantaneousness, that operate most efficiently in preventing the violation of the natural laws.
Mr. Combe's third lecture is an able dissertation on the “ Advan. tages of a knowledge of the principles of morals," on the “Duties prescribed to man as an individual ;” and on “ Self-Culture.”
A practitioner of medicine who is ignorant of the philosophy of his profession, is an empirick, and can never become the author of any improvement in the treatment of diseases, except by accident. of those who devote themselves to moral philosophy, as writers or teachers, the same is true. Unless they are versed in the grounds and principles of morals, they are pretenders in their vocation, and can never contribute to the advancement of the science, which they spuriously profess. And such was necessarily the condition of all moralists, until the discoveries of Gall. They were ignorant of the constitution of the human mind, more especially with that of its moral compartment. In truth, they hardly, if at all, believed in the existence of such a compartment, as distinct from the intellectual. Hence their entire ignorance of the philosophy of morals; and hence, again, the absolute stationariness of that branch of knowledge for more than twenty centuries, Seneca and Cicero, Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates, knew as much of the true foundation and principles of morality, as did Stewart, Beatie, or Brown, or any of the other Scotish philosophers. But on that subject, so transcendent in its importance to the welfare of man, a light has gone forth, from the discoveries of Dr. Gall and the labours of his followers, which has brought it already to the same level with other branches of physio. logical science. For, though heretofore regarded as one of the most abstract and untangible portions of metaphysics, it belongs as exclusively to anatomy and physiology, as does digestion, respiration, or the circulation of the blood. And it will be treated here. after with a corresponding degree of facility and success. The mysteriousness which had overshadowed it for centuries will disappear, and it will be no longer, beyond other matters, a barrier in the path of the student of anthropology.
(To be continued.)
REMARKS ON THE DEVELOPEMENTS AND ATTAINMENTS OF E. BURRITT,
THE LEARNED BLACKSMITH, OF WORCESTER, MASS.
The above cut presents a correct outline of the head of E. Burritt, who has recently distinguished himself by his attainments in the ancient and modern languages. As the individual is still living, we do not feel at liberty to enter into particulars respecting his phreno. logical developements, and shall therefore be brief, as well as general, in our statement.
The history and character of Mr. Burritt are truly remarkable and peculiarly interesting. After some remarks on his organisation and mental faculties, we shall let him speak on this subject for him. self. Considering the time, and limited opportunities for study, which he has had, he has been wonderfully successful in his acquaintance with the ancient and modern languages. It might be supposed that, if there is any truth in phrenology, the head of this individual must possess some marked and striking peculiarities. But, to a person unacquainted with the principles of this science, and the particular faculties necessary to render one successful in such studies, the portrait presents nothing very singular or remarkable. And, in fact, as far as his phrenological developements are concerned, they are in no respect so very remarkable, or such as to distinguish him naturally from a multitude of others. He is more indebted for his success to close industry, intense application, and