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mass — organs sprung from dust — form gave rise to function and the vital structure, complete in strength, and grace, and beauty, became the privileged, the honoured, habitation of the soul !
“So long as this soul remains incarnate, it is to a certain extent influenced by the functions of living matter, which indeed are the only means whereby the phenomena of the external world can be introduced to the mind during its connexion with the body. According as these functions are perfect, the mind views material objects with distinctness and accuracy — according as they are imperfect, their representation is confused, and the mind is consequently deceived by the false testimony of the senses. But this mind is never itself disordered. It is neither susceptible of disease nor decay, nor death. The expressionless mutterings of fatuity — the vague wandering of delirium — the rage and recklessness of mania — are indications, not of deranged intelligence, but of imperfect or impaired material function, which transmits to the mind a faulty evidence of external things. Free the mind from the load of corrupt materiality which oppresses it-remove the miserable shell which hides and hinders the pure spirit — and the idiot's laugh is converted into a saint's rapture — earth loses a maniac, heaven gains an angel !
“ The extremity of animal life is the opportunity of the intellectual. As one declines, the other becomes more evident and distinct-it triumphs over its frail and feeble tenement, nor wants its services the eye grows dim and lustreless, and forgets its office, but the inward soul sees visions of its approaching heaven the ears are dead to the ministers of earth, but the spirit is alive to the minstrelsy of the skies ! * Like a broken pitcher, disabled and useless,' the body falls — animal existence is over-the soul is free!
“ * We depart from life as from a caravansary, and not from a home; for nature bas given to us a house of entertainment rather than a mansion.'" *-Dr. Wright's Lecture on Physical and Intellectual Life.
REVIEW OF BOOKS.
Sar Lectures on the Evidences of the Christian Religion, recently delivered in London.
By T. S. HONIBORNE. London: Brain and Payne. 8vo. pp. 74.
As religion excites the attention of all men more or less, we naturally expect that its discussion will form a considerable part of literature. The philosopher and the unlearned here dispute the field, and while the former by systematic reasoning and the efforts of a powerful mind, attracts our admiration, the latter, by his fervent and energetic appeals, often kindles in our breasts the same emotions that glow so strongly in his own. To this sympathetic feeling on the subject of religion we are inclined to attribute the origin of a large number of works on this point that daily issue from the press. Amongst these the productions of the controversialist are perhaps the most unfortunate; for if he evinces no striking talent, he is not only disposed by his opponent, but repudiated by his own party. As the truths of our glorious religion have still to be brought home to the intellects and hearts of many, its adherents are still required to employ their energies on its behalf; but if one of these volunteers, in undertaking its defence, proves quite insufficient for the task, he not only exhibits his own deficiency, but may impede the progress of the opinions he advocates ; and what he would call a defence becomes quite the reverse. The infidel may demolish with triumph the crude arguments of such a defender, but he should keep in mind that the fortress of truth remains firm and unshaken.
The lectures before us may be perused with profit by those who cannot consult greater authorities. Mr. Honiborne has evidently expended some labour upon them, and the remarks on the importance of Christianity, are judicious and correct. He grounds his chief argument for the necessity of a divine revelation on the immoral condition of the heathen world at the coming of Christ. There appeared but little desire among the greater number of philosophers of that age to conform their lives to the precepts of morality which had been applauded in the Lyceum and gardens of the Academy. Their principles could never tend to the moral benefit of nations ; for all men were at perfect liberty to accept or refuse their advice, and such being the case, can we be surprised that the nations of antiquity were sunk to the deepest degradation in idolatry, and that those few who attempted the promulgation of truth were derided as innovaters and betrayers of their country's religion? The Christian system presented itself armed with strong sanctions ; it required of its professors rigid conformity to its demands, and the propagation of its doctrines; and its truth and purity soon overcame the opposition of error. The signal success with which, at the outset, it overturned the most refined form of idolatry, affords a strong presumption, that in its future progress all men will submit to its holy commands.
The four concluding lectures treat of the external and internal evidences, and are composed, for the most part, in a clear and forcible style. We think that Mr. H. deserves a respectable station amongst the writers of his class. An Appeal to British Christians, and the Public generally, on behalf of the Queen of
Tahiti and her outraged Subjects; with a Statement of Facts. By SAMUEL TAMATOA WILLIAMS, son of the late Missionary to Polynesia. London: Snow. Pp. 32. 8vo. Every Englishman who has carefully perused the authentic statements for some time past made with reference to this subject, must be convinced of the fraud and dissimulation practised by the French upon the newly-civilized and Christian people of Tahiti, and upon Pomare their unfortunate queen. Sufficient time has now elapsed since the perpetration of these violences, for British Christians to acquire an impartial and exact knowledge of the circumstances of the outrage. No adequate means (unless indeed we may except the recent talented article in the Eclectic Review, which must necessarily have but a limited circulation) having yet been adopted to furnish a solid basis for endeavour, we hail with much pleasure the appearance of this pamphlet, interesting in its contents, without extraneous recommendation, yet speaking with double energy as an appeal by a son of John Williams.
It contains a collection of the scattered information relative to the subject, interspersed with several pertinent remarks on the policy of the French, and the lamentable results entailed on the Tahitians by their tyrannical oppression. We cannot find space for any long quotations, but think the following sentence highly important.
“ The South-Sea Islanders would, undoubtedly, have enjoyed the glories of freedom to the present hour, if civilization and Christianity had not been conveyed to them.”
Let Britons reflect on this; as such they were the bearers of civilization ; as Christians the instruments in the promulgation of Christianity to the benighted nations of these lovely isles; and let them see to it, that the horrors of slavery do not follow in the train of these blessings.
In the course to be pursued in order to direct the attention of the British government, and ensure the defence of right against might, our author considers that memorials should be got up, and numerously signed, and that the agitation must, of course, be continued and strenuous. These measures, at all events, will act as a check fo the rapacity of the French, and probably save the other islands from the destruction in which Tahiti is involved. But the public look for a leader,--they look to the London Missionary Society for instructions and guidance, and appearances seem to indicate that they will look in vain; but of this anon.
We assure our readers that the pamphlet will amply repay their perusal, and is quite worthy of the name it bears.
REASON, A SOURCE OF THEOLOGY. The existence of a Supreme Being, (as we shall shortly have occasion to show) is demonstrable from the miracles recorded in the New Testament, and is thus placed on a basis of palpable fact; whilst, therefore, we are exceedingly thankful that our reception of a truth so important does not depend on the reasonings of frail and prejudiced man, yet still we deem the question one of deep interest, and even of great moment-Can reason discover the existence of the Deity ? and—warranted, we conceive, by Scripture and by fact-we reply in the affirmative, and adduce our arguments
Nothing can by any possibility be effected in opposition to certain fixed natural principles or laws. No existence could for a moment be maintained in contradiction to and in defiance of the properties of matter. A being, dependent for his life on the inspiration of rarified ether, could by no means exist if his frame were so organized, as to be overcome by the attraction of gravitation of a planetary body, and thus compelled to inhabit a medium whose density would immediately destroy him. The absurdity of a contrary supposition is so immediately apparent, that we illustrate our position no further. Every organized and living structure must therefore—from the very fact of its existence—be in consistency and harmony with the laws of the material universe, and this fitness and conformity cannot in the nature of things be produced without a knowledge of that to which the fabrication has to be conformed.
Our assertion is based on undeniable facts brought to light by the sublime science of geology, when we say that man's appearance on the stage of creation, as well as of the creatures by whom he is now surrounded, is but of recent date and limited antiquity, the laws governing the material universe were therefore in operation before he was presented to view ; so that previously to his creation, when as yet he had not being, the substances of which
he is composed had to be worked, moulded, and connected with the universe around him. As no ideas can exist apart from knowledge and experience, and as it is altogether absurd to allege that a material having no idea, can yet adapt itself to an unknown example, and model itself to that which is incomprehensible, our only conclusion, not presumptive but certain conclusion is, that the very fact of any being whatever enjoying existence on the surface of our globe, proves a knowledge of facts, and a power consistently to carry out and apply that knowledge; and this, in the largest sense and widest scope of the word, is intelligence, The atmosphere surrounding our globe must, of necessity, have been collected around its surface, and have been compounded of the same elements as it is at present before man breathed, or he could not have performed a single inspiration. His frame had consequently to be adapted to it, and this could no more have been effected, without a perfect and distinct apprehension of the density and composition of the atmosphere, and a perfect knowledge of the laws regulating its temperature, than could an individual, having no knowledge or idea of the geological character (if we may be allowed the expression of the moon as to whether it contained mountains or rivers-of their height and depth, and not having the slightest conception of the nature and properties of its atmosphere, -yet accurately construct a line of railway that should correspond and be perfectly applicable to the surface of that planet; as well as locomotives to traverse the same, the construction of which must always be dependent on the density and pressure of the atmosphere.
Atmospheric air is composed of two ingredients or elements, termed oxygen and nitrogen gas-about one-fifth of the former to four-fifths of the latter--there being in a hundred measures of atmospheric air, 21 of oxygen and 79 of nitrogen. Its composition never varies; experiments of the finest character have tested it under every part of heaven, and the proportion is invariably found; and without this exact proportion man could not exist : or if by the addition of a small portion of oxygen existence was continued, he would be in a species of delirium and madness, and utterly incapable of discharging one single duty devolving on him with propriety and soberness; indeed, he would be in a continual state of intoxication, and in this condition would in an incredibly short space of time sink, through the actual wear and tear of his physical system, to an untimely death. We do not mention as an essential component of atmospheric air carbonic acid gas, because it is proved by experiment that the quantity existing in the air varies in different situations; and so it follows, that what there is mixed up with it, and which is estimated, on an average, at about one per cent., is an accidental and not an essential property, by no means however without its uses.
To avoid confusion, we confine ourselves to the human frame,
although our remarks will apply more or less to all orders of animal existence, and we in the first place observe, that the blood circulating through the body is of two descriptions, the kind flowing through the arterial vessels, which proceed from the left side of the heart, being alone capable of supporting life. This we find is distributed through the length and breadth of the system, and then flows back in a contrary direction through vessels much more slender, called veins, and again, passing in its course through larger vessels, re-enters the heart at the right side, deprived, however, of all its life-giving powers,—to be again distriboted through the system? This would be to destroy vitality and speedily to produce death. No; it must be first exposed to the atmosphere, that it may be again purified and revived, again to pursue its important duties; but it has expended a considerable portion of its substance in its previous journey, and this must be supplied and compensated through the chyle, a nutriinent prepared by the process of digestion from the food. This fills the lacteals, that empty themselves into the principal vein, and thus it mixes with the venous blood previously to its entry into the heart; and now the venous must be converted into arterial blood. It enters that important organ, and stimulates its right ventricle to contract, and in this manner forces the venous blood into a large channel, distributed in innumerable rarifications throughout the lungs, and thus it is subjected to the action of the atmosphere, and fitted and furnished so as again to repair and fortify the system and counterbalance its continued exhaustion. Let the atmosphere be deprived of its oxygen, and the blood cannot be converted into an arterial fluid, and life is immediately extinguished; and, on the other hand, if oxygen alone existed, not only would man be rendered delirious, and die from pure exhaustion, but the world itself would speedily be consumed, through the marvellous sustenance it affords to flame.
The experiments of Liebig, and the theories he has advanced, deserve every attention; but in a subject like the present we do not frame ingenious hypotheses to support our views, but simply detail facts; we do not advance any proposition as to the nature of the chemical action of the air on the blood, but merely relate the result consequent on the air coming into contact with it.
There are many other most important particulars in which man is strictly adapted to the universe around him; indeed he is so in every respect, and to the utmost minutiæ. We have described but imperfectly this relation in one department of his organization, and this one, though by no means more remarkable than others, we deem in the highest degree satisfactory, and in accordance with the remarks made at the outset. Some lectures on the physiology of the eye, read before the society, will shortly be presented to our readers, and they will then trace this connec