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philosophy. Mr Sedgwick has expounded the past records of creation, and gives us positive assurance that they reveal "strange and unlooked for changes in the forms and fashions of organic life, during each of the long periods he thus contemplates;" and that the structure and functions of each race of animals as it appeared on earth, were admirably adapted to its physical condition. Man, he says, was introduced only lately into the world, which had been the theatre of life, death, and change, for countless ages before he appeared. Does he mean to maintain that man, such as we now see him, is not as admirably adapted to the world such as it at present exists, as his predecessors among the animals were to their respective external circumstances? Does he intend us to believe that there are within us positively noxious and sinful principles, which have no legitimate sphere of activity? or, does he mean that all our powers are in themselves good, but only liable to abuse? He does not hint at any solution of these questions. He may plead that, in a single discourse, he could not discuss every topic of so extensive a subject; and we give due weight to this apology: but we revert to our proposition, that the solution of these questions lies at the very threshold of natural religion and moral philosophy; and we add, that, in general, modern writers on these subjects, except the phrenologists, studiously blink them.
Phrenology affords us evidence that man himself, such as we now see him with all his organs and faculties, is a being as evidently adapted to the existing state of the world as any of his predecessors were to the physical conditions under which they existed. His organs of nutrition and absorption imply growth, maturity, and decay; his organs of Amativeness and Philoprogenitiveness imply a succession of generations, or the death of individuals; his organs of Combativeness and Destructiveness indicate that he is constituted to move in a state in which he may encounter difficulty and death; his knowing and reflecting faculties proclaim that he is invested with power to improve himself and his condition by the exercise of his abilities; while his moral and religious sentiments indicate that he is destined to flourish in society, to practise virtue, and to adore his Creator, as the great ends of his existence.
The human constitution, in short, contains demonstrative evidence of its adaptation to a world such as that in which we now live, and to a progressive march of improvement by the exercise of our own powers. We do not exclude assistance to these powers from above; but we mean to say, that the exercise of the elementary faculties, according to the laws of their constitution, is absolutely indispensable to human improvement in this life.
Phrenology further informs us, that man has received no appetite, faculty, or function, which, when viewed in reference to his circumstances, can be truly pronounced to be in itself
bad; that all his powers bear the marks of Divine wisdom and goodness; and that there is no natural "ruin" in his frame. It shews that each faculty has a legitimate sphere of action, within which its manifestations are not sinful; and that the actions, the existence of which has given rise to the doctrine of the "ruin," are mere abuses of powers in themselves useful and necessary. It also throws some light on the causes which render certain individuals particularly prone to abuse their faculties. The three following figures represent, 1. the form of brain in which the moral and intellectual organs preponderate over the animal organs, and which is accompanied by moral dispositions; 2. the form of brain in which the animal, moral, and intellectual organs are in equilibrio, and which gives rise to a character good or bad very much according to external circumstances; and, 3. the form of brain in which the animal organs decidedly preponderate, and which has a constant tendency to vice.
The portion before the line AA (figure 3d) manifests the intellect, that above B the moral sentiments, and all the rest the animal propensities; and each part acts with a degree of energy, cæteris paribus, corresponding to its size.
The differences in these forms are abundantly obvious; and the phrenologists have appealed to numerous examples of each, and offered to prove that they are constantly attended by the respective qualities here described. They have, in particular, made one of the largest and most varied collection of skulls to be found in Britain, thrown them open to public scrutiny, and asserted most positively that they afford irrefragable evidence of the propositions here announced. Accident also has subjected their statements to several striking tests. The character of King Robert Bruce was well known by history, and, a few years ago, his grave was discovered, and a complete and authentic cast of his skull obtained; and it accorded precisely with the character which he had manifested. The skull of the poet Burns was lately disinterred, and a cast taken. His character was strongly marked and well known, and again the skull presented precisely the form and size which corresponded to these qualities. The celebrated Rammohun Roy, certainly the most interesting character that India has produced in modern times, unexpectedly came to England and died, and a cast of his head was obtained. The phrenologists had previously collected a number of skulls of his countrymen, and published drawings and descriptions of them, and designated the character which they indicated. Rammohun Roy was in many respects very unlike his countrymen in mental qualities. Was his brain different from the national type? It differed widely. In what respects? It was much larger, indicating far higher power; and it had a far superior development of the moral and intellectual organs. Are all these assertions to be treated by philosophers as mere fictions and fancies, unworthy of being put to the test, or even of a moment's consideration? or, if true, ought they to be considered as of no philosophical importance?
Many criminals have forfeited their lives on the scaffold, and their skulls, or casts of their heads, have been obtained, and likewise found to present the development corresponding to their dispositions. Time would fail us to enumerate all the kinds of evidence that have been presented; and we again appeal to Mr Sedgwick, and every man possessed of moral and intellectual qualities like his, whether all these facts can justifiably, nay without blameworthiness, be disregarded by those who advocate the power, wisdom, and goodness of God in the creation? In no department of science are truths at once so momentous and so easy of verification presented to the cognizance of man; and it is little short of infatuation to treat them with the levity, contempt, and neglect, with which they have hitherto been received by many men pretending to be philosophers. If the facts here asserted be true, that every faculty is good in itself, that the folly and crime which disgrace human society spring from
abuses of the faculties, and that the tendency to abuse them originates in the disproportion of certain parts of the brain to each other, and in moral and intellectual ignorance of the proper mode of manifesting them, how completely do these considerations go to the root of theology and morals! At present the influence of organization in determining the natural dispositions is altogether neglected or denied by the common school of divines, moralists, and philosophers; yet it is of an importance exceeding all other terrestrial influences and considerations.
Mr Sedgwick says most truly: "I do affirm, that the moral government of God is by general laws; and that it is our bounden duty to study those laws, and, as far as we can, to turn them to our account." We honour him for announcing this truth boldly in the University of Cambridge; but we ask him whether he has ever heard of the principle started by the phrenologists, that the key to the true theory of the moral government of God is the independent, yet adjusted and harmonious, action of the different natural laws, and that these laws and that action cannot by possibility be understood, without taking into account the influence of organization on the mind, that influence being a fundamental fact in human nature? The phrenologists divide the laws of nature into three great classes,-physical, organic, and moral; and insist that these operate independently of each other; that each requires obedience to itself; that each, in its own specific way, rewards obedience and punishes disobedience; and that human beings are happy in proportion to the extent in which they place themselves in accordance with these divine institutions. For example, the most pious and benevolent missionaries sailing to civilize and christianize the heathen, if they embark in an unsound ship, will be drowned by disobeying a physical law, without their destruction being averted by their morality. On the other hand, if the greatest monsters of iniquity were embarked in a stanch and strong ship, and managed it well, they might, and, on the general principles of the government of the world, they would, escape drowning, in circumstances exactly similar to those which would send the missionaries to the bottom. There appears something inscrutable in these results, if only the moral qualities of the men are contemplated; but if the principle be adopted that ships float in virtue of a purely physical law, that the physical and moral laws operate independently, each in its own sphere, and that this arrangement is in the highest degree beneficial in preserving order and discipline in creation, and in offering rewards for the activity of the whole of the human faculties,-the consequences appear in a totally different light.
Again, the organic laws operate independently; and hence, one individual, who has inherited a fine bodily constitution from his parents, and observes the rules of temperance and
exercise, will enjoy robust health, although he may cheat, lie, blaspheme, and destroy his fellow-men; while another, if he have inherited a feeble constitution, and disregard the rules of temperance and exercise, will suffer pain and sickness, although he may be a paragon of every Christian virtue. These results are frequently observed to occur in the world, and, on every such occasion, the darkness and inscrutable perplexity of the ways of Providence are generally moralised upon; or a future life is called in as the scene in which these crooked paths are to be rendered straight. But if our views be correct, the Divine wisdom and goodness are abundantly conspicuous in these events; for again we perceive, that, by this distinct operation of the organic and moral laws, order is preserved in creation, and the means of discipline and improvement are afforded to all the human faculties.
The moral and intellectual laws also operate independently. The man who cultivates his intellect, and practically obeys the precepts of Christianity, will enjoy within himself a fountain of moral and intellectual happiness, which is the appropriate reward of that obedience. He will be rendered by these means more capable of studying, comprehending, and obeying, the physical and organic laws, of placing himself in harmony with the whole order of creation, and of attaining the highest degree of perfection, and reaping the highest degree of happiness of which human nature in this world is susceptible. În short, whenever we apply the principle of the independent operation of the natural laws, the apparent confusion of the moral government of the world disappears; and we ask, is this a discovery to be trifled with, to be concealed, or to be opposed? The authors of the Bridgewater Treatises were paid each L. 1000, and specially instructed to bring forward for public instruction the highest, and the best, and the most recently discovered views of the divine government on earth; and although the "Natural Laws" by Dr Spurzheim, and the "Constitution of Man" by Mr Combe, have been before the public since 1828, in the latter of which the principles now expounded are dwelt on at great length, one and all of these writers have disregarded them. If, in doing so, they have shut their eyes to the ways of the Creator, verily they will receive their reward.
If these principles be well founded, is it not obvious that a vast change in the topics of moral and religious instruction is awaiting mankind? At present, our moral and religious guides deliver extremely little precise information concerning the constitution of the human mind and the external world, and their mutual adaptations; and they teach still less of the doctrine that man must study and obey the natural laws before he can attain to the perfect action and enjoyment of his natural powers. On the contrary, many of the views presented are based on the