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plished effectually, both by the remote effects of the accident, suc as mortification and the loss of limbs, and by the general babits caution which have been formed, by frequently burning ourselve by bodies only moderately heated.
An instance of benevolence equally wonderful with those whic we have been considering, may be found in the modification whic the common sensibility undergoes, in the various structures and tis sues of the body, to suit it to the situation, office and wants of par ticular parts. Every organ, each portion of the system, has it own specific vital endowments, fitted to guard it against those inju rious agents and influences to which it is most exposed, and fron which it is most liable to receive detriment. The muscles, the tendons, the heart, the brain, are all exquisitely sensible, but each in its own way. They are not affected by the same species of irritation. Pain is excited by that which interrupts or deranges their several functions, when the safety of the organ is likely thereby to be secured, not otherwise. The eye is most delicately sensible to the least particle of dust or sand which has been lodged under the lid, and this for no other reason than because the functions and necessity of the organ require it; while it is not peculiarly alive to a pressure somewhat rude of the finger against the naked ball, or the prick or cut of a sharp instrument. In the latter case, a flash of light is perhaps perceived, with no other very positive sensation. The organization and office of the eye does not admit of that strong defense which would be necessary to secure it against blows and stabs. Of what avail, therefore, would be an acute sensibility, to protect from them? The muscles and tendons are painfully affected by a force which stretches or strains them too powerfully
, such as a violent effort at leaping or lifting ; but they do not feel keenly a burn or a cut. Nor is it necessary that they should. The skin with its endowments, which lies exterior to them, and which must be penetrated before they can be reached, gives sufficient protection against these species of violence. It would have been not only unnecessary but cruel,—an arrangement in which pain would have appeared to be the object,—to gives the muscles and tendons the specific properties of the skin. Had such been the arrangement, amputations and other surgical operations would be incalculably more serere and dangerous than at present. The brain, the very centre of vital influence, may be touched, and even handled, and portions of it removed, without, perhaps, so much as disturbing the train of thought! But we all know how exquisitely susceptible it is to an undue degree of its own proper stimulus, thought and passion, particularly when its sensibility has been greatly exalted, from whatever cause. Nature has given the brain a far better defense against mechanical violence, in the strong arch of bone which covers it, than could be afforded by the
sense of touch, however delicate. The heart itself may be grasped by the hand, without any signs of suffering being given. Harvey reates the case of a young nobleman, in which the beart was marvelously exposed by an abscess in the side. He farther states, that be repeatedly introduced his hand into the cavity, and laid hold and pressed the heart, without the young man's being at all zware of what he was doing, unless when the skin was touched, or the hand seen ; and yet, what anguish is felt when the blood is driven in forcibly upon this organ, and it has to labor violently to dspose of it. That so extraordinary a case as that mentioned by Harvey might be provided for, the caviler would perhaps inquire, wby the heart was not furnished with a specific sense, that we might be wamed of the danger of fingering it too rudely? We would answer,—for the same reason that the human body was not made of glass, or some other electric substance, that the thunderbolt might fail harmlessly at our side. None of our organs are provided with extraordinary properties, to meet extraordinary cases,-properties incompatible, perhaps, with those upon which life is dependent every hour. All our organs have precisely such endowments as their situation and office, and the good of the economy most require. It is not an attainable thing to guard the system effectually, by any distribution of the vital forces, against every possible contingency. Suppose the sun, the great source of heat and life, were annihilated at this instant, what conceivable living property could prevent us from perishing with cold ? Nature has not exhausted her powers in scheming about some improbable event, -in visionary projects about a distant and barely possible casualty. She does not attempt to provide against that which may never happen, and which would be unavoidable if it should. She is not, like some of the advocates of universal benevolence, meager in works but abundant in speculation. Her philanthropy is not diluted and exhausted by a vain endeavor to comprehend the uniFerse, when her business is with an individual organic system. She is, practically at least, a utilitarian. In distributing her favors, utility, or the greatest happiness of the recipient, is the object
. She concentrates her energies upon that which is of immediate, practical, permanent, and vital interest, without wasting her strength upon phantorns, or things of trifling and questionable
That feeling which acquaints us with the state and position of our muscular frame, or with the various degrees of contraction of our muscles, and which is the far more important source of that information which is commonly and erroneously attributed to touch, our author (whom we had almost forgotten,) chooses to call a
And if a particular set of resembling and elementary sensations can acquire the right of being introduced among the num
ber of the specific senses, because of their paramount importa as the constituent elements and principles of knowledge, we constrained to admit the propriety of the designation. Certain simple touch is far less entitled to such a place. Touch mal us acquainted with none of the distinguishing qualities or relatio of matter. Its only objects are temperature, and tactile bod simply as tactile. Hardness, softness, divisibility, impenetrabilit dimension, position, etc., are all made known by the muscul
It is well known that the eye, in its independent power is an organ of very limited and feeble capacity. It would seem the highest degree probable, that its only natural object, in man, is color. The knowledge of distance, magnitude, and posi tion, is the slow result of innumerable comparisons and judgments -comparisons begun in the cradle, and prosecuted through life a knowledge, which, immediate as it now seems, is only the inti mate, early, and indissoluble association of certain muscula sensations with certain visual affections. The unassisted eye could not inform us at all of actual external existence. Were it the only source of impressions, he who had once seen the solar spectrum would have received his whole stock of elementary ideas. His impressions might be variously compounded, it is true, but they could receive no additions. It is the correspondence which has been established, by long connection, between certain muscular and visual sensations, which gives the eye all its magic power,—which enables it to recognize, in the small image painted on the expanded optic nerve, a wide and varied landscape, including all its hills and vales, its rivulets and water-falls, its country seats, its cultivated fields, its populated groves, and cool retreats. A given impression upon the retina has co-existed innumerable times with a particular series of muscular feelings, so that the former suggests the latter, with unfailing certainty, whenever it occurs. Such an impression becomes the representative or sign of an assemblage of sensations originally derived from another source, -the representative of that knowledge which has been the slow acquisition of a whole life, which it calls up to the mind by a process so instantaneous, that thie complex nature of the idea is unnoticed. Just as a certain affection of the sense of smell introduces into the mind, by its representative character, the idea of a rose; because that precise affection has often co-existed with the touch, and resistance, and sight, of the substance which we call rose. If we had never seen and felt a rose, we certainly could not now be
* Vide Brown's Lectures on the Philosophy of the Human Mind.
1 Brutes evidently discern distance, direction and dimensions, antecedently to experience. Distance with them, is, doubtless, seen directly. The necessities of the lower animals are thus benevolently provided for by a new faculty.
said, with any propriety, to smell it. Nor could we be said, with any greater accuracy, antecedently to the exercise of our muscular and tactual feelings, to see distance, solidity, and form.
We think, then, that our muscular sense is eminently worthy of the place which Bell seems disposed to assign it. Had its true nature been known, and had the other senses been less accessible, and less defined in their boundaries, we have no doubt that it would long since have occupied a comparative rank far above that which has been usually given it. It would have held the foremost place among the number of our classified sensations.
But the length of this article reminds us that it is time to lay down our pen. We had designed to say much more, and particularly of the uses, endowments and relations of our muscular frame; bat a tender regard for our reader, induces us to defer any farther remarks.
ART. IV.-ETERNITY REALIZED. Eternity Realized : or, A Guide to the Thoughtful.-By R. Philip. 1833.
The book before us is a small duodecimo volume, of about two hundred pages. The writer is an English clergyman, a protegé, and we believe a relative, of the missionary Philip, who for several years has been employed among the Caffres, in South Africa. Of the character of the writer we know but little ; but, from the volume before us, and two or three other treatises of a kindred spirit which he has published, we have formed the most favorable opinion both of his talents as a writer and his feelings as a christian. lo his efforts to advance the cause of truth and holiness, by means of such publications as the one whose title we have placed at the head of this article, we cordially wish him success. Indeed, such efforts can hardly fail of doing great good. It is chiefly, however, for the sake of the subject on which he dwells, that we wish to introduce this work to the notice of our readers. The author's design is to expose the proneness of christians to forget the solemnities and joys of eternity, as the motive to their daily endurance of trials, and to their daily advancement in holiness. He seeks to bring them more fully under the influence of the objects of the future world. He thinks it both the christian's privilege and duty, to live while here, under a realizing belief in the objects of eternity, to a much greater extent than is common among christians at the present day. This is the point to which we wish, in the following observations, to draw the attention of our readers.
1. It is the duty of christians to contemplate with deep interest the objects of the coming world, and to live habitually under their influence. We begin with the point of duty, because we believe, VOL. VI.
that with many this is a point quite overlooked ; and because, until this is settled, no very serious efforts will be made to obtain a realizing apprehension of eternal things. To settle this point, then, we need only ask, Why have the objects of the future world been revealed to us, if they were not designed, as objects of our faith, to exert a commanding influence on our feelings and our conduct here? God has been pleased to inform us, not merely that there is a future state, but in what that state consists, in many important particulars. He has told us when it will begin, that is, immediately after death; how long it will continue, that is, eternally = that it is a state of conscious mental activity; in the case of the christian, a state of perfect moral purity, a state of exalted happiness: it is being present with Christ, and with his redeemed people, and enjoying the undoubted and unmingled approbation and favor of God. He has informed us, also, what that is in the future world from which the christian is delivered; from any eternally degraded, ruined, lost condition ; from punishment, merited, inevitable and endless, in hell. Now the question is, Why have such things as these been revealed if they are not to be concontemplated by us with intense interest, and to be (as their importance would seem to require) the great and governing motives of our conduct ? Would they have been disclosed to us as mere objects of display ? For what end could they have been revealed by a God of wisdom, but that they might be objects of our serious contemplation, and that they might exert a governing influence over our feelings and our actions ? The simple fact, then, that God has revealed the great things of the future world, seems necessarily to involve the duty, that we should so think of them, and so realize them, as to live habitually under their control.
The duty in question becomes still more apparent, when we look at the nature and importance of these things. What is the value of all earthly good, when compared with the objects of the invisible world? Think, for one moment, what are the revealed objects of a future state. Think of God. Think of the Redeemer. Think of a world where all the kind offices of benevolence, and all the duties and joys of pure religion, are found in ceaseless exercise. Is there any thing in this world, which, for real interest and importance, will compare with the things of the world to come ? If not, is it not our duty perpetually to look forward, and contemplate the great and interesting things of that world, and to get our hearts strongly impressed by them? If they are realities, and such realities too, ought we not to feel them as such, and to show, in our daily deportment, that they have a strong bold upon our minds? This can be done. The objects of the future world can be realized in the present world. They have been so realized in a great multitude of cases. The primitive christians had this reali