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tion of lapse of time, in order to strike the two eighths at the right instant, for in the first measure they occur at the second beat, in the second measure at the third beat."

“Her judgment of distances and of relations of place is very accurate; she will rise from her seat, go straight towards a door, put out her hand just at the right time, and grasp the handle with precision.

“ When she runs against a door which is shut, but which she expected to find open, she does not fret, but rubs her head and laughs, as though she perceived the ludicrous position of a person flat against a door trying to walk through it.

“ The constant and tireless exercise of her feelers gives her a very accurate knowledge of everything about the house ; so that

a new article, a bundle, bandbox, or even a new book is laid anywhere in the apartments which she frequents, it would be but a short time before in her ceaseless rounds she would find it, and from something about it she would generally discover to whom it belonged.

“She perceives the approach of persons by the undulations of the air striking her face; and she can distinguish the step of those who tread hard, and jar the floor." -- pp. 28, 29.

This case offers a field for interesting observation in the development of the moral powers. Conscience is described by Jouffroy as the result of a gradual acquisition of the abstract idea of order. According to this, Laura should as yet give scarcely any proof of a consciousness of this faculty; but on the contrary we find unequivocal evidence of her being possessed of the ideas of right and wrong. She is susceptible of praise, blame, shame, and the emotion of self-approbation. That sense of responsibility, which is the condition if not the essence of free agency, is plainly hers. From how small a stock of perceptions and facts has this great idea been evolved or awakened in her mind, showing, as we think, that conscience or the moral principle is original, and not of secondary formation ; that it comes forth simultaneously with the experience of freeagency, and a perception of the relation of motives to acts, and of our own acts to the production of good or evil to others and ourselves.

The different explanations of the moral sentiments, which have been offered, prove that this class of phenomena are very complicated, and that care has not been taken to distinguish “ between the nature of moral sentiments and the criterion of moral acts.* The selfish systems, the sentimental, and the rational, are each sustained by just, though partial views; they do not, however, exhaust the subject. The terms, good and evil, have become so generalized, that they include much which is not referable to will, while to such only as involve responsibility, namely, are connected with the twill, can the terms right and wrong be applied. We have an intuitive idea of good, absolute and universal; how far this is abstracted from original objects, in which the good is real and positive, and how far it is this association transferred to other objects, is yet to be explained. This idea of good is connected in our mind, as ends to means, with the sense of accountability, which gives the character of moral, for moral phenomena can never be found disconnected with volition. Take away volition, and we may admire, or even love, but we cannot praise, or blame. These and similar questions of psychology may receive light from an accurate record of the moral and intellectual development of minds, whose unfolding is delayed and gradual, in consequence of the loss of one or more of their senses.

Nor let it be supposed that such inquiries are merely speculative and curious. Those arts, whose principles are to be sought in the philosophy of mind, such as education, government, and the fine arts, are indispensable to society. Man has exercised them from the earliest ages; but with what rudeness and imperfection need not be shown. The truths of philosophy, as far as they have been announced, are easily comprehended, and made available to every mind. The difficulty of understanding metaphysical works lies principally in the mixture of errors with truths, and in the vagueness of the views of their writers. These investigations lead to the region of the ideal, and deal with abstractions. We are not, therefore, removed from the real and the intelligible. Abstraction is a process performed by every one, even the child and the illiterate, in matters which come under their attention, as perfectly as by the philosopher. The only difference is, that the latter has observed the process of mind, and carried it out to a higher degree of perfection. The ideal is the soul's home; and she is abroad only when she is employed with the tangible. Truths once disclosed will eventually be adopted and acted on. Not one was ever announced in vain, though many have given

* Mackintosh.

centuries of sway to the errors connected with them. For truth, like our own precious souls, when ushered into life can never die, but will in the end cast off the disguises and contaminations, which cling to its earlier stages of existence.

Many truths lie scattered through the pages of philosophical systems, which will yet be gathered up, and carry with them the names of the great men by whom they were first disclosed. Why are these permitted to remain still hid amid the errors and fancies incident to their period ? Some attempts have been made to collect them into one eclectic system ; but where is the volume to which we can go for the pure admitted truths of mental philosophy ? This as a preliminary step is indispensable. We cannot disregard the wisdom of the past. The philosophers of that period were as deeply engaged in the study, as those of our own times. They discovered as much, settled as many questions, as perhaps any one individual can hope to do now. In the voluminous, but rich pages of these writers, may be seen some of the most interesting aspects of the human mind, its loftiest flights, its deepest investigations, its most remarkable errors, and, we cannot doubt, many of its essential truths. In addition to their being the repositories of the wisdom of the past, they have a further claim to our study and gratitude. This consists in the spirituality, and intellectual development, which they nourished and brought out both in their authors and readers. Their voice was heard amid the din of earthly pursuits, sensual indulgence, and schemes of ambition, for it addressed a real principle of our nature, and turned the attention of men to the divine inhabitant of their own bosoms. The admiration these works commanded, and the avidity with which they have been read, must not be ascribed entirely to the genius of their authors, but to the real worth of the subject.

Let us, then, study and collect these valuable, but as yet scattered hints, and add them to the results of later observers ; the smallest specimen, if it be a true one, is of use in the cabinet of the naturalist. We must not look for a system of philosophy in our own day, but each observer of human nature in his daily walks may lay up something for the future architect, who in the fulness of time will appear. We look to the record of Laura Bridgman as a valuable repository of psychological facts; and this interesting creature, so excluded as it were from the privileges of her race, in becoming the object of sympathy and instruction, in entering the world of ideas, through VOL. XXVIII. - 30 s. VOL. X. NO. III.

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new and difficult passes, opened for her by the hand of benevolence, will more than repay the obligation by the valuable light she will throw on that most important of all the departments of knowledge, the philosophy of mind.

Many other topics are suggested by reading the reports, particularly that of printing for the blind, to which we wished to direct the attention of our readers ; but we refer them to the report itself, whose clear, satisfactory, and unambitious statements, cannot fail to call up an interest in the Institution, and an admiration and respect for those who, with such patience and devotedness, carry out the benevolent purposes of its founders and patrons. We also recommend their visiting the Institution, not merely from curiosity, although in this view they would be repaid, but for their own instruction. Here they will see benevolence working in its highest and surest paths ; here they will learn what power is given to the spirit to pursue its upward, onward course through every difficulty, if it will but be true to itself. And here they may receive a lesson of resignation and cheerfulness under the privations of life, and be assured that, if our usual sources of happiness and usefulness should be cut off, we may open to ourselves others sufficient to nourish and employ those faculties, which are given not to lie idle, but to be used for our own and others' good. Duty, knowledge, love, are never beyond our reach, while there is a single sense or power left, by which the soul can recognise the external, or commune with itself.

L. M.

CRITICAL NOTICES,

Two Articles from the Princeton Review, concerning the Transcendental Philosophy of the Germans, and of Cousin, and its Influence on Opinion in this Country. Cambridge: J. Owen. 1840. pp. 100. We consider the religious public to lie under great obligations to the Princeton Reviewers for their elaborate accounts of German Transcendental Philosophy, and to Mr. Norton for procuring their republishment in a separate form in this part of the country. Some information like that contained in this pamphlet was needed, to enable those not acquainted with the dark recesses of the German language, and the darker ones of

German wisdom, to form some satisfactory judgment concerning the novelties in religious speculation and religious practice, which just now are attracting a good deal of attention. We do not propose at present to enter into any of the speculative questions, many and deep, naturally suggested by this exposition of Transcendentalism. Our object is merely, as chroniclers of passing events in the religious world, to put the title of this pamphlet on record, and furnish such extracts from it as may enable our distant readers, who may not have it in their power to procure the treatise itself, to know what the opinions are which it sets forth, and which philosophers abroad, and some it would seem at home, regard as a form of faith transcending that of the Gospel. We believe that all those among us, who, from what they have heard here and there in a lecture-room or in conver. sation, have been disposed to look upon the new philosophy with favor, as something that seemed to promise a new and more spiritual and vigorous form of Christianity, will need no more than what they will find in these Princeton Reviews to satisfy them, that to exchange any form which Christianity assumes among any of our sects, for any form which Transcendentalism has assumed in Germany, would be to exchange light for darkness, truth for error, the word of God for the dark guesses of

We are happy to have been able, in the present number of our journal, to present an analysis of the work of Strauss, which we suppose may be regarded as the probable, if not the necessary termination of the speculations, comprehended under the general term of German Transcendentalism. We appre. hend that few, after reading that analysis, will entertain any other feeling than one of deep abhorrence for a book, which, by philosophic tricks so fantastic and childish, aims to annihilate the Gospel. Whatever may be true of Germany, it is not yet true here, that there are any who, for the Gospels according to the Evangelists, are willing to receive the Gospels according to Strauss.

And we found our opinion in our conviction, that among us the tendency and the movement are toward belief, not toward unbelief; the desire is for religion, for more religion, and better religion, not for infidelity and atheism. Failure to realize their aspirations for a higher form of Christianity may leave some in doubt or unbelief; but it will be from no preference of such a state, on its own account.

We believe that there are no more religiously disposed persons in our community than some, at least, of ihose, if not all, who have either been examining into the claims of Transcendentalism, or have absolutely adopted its conclusions. It is and has been, we know, in no spirit of levity

man.

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