« VorigeDoorgaan »
ual and the material handiworks of the Most High, it finds one elementary thought here and another there, and perceiving the necessity of their approach and union in one independent existence, it is in this way that the vast and exalted conception we are considering results from their combination.
It is probably owing to this method of its origin that the complex notion of a Supreme being is so different in different nations. Where the moral views of the people are wanting in elevation, and the notions they form of cruth, wisdom, and justice in particular, are low and inadequate, the combined or complex notion of a God, which embraces these elementary parts, will be depressed to a correspondence with its elements. And, on the other hand, wherever we find the perception of the human intellect not only highly purified and enlightened by human culture, but raised and guided also by the Holy Scriptures, we shall find a comprehensive and transcendent idea of the Deity, correspondent, in some good degree, to the glorious reality it expresses. For such a Being, and thus distinctly revealed to us in the soul,“ we may cherish,” in the words of Degerando, “the most august love which the heart of a creature can conceive; adoration, mingled with gratitude and confidence, finding its true and inexhaustible object in the source of infinite perfection, in the image of an eternal Benefactor.''
THE INTELLECT OR UNDERSTANDING.
INTELLECTIVE OR INTELLECTUAL STATES or THE MIND.
wMPERFECT AND DISORDERED INTELLECTUAL
CONNEXION OF THE MIND AND BODY.
9 328. Disordered intellectual action connected with the body. .
HAVING completed our examination of the Intellect, so far as it presents itself to our notice in its more frequent and regular action, we now propose to conclude the subject by giving some instances of intellectual states which appear to take place in violation of its ordinary principles.* Whatever anticipations we might have been disposed to form a PRIORI, in relation to the action of the mind, it is a matter abundantly confirmed by painful experience and observation, that its operations are not always uniform; and that in some cases, as we shall have occasion to see, it exhibits an utter and disastrous deviation from the laws which commonly regulate it. The causes of these deviations it may not be easy always, and in all respects, to explain; but it is well understood that they are frequently connected with an irregular and diseased condition of the body. There may be, and there undoubtedly are, other causes more remote from common observation, and more intimately connected with the interior nature and the more secret springs of mental action ; but this does not preclude a distinct and particular attention to one so obvious, and by general concession so powerful, as that which we now refer to. Accordingly, it will be the object of the few remarks embraced in this Chapter, and as introductory, in some degree, to what follows on the subject of disordered intellectual action, to
* Note. The subject of Disordered Mental Action is one undoubt. edly of great interest ; but it is also one of no small difficulty. We have endeavoured in another volume (No. c. of Harpers' Family Library) to examine the subject at greater length. The chapters which are introduced here, together with some others having relation to the same general subject of Disordered Mental Action, are merely abridge ments of what is to be found there. And to that volume, the reader who wishes for more particular information may perhaps properly be referred.