Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

3. “Man, like the animal, not only finds his subsistence in his geographical area, but also reacts upon it.”

4. The body of man is not only fully fitted to serve as the instrument of his conscious principle, but is also complete as regards the type of animal structure upon which it is formed. In other words the human body is not only teleologically, but also morphologically complete.

5. The conscious principle of man, by which he is essentially characterized, and by which he is deprived of a place “in any conceivable arrangement of the animal kingdom,” is separated from that of the animal by the following points. The conscious principle of man, latent before birth, awakens at birth “contemporaneously with the arrival at its seat of certain of those so-called impressions made upon the surface of the body of the infant by the new medium into which it has entered." Some of these impressions produce sensation, which being objectified by the intelligence results in perception. Unlike the animal, however, the infant-wanting instinct-has no immediate and direct perception of the position and other relations of the objects it perceives. On the other hand he “refers all his perception of external objects to the surface of his own organism; he is unable to determine their exact position in space."

Further, though man is not endowed with instinct, he is furnished with a higher power, in virtue of which he is “capable not only of perception but of apperception.” His intelligence is not only conscious, but is also self-conscious. Man, therefore, is “conscious not only of the object perceived, but of the self which perceives. He can apprehend the subject as well as the object. He is to himself, in the technical language of metaphysics, a subject-object." Besides this fundamental difference, others still more radical appear,

when enter upon the higher regions of the conscious principle of man. Man is capable of thought, under its two inseparable conditions of time and space, of carrying out a genuine intellectual process, and of judgment. Self-consciousness; in fact, “ involves a comparison and a judgment regarding two things, neither of which we can think down or out of existence—namely, the self which thinks, and the self which is thought of.” Finally, man, besides the faculty of thought, is endowed with a moral faculty, with a conscience, and with a free will. We

may

add Goodsir's definition of the conscience of man, as “that peculiar condition of his self-consciousness in relation to his impulsive faculties, whereby he is enabled to determine when he ought to repress his appetites, passions, or emotions."

we

The next four lectures are concerned with an elaborate zoological comparison between man and the higher vertebrates, treating respectively of the following subjects The erect position in man; the upper limb in man ;

the integument, and organs of sense and speech in man; and the skull and brain in man. We cannot do more than give one or two isolated quotations, but these lectures will be read eagerly by all anatomists, and will be welcomed by all who have a turn for transcendentalism. As regards the affinity between man and the monkey, Goodsir concludes “that the human body presents a whole series of perfected arrangements of structure, bearing immediately on the higher conscious or rational principle of man- -arrangements which are deficient in all apes alike, and which thus collectively, by their absence, distinguish all the apes from man corporeally, as precisely as their instinctive form of consciousness separates them from man psychically.” On language Goodsir's views are very remarkable, but the lecture itself must be read for their full understanding. The following passage deserves quotation if only for its peculiarity :-“My own opinion . is this—That man is gifted, by his conscious and corporeal constitution, to develop and employ speech, but that the employment of the faculty by the child demands a certain amount of preliminary initiation, and that primitive man, in his peculiar circumstances, was in this, as in other essential elements of his spiritual and material welfare, beneficently supplied with the necessary initiation by an immediate or Divine process or act.” It is only fair to add that Goodsir merely states this last proposition as an hypothesis of his own, and does not pretend to bring forward any scientific proof in its support.

The remaining lectures we must touch still more briefly. Passing over the seventh, which treats of Teleology and Morphology, the next three are more or less a summary of the conclusions, which may be drawn from the preceding lectures, and treat respectively of “the position of man in the scale of being,” “Retrogressive Man,” and “Progressive Man." The first of these, as may be guessed from what we have already stated, is concerned, not with a zoological, but with a psychological comparison between the higher animals and man-a comparison between the psyche of the brute, and the combined psyche and preuma of man. The views enunciated in this lecture are deserving of much greater consideration than we can give to them here, and should be read in their entirety. What Goodsir understood by the psyche or soul of an animal we have already seen, and need not repeat; but the following passage as to the corresponding principle in man, must be

quoted as it stands. After stating his belief that “man in his constitution consists of three elements,-a corporeal, a psychical, and a spiritual;" Goodsir continues :

The Psyche in man must be assumed as the instinctive element of his threefold constitution. Upon its deputed efficacy depends that determinate and co-ordinate action of all those physico-chemical forces, which are collectively engaged in the development of his body from the ovum, and in his life-long structural modifications and physiological actions. In the form of the human Psyche also are developed all those fully completed structural arrangements in the human body, to the nature and character of which I have already directed your attention. In the Psyche of man also are based all those instincts, emotions, appetites, and passions, which, stronger, keener, and more numerous than in the animal, were conferred on man for his higher purpose and greater enjoyment, so long as subject to his higher principle ; but which have, under his freedom of choice, become the source of misery and death. In the revealed record the term oapt, Flesh, is applied to what I may be permitted to designate as a distinctive physiological feature in the human economy, that combination of the Psyche and corporeal mechanisın which constitutes in man his organism properly so called. The human organism is the animal in man. In it alone does he resemble the animal. Yet, nevertheless, he stands alone among the organized beings of this globe, in his disobedience to the laws of that organism, with the power over which he has been entrusted, in virtue of his spiritual principle, for his own benefit and enjoyment, and for the final purpose of his creation.

“The human body, developed under the influence of the more extended efficacy of its indwelling Psyche, is fitted thereby to serve as the instrument of that spiritual element in the human constitution, in which consists the personality of man.”

In the chapter on “ Retrogressive Man” we notice en passant Goodsir’s belief, in which few ethnologists now-a-days would acquiesce, that "

man was not originally savage, and that the less civilised races are not undeveloped; but degraded forms.” Another striking proposition is found in his opinion, that the “ liability of man to disease is intimately related to the neglect of the dictates of his higher principle." The general drift of the last chapter, on “Progressive Man," may be gathered from the following:

“The twofold retrogressive and progressive character represented by the history of man is from every point of view peculiar, and completely distinguishes his economy from that of any animal ; and at the same time constitutes as important a feature in his physiological as in his political and moral aspects.

Brief as is the outline which we have given of some of the more prominent points in these remarkable lectures, we have, nevertheless, not left ourselves space for a comment. We think, however, that it is unnecessary to point out their high value both to the speculative thinker and to the strictly scientific observer. The latter, truly, cannot be expected in many cases to go as far as the author has done, and is, indeed, likely to complain that Goodsir exceeded his proper province whenever he touched upon subjects which are incapable of direct scientific demonstration. The psychologist, however, ought gratefully to recognise in these lectures one of the ablest attempts which has been made in our day to approach the subject of metaphysics in a truly scientific spirit. It is greatly to be wished that the connection which must exist between metaphysics and the purely inductive sciences, as expressed in the following quotation, were more generally acknowledged :-“All organic science, but more especially its anthropological department, inosculates with the higher forms of truth and belief so intimately and extensively, as to render the discussion of the higher questions as to organization absolutely futile, if dissociated from their co-ordinate department of psychological, moral, and religious truth and belief."

H. A. N.

“WATCHMAM, WHAT OF THE NIGHT !—THE

.MORNING COMETH.”

From his lofty tower, on the mountain height,

The watchman is gazing afar ;
Say what of the night? Watchman, what of the night,

For there shineth no moon nor star?

Like lead is each drop of the falling rain,

And forth from the sullen cloud
Leaps out the wild flash of the dazzling flame,

Midst the roar of the thunder loud.

And when for a moment the tempest is hushed,

Amid the deep silence, I start
At a madden'd shriek or a moan that hath gushed

From some bleeding and desolate heart.

And pestilence grim takes the wings of the breeze,

And war sounds the vultures call,
And crime and famine and foul disease

Are holding high carnival.

66

And faith is failing, and love is cold,

And patience is weary and lorn.
Oh! dweller in Seir, from thy mountain hold,

Seest thou the fair star of the morn?
And the watchman called from his lofty height-

Wrapp'd in gloom and in mist are ye,
Mephitic vapours have peopled the night

With yisions of phantasy.
“I see the bright dawn with its roseate hue,

And the beautiful herald star,
The skies are unfurling their banner of blue,

For the monarch that cometh from far.
“All nations shall bask in his cloudless ray,

And peace with her gentle voice
Shall hush the storm and forbid the fray,

And plenty the world rejoice.
“ And health her fountain shall open free,
And

eyes shall be bright, once dim.
And children of light and of liberty,

That were slaves in the bonds of sin.
“Her soft ample robe shall celestial Love

Round the needy and desolate cast,
All men shall be kindred in ties from above,

And the first shall be willingly last.

One Father, our Father, who dwelleth in heaven,

His will universally done;
The Sabbath, sweet type of the mystical seven,

And earth's sacred jubilee come !"

[ocr errors]

ADELAIDE, S. AUSTRALIA.

CONVERSION AND INNOCENCE.

The Kingdom of Heaven is the reign of goodness and truth in the soul, constituting the sum of all true happiness of which man is capable as a rational, spiritual, and immortal being. An expansion of the Divine principle forming a higher region in the human mind, whence,

« ZurückWeiter »