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followed directly by another state of mind, as, in the case of our external feelings, to discover any reason that the presence of light should be followed by that particular mental state which constitutes the sensation of colour, not by that which constitutes the perception of the song of a nightingale, or the fragrance of a violet, or that those external causes should be followed by their peculiar sensations, rather than by the perception of colour. It is equally vain for us to think of discovering any reason in the nature of the mind itself, which could have enabled us to predict, without actual experience, or, at least, without analogy of other similar instances, any of the mere intellectual changes of state,-that the sight of an object, which we have seen before in other circumstances, should recall, by instant spontaneous suggestion, those other circumstances which exist no longer ;-that in meeting, in the most distant country, a native of our own land, it should be in our own power, by a single word to annihilate, as it were, for the moment, all the seas and mountains between him and his home;—or, in the depth of the most gloomy dungeon, where its wretched tenant, who has been its tenant for half a life, sees, and scarcely sees, the few faint rays that serve but to speak of a sunshine, which he is not to enjoy, and which they deprive him of the comfort of forgetting, and to render visible to his very eyes that wretchedness which he feels at his heart,—that even this creature of misery, -whom no one in the world perhaps remembers but the single being, whose regular presence, at the hour at which he gives him, day by day, the means of adding to his life another year of wretchedness like the past, is scarcely felt as the presence of another living thing,-should yet, by the influence of a single thought, enter into the instant possession of a freedom beyond that which the mere destruction of his dungeon could give,—a freedom which restores him not merely to the liberty, but to the very years which he had lost, to the woods, and the brook, and the fields of his boyish frolics, and to all the happy faces which were only as happy as his own. The innumerable examples of such successions of thought we know from experience, but from experience only. It is enough for us, however, to ascertain the simple fact, that the internal suggestions of thought after thought, without the recurrence of any external object, does take place, as truly as sensation itself, when external objects recur,-to observe the general circumstances relating to the suggestion, and to arrange the principle on which it seems to depend, as a principle of our intellectual constitution. While we attempt no more than this, we are certain at least that we are not attempting any thing which is beyond the sphere of human exertion. To attempt more, and to strive to discover, in any one of the series of our internal feelings, some reason which might have led us originally to predict its existence, or the existence of the other mental affections which succeed it, would be to hope to discover what is not merely beyond our power even to divine, but what we should be incapable of knowing that we had divined, even though we should casually have succeeded in making the discovery.

In the classification of our internal feelings, as in every classification, and, indeed, in every thing, intellectual or moral, which can exercise us, it is evident, that we may err in two ways, by excess or deficiency. We may multiply divisions without necessity, or we may labour in vain to force into one division individual diversities, which cannot, by any labour, be made to correspond. The golden mean, of which moralists speak, is as important in science, as in our practical views of happiness; and the habit of this cau

tious speculative moderation, is, probably, of as difficult attainment in the one, as the habitual contentment which is necessary to the enjoyment of the other.

When we think of the infinite variety of the physical objects around us, and of the small number of classes in which they are at present arranged, it would seem to us, if we were ignorant of the history of philosophy, that the regular progress of classification must have been to simplify, more and more, the general circumstances of agreement, on which arrangement depends; that, in this progressive simplification, millions of diversities must have been originally reduced to thousands, these, afterwards, to hundreds,—and these again, successively, to divisions still more minute. But the truth is, that this simplicity of division is far from being so progressive in the arrangement even of external things. The first steps of classification must, indeed, uniformly be, to reduce the great multitude of obvious diversities to some less extensive tribes. But the mere guess-work of hypothesis soon comes in to supply the place of laborious observation or experiment, and of that slow and accurate reasoning on observations and experiments, which, to minds of very rapid imagination, is perhaps, a labour as wearisome, as, in the long observation itself, to watch for hours, with an eye fixed like the telescope through which it gazes, one constant point of the heavens, or to minister to the furnace, and hang over it in painful expectance of the transmutations which it tardily presents. By the unlimited power of an hypothesis, we in a moment range together, under one general name, myriads of diversities the most obstinately discordant; as if the mere giving of a name could of itself alter the qualities of things, making similar what was dissimilar before, like words of magic, that convert any thing into any thing. When the hypothesis is proved to be false, the temporary magic of the spell is of course dissolved; and all the original diversities appear again, to be ranged once more in a wider variety of classes. Even, where, without any such guess-work of hypothetical resemblance, divisions and arrangements have been formed on the justest principles, according to the qualities of objects known at the time, some new observation, or new experiment, is continually showing differences of composition or of general qualities, where none were conceived before; and the same philosophy is thus, at the same moment, employed in uniting and disuniting, in reducing many objects to a few, and separating a few into many, as the same electric power, at the moment in which it is attracting objects nearer to it, repels others which were almost in contiguity, and often brings the same object close to it, only to throw it off the next moment to a greater distance. While a nicer artificial analysis, or more accurate observation, is detecting unsuspected resemblances, and, still more frequently unsuspected diversities, there is hence no fixed point nor regular advance, but a sort of ebb and flow of wider and narrower divisions and subdivisions and the classes of an intervening age may be fewer than the classes both of the age which preceded it, and of that which comes after it. For a very striking example of this alternation, I may refer to the history of that science, which is to matter what our intellectual analysis is to mind. The elements of bodies have been more and fewer successively, varying with the analyses of almost every distinguished chemist; far from having fewer principles of bodies, as chemistry advances, how many more elements have we now than in the days of Aristotle! There can be no question, that when man first looked around him with a philosophic eye, and saw, in the sublime rudeness

of nature, something more than objects of savage rapacity, or still more savage indifference, he must have conceived the varieties of bodies to be innumerable; and could as little have thought of comprehending them all under a few simple names, as of comprehending the whole earth itself within his narrow grasp. In a short time, however, this narrow grasp, if I may venture so to express myself, did strive to comprehend the whole earth; and soon after man had made the first great advance in science, of wondering at the infinity of things in which he was lost, we had sages, such as Thales, Anaximenes, and Heraclitus, who were forming every thing of a single principle, water, or air, or fire. The four elements, which afterwards reigned so long in the schools of physics, gave place to a single principle with the alchemists; or to three principles,-salt, sulphur, and mercury,-with chemists less bold in conjecture. These, again, were soon multiplied by observers of still nicer discrimination; and modern chemistry, while it has shown some bodies, which we regarded as different, to be composed of the same elements, has, at the same time, shown that what we regarded as elements, are themselves compounds of elements which we knew not before.

To him who looks back on the history of our own science, the analytic science of mind, which, as I have already said, may almost be regarded, in its most important aspects, as a sort of intellectual chemistry,-there will appear the same alternate widening and narrowing of classification. The mental phenomena are, in one age or country, of many classes; in a succeeding age, or in a different country, they are of fewer; and again, after the lapse of another age, or the passage of a river or a mountain, they are of many more. In our own island, after the decay of scholastic metaphysics, from Hobbes to Hume,-if I may use these names, as dates of eras, in a science, on which, with all their unfortunate errors on many of the most important points of human belief, they both unquestionably threw a degree of light, which rendered their errors on these subjects the more to be lamented,--in this long and brilliant period,-which, of course, includes, with many other eminent names, the very eminent author of the Essay on the Human Understanding, there was a tendency to simplify, as much as possible, the classification of the phenomena of mind; and more regard, perhaps, was paid to the similarities of phenomena, than to their differences. Subsequently to this period, however, the philosophy of Dr. Reid, and, in general, of the metaphysicians of this part of the island, has had the opposite tendency,— to enlarge, as I conceive, far beyond what was necessary, the number of classes which they considered as too limited before; and, in proportion, more regard has perhaps been paid to the differences, or supposed diffeences of phenomena, than to their resemblances. There can be no doubt, at least, that we are now accustomed to speak of more powers or operations of the mind, than even the schoolmen themselves, fond as they were of all the nicest subtleties of infinitesimal subdivision.

The difference in this respect, however, is not so striking, when we consider successions of ages, in which, of course, from our general notion of the effects of time, we are accustomed to expect variety, as when we look to neighbouring countries at the same period, especially if we consider the advantage of that noble art, which might have been supposed, by the wide diffusion which it gives to opinion, to have removed, as to human sentiment, all the boundaries of mere geographic distance. Slight, however, as the distance is which separates the two countries, the philosophy of France, in

its views of the phenomena of mind, and the philosophy of Britain, particularly of this part of Britain, have for more than half a century differed as much as the philosophy of different ages; certainly in a degree far greater, than, but for experience, it would have been easy for us to suppose. In France, all the phenomena of mind have been, during that period, regarded as sensations, or transformed sensations, that is to say, as sensations variously simplified or combined. The works of Condillac, who professed to have founded his system on that of Locke, but who evidently did not understand fully what Locke intended, gave the principal tone to this philosophic belief; and it has been fostered since by that passion for the simple and the wonderful, which, when these two objects can be united, is perhaps the strongest of all our intellectual passions. In the system of the French metaphysicians, they are united in a very high degree. That this universal presence of sensation, whether true or false, is at least very simple, cannot be denied; and there is certainly abundant matter of wonder in the supposed discovery, that all the variety of our internal feelings are those very feelings of a different class, to which they have so little appearance of belonging. It is a sort of perpetual masquerade, in which we enjoy the pleasure of recognising a familiar friend in a variety of grotesque dresses, and the pleasure also of enjoying the mistakes of those around us, who take him for a different person, merely because he has changed his robe and his mask. The fallacy of the doctrine is precisely of that kind, which, if once admitted, is most difficult to be shaken off. It relates to a system which is very simple, very wonderful, and obviously true in part. Indeed, when there are so many actual transformations of our feelings, so many emotions, of which the principal elements are so little recognisable, in the complex affection that results from them,the supposition that all the varieties of our consciousness may be only modes of one simple class of primary feelings, false as it is, is far from being the most striking example which the history of our science presents of the extravagance of philosophic conjecture.

The speculations of the French school of philosophers, to which I have now alluded, as to the supposed universal transmutations of feeling, bear, as you can scarcely fail to have remarked, a very obvious resemblance, in extreme simplicity, to the speculations of alchemists on transmutations of another kind. The resemblance is stated with great force by a living French author, himself a metaphysician of no humble rank. I allude to a passage which you will find quoted by Mr. Stewart, in one of the valuable preliminary dissertations of his volume of Essays, from a work of De Gerando.

"It required nothing less,"-says this ingenious writer,-" than the united splendour of the discoveries brought to light by the new chemical school, to tear the minds of men from the pursuit of a simple and primary element; a pursuit renewed in every age, with an indefatigable perseverance, and always renewed in vain. With what feelings of contempt would the physiologists of former times have looked down on the chemists of the present age, whose timid and circumscribed system admits nearly forty different principles in the composition of bodies! What a subject of ridicule would the new nomenclature have afforded to an alchemist!

"The Philosophy of Mind has its alchemists also; men whose studies are directed to the pursuit of one single principle, into which the whole science may be resolved; and who flatter themselves with the hope of discovering

the grand secret, by which the pure gold of truth may be produced at pleasure."*

This secret of the intellectual opus magnum, Condillac conceived himself to have found; or, rather, as I have already said, he ascribed the grand discovery to our own illustrious countryman. In this reference the whole school of French metaphysicians have very strangely agreed, conferring on Mr. Locke a praise which they truly meant to do him honour, but praise which the object of it would have hastened to disclaim. He certainly was not that alchemist in the science of mind which they conceived him to be; though he was a chemist in it unquestionably, and a chemist of the highest rank.

LECTURE XXXIII.

ON THE CLASSIFICATION OF THE MENTAL PHENOMENA, BY LOCKEBY CONDILLAC-BY REID-A NEW CLASSIFICATION.

GENTLEMEN, in the conclusion of my last Lecture, I alluded to the system of the French metaphysicians, as an instance of error from extreme simplification in the analysis of that class of our feelings which we are now considering.

Of this system, which deserves some fuller notice, on account both of the great talents which have stated and defended it, and of its very wide diffusion, I may remark, in the first place, that it is far from being, what its author and his followers consider it to be, a mere developement of the system of our illustrious countryman. On the contrary, they agree with Locke only in one point, and that a negative one, as to which all philosophers may now be considered as unanimous,-the denial of what were termed innate ideas. In every thing which can be strictly said to be positive in his system, this great philosopher is nearly as completely opposed to Condillac and his followers, as to the unintelligible wranglers of the ancient schools. To convince you of this, a very slight statement of the two systems will be sufficient.

According to Locke, the mind, to whose existence thought or feeling is not essential, might, but for sensation, have remained for ever without feeling of any kind. From sensation we acquire our first ideas,-to use a word, which from its ambiguity I am not very fond of using, but which, from its constant occurrence, is a very important one in his system. These ideas we cannot merely remember as past, and compound or decompound them in various ways, but we can compare them in all their variety of relations; and according as their objects are agreeable or disagreeable, can love or hate those objects, and fear or hope their return. We remember not external things only, so as to have ideas of them,-ideas of sensation,-but we remember also our very remembrance itself,-our abstractions, comparisons, love, hate, hope, fear, and all the varieties of reflex thought, or feeling; and our remembrance of these internal feelings, or operations of our mind, fur

Chap. I. sect. ii. p. 15, 16. 4to. Edit.

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