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voice from the ruins of ancient cities and empires, it lives in the ordinances not only of the church, but of civil society, it speaks in tones of thunder from the progressive fulfilment of prophecy. The mountains and vallies of Palestine, its rivers, lakes and caves, its early and latter rain, its "snow and vapor and stormy wind," all bear witness to the oracles of God; and the seed of Abraham are appointed by him to be the unwilling instruments of attesting their truth in all the nations of their sojourning. It is the duty of the christian ministry to understand and fall in with the grand designs of God's providence. It has pleased him, in these "latter days," to make the evidences of our holy religion (we speak of the external evidences) monumental in their character, and we must prepare to defend and advocate it upon this basis. This species of evidence does not indeed strike the senses so forcibly as miracles, nor is it so readily apprehended by the mass of the community; but, to the candid inquirer it is not less satisfactory. At first it may appear dim and shadowy, but, in proportion as it is scrutinized, it gathers increasing brightness and force. It has nothing to fear from the light of truth; ignorance and prejudice are its only enemies.

The history of the assaults which have been made upon revelation since the reformation is replete both with instruction and consolation. It has proved itself invulnerable on every point. Have its adversaries attempted to show that its doctrines are repugnant to natural religion? God has raised up some one of his servants to demonstrate unanswerably the analogy between natural and revealed religion. Has philosophy, so called, held up to ridicule its peculiar doctrines as absurd and self contradictory? A deeper philosophy has convicted it of uttering that which it understood not, things too wonderful for it, which it knew not. Have the genuineness and authenticity of the sacred canon been assailed? The result has been to establish both upon an immovable basis. Has the future fulfilment of some one of the predictions of revelation been sneered at as a physical impossibility? Even infidels, upon considerations independent' of Scripture, have been led to presage the same event. Who, for example, with the knowledge which we now possess of the structure and constitution of the earth, will venture to sneer at the idea of a literal conflagration which shall envelop her, as in the twinkling of an eye, from pole to pole, destroying every vestige of her present organization? Such has been the result of past efforts to shake the foundations of Christianity, and VOL. XI. No. 29.


such will be the result of future efforts. Meanwhile, as the process of investigation has been going on, one after another of the mists of error that had settled down upon her during the long night of the dark ages, has been dissipated, and she made to shine in a clearer and more resplendent light.

It has hitherto been Jehovah's plan to bring in at certain eras an overwhelming flood of light and truth to dazzle and confound his enemies. Such were the eras of the introduction of the Mosaic and of the christian dispensations; each of them bursting upon the world in all its brightness and glory at a period when the church was sunk into a state of the deepest depression. May we not hope that another such era began with the reformation and is steadily advancing towards the perfect day? an era not characterized, like the two former, by a series of stupendous interpositions of miraculous power, but by an irrepressible spirit of inquiry and research; a spirit which shall press every department of knowledge to its utmost boundaries; and which, when sanctified by the Spirit of God, and directed to the investigation of divine truth, shall under his guidance, separate from it the leaven of superstition and false philosophy, thus restoring it to its pristine sweetness and purity; and shall shed around the sacred volume such a lustre of evidence as shall sear the eye-balls of skepticism and infidelity, and drive them back to the bottomless pit whence they first ascended, leaving the everlasting gospel to the undisputed supremacy of the ransomed family of Adam.



By Samuel Fish, M. D. Boston.

INSTINCT is a subject upon which a great deal has been said and written, and still we know so little what it is and upon what principles it operates, that we are scarcely wiser than we should be if it had never been discussed. While some have considered it a mere impulse exerted upon animals without their being conscious of it, others have exalted it to an equality with rea

son-considered it reason-but reason of a lower grade than that which distinguishes the human species of a proper age from mere brute animals. It has generally been defined to be the power which determines the will of brutes; or a desire or aversion acting in the mind without the intervention of reason or deliberation. While instinct has been considered a power which has been exerted without reflection, and as belonging mostly to brutes, reason has been considered the power by which we deduce one proposition from another, and as confined altogether to the human species. Brutes, by most philosophers, have been considered as actuated by nothing but instinct, and even the human species as actuated by no other principle in their infantile state.

Descartes and others after him, supposed that brutes were mere mechanical machines, having neither ideas nor sensation; pleasure nor pain; and that their cries and moanings under punishment, and adversity, when moved by an opposite impulse, are produced by the same sort of force, which when exerted upon the keys of an organ compels its respective pipes to give forth different sounds. Dr. Reid of modern times has

espoused the doctrine of a mechanical principle, but differs from Descartes in supposing that the actions which are resolvable into this principle are of two kinds, those of instinct and those of habit.

Smellie and Dr. Darwin are in exact opposition to a mechanical force-to a corporeal hypothesis. They contend that instinct is a mental principle, and that brutes possess an intelligent faculty of the same nature, though more limited in its extent, than that of our own species. They are agreed in supposing that instinct is a mental effort, and therefore a faculty of reason, but differ by the former supposing that reason is the result of instinct, and the latter that instinct is the result of reason. Darwin recites many instances, with how much propriety those who read may judge, to show that the faculty which has been denominated instinct is in reality reason. An idea of his opinion, in general, may be inferred from the two following extracts from his Zoonomy. "By a due attention to these circumstances, many of the actions, which at first sight seemed only referable to an inexplicable instinct, will appear to have been acquired, like all other animal actions that are attended with consciousness, by repeated efforts of our muscles under the conduct of our sensations and desires." "If it should be asked what induces a bird to

sit weeks on its first eggs unconscious that a brood of young ones will be the product? The answer will be that, it is the same passion that induces the human mother to hold her offspring whole nights and days in her arms, and press it to her bosom, unconscious of its future growth to sense and manhood, till observation or tradition have informed her."

Another set of philosophers have contended that instincts are of a mixed kind, holding an intermediate station between matter and mind; or that in some instances they are simply material, and in others simply mental. Cudworth, at the head of one division of these, from an attachment to the Platonic theory of the creation, an important principle of which is, that "incorporeal form," or " an active and plastic nature," exists throughout its wide domain, independently of pure mind and pure matter, supposed that instinct might be resolved into the operation of this secondary energy, in proportion to its existence in the universe. M. Buffon at the head of the second division of this class, not willing to accede altogether to the mechanical theory of Descartes, or to allot to animals below the rank of man the possession of an intelligent principle, permitted them to be possessed of the principle of life, and allowed them the faculty of distinguishing between pleasure and pain, with the possession of a desire for the former and an aversion for the latter. M. Reimen, a German professor, differing in some measure from this theory; divides the actions which he believes ought to pass under the name of instinct into three classes, mechanical, representative and spontaneous. Mechanical, he considers those actions of animal organs over which the will has no control, as the pulsations of the heart, the secretion of the bile, pancreatic juice, etc., and the dilatation of the pupil of the eye; representative, those which depend upon an imperfect memory, of which brutes are allowed to share in some small degree; and spontaneous, those which originate from M. Buffon's admitted faculty of distinguishing (in the brute creation) pleasure from pain, and the desire resulting from this distinguishing propensity of possessing the one and being freed from the other.

The great Cuvier supposes that instinct consists of ideas which do not originate from sensation, but which flow immediately from the brain and which are truly innate. "The understanding," says he "may have ideas without the aid of the senses; two thirds of the brute creation are moved by ideas which they do not owe to their sensations, but which flow immediately

from the brain. Instinct constitutes this order of phenomena; it is composed of ideas truly innate, in which the senses have never had the smallest share."

A person who has attended to all these theories, and to all which has ever been written or said upon the subject, is but little wiser than when he commenced his investigations. Some of them, even those of men of great eminence in other respects, are too absurd not to be considered so by men of ordinary abilities. The most inconsistent theories are those which consider animals in the scale of beings next below man, to be mere machines, and to be moved by a mere mechanical impulse. Several other theories which have been mentioned are made up of a collection of inconsistencies, and unintelligible absurdities; and a person attains no knowledge from attending to them. To obviate all the difficulty, and to give place to a theory upon a more rational hypothesis, M. Dupont of Nemours, France, in an article read before the National Institute, proposes to drop the term altogether, and further insists that there is no such thing as instinct; and that every action which has been referred to such a faculty, originates from intelligence, thought, example, or from the association of ideas. This, it will be perceived, is a revival in a new form, of the theory of Smellie and Darwin.

He directs

Dr. Good, in his Book of Nature, which we have called considerably to our aid, after taking a general survey of the opinions and theories of other philosophers, comes to the conclusion that the principle of instinct never has been explicitly pointed out. After a few preliminary observations, he proposes to exhibit a new view, or a new theory upon the subject. the attention to inorganic matter, which he has previously extensively spoken of; particularly to some of the more prominent characters by which this is distinguished from organic matter, as a stone from a plant or an animal. The stone, he says, was produced fortuitously, formed by external accretion, and is only destructible by mechanical or chemical agencies. The plant, he observes, is produced by generation, brought forward in its growth by nutrition and by internal accretion, and rendered destructible by death. Animals differ from plants in a number of respects, but they are both characterized by a property which he terms the principle of life. "Life," says he, "or this mysterious or fugitive essence is a distinct principle from that of thought, and from that of sensation. Mr. John Hunter has traced it to many of the organized fluids as well as the

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