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< But here a difficulty occurs which merits our attention, because the solution of it leads to fome original principles of the human Mind, which are of great importance, and of very extensive influence. We know by experience, that men have used such words to express such things. But all experience is of the past, and can, of itself, give no notion or belief of what is future. How come we then to believe, and to rely upon it with assurance, that men who have it in their power to do othera wise, will continue to use the same words when they think the same things? Whence comes this knowlege and belief, this foresight we ought rather to call it, of the future and voluntary actions of our fellow-creatures? Have they promised that they will never impose upon us by equivocation or falsehood? No, they have not. And if they had, this would not solve the difficulty: for such proinise must be expresfed by words, or by other figns; and before we can rely upon it, we must be assured that they put the fame meaning upon those signs as they have used to do. No man of common sense ever thought of taking a man's own word for his honesty; and it is evident, that we take his veracity for granted, when we lay any stress upon his word or promise. I might add, that this reliance upon the declarations and teftimony of men, is found in children long before they know what a promise is.

There is, therefore, in the human mind an early anticipa, tion, neither derived from experience, nor from reason, nor from any compact or promise, that our fellow-creatures will uso the same signs in language, when they have the same sentiments.

• This is, in reality, a kind of prescience of human actions ; and it feems to me to be an original principle of the human constitution, without which we should be incapable of language, and consequently incapable of instruction.

• The wise and beneficent Author of Nature, who intended that we should be social creatures, and that we should receive the greatest and most important part of our knowlege by the information of others, hath, for these purposes, implanted in our natures two principles that tally with each other.

The first of these principles is, a propensity to speak truth, and to use the signs of language, so as to convey our real senti-. ments. This principle has a powerful operation, even in the greatest liars; for where they lie once, they speak truth a hundred times. Truth is always uppermost, and is the natural issue of the mind. It requires no art of training, no inducement or temptation, but only that we yield to a natural impulse. Lying, on the contrary, is doing violence to our nature; and is never practised, even by the worst men, without some temptation. Speaking truth is like using our natural food, which we would do from appetite, altho'it answered no end; but lying is like taking physic, which is nauseous to the taste, and which no man takes but for some end which he cannot otherwise attain.

(If it Thould be objected, That men may be influenced by moral or political considerations to speak truth, and, therefore, that their doing so, is no proof of such an original prine-ple as we have mentioned; I answer, first, That moral or political confiderations can have no influence, until we arrive at years of understanding and reflection; and it is certain from experience, that children keep to truth invariably, before they are capable of being influenced by such considerations. Secondly, When we are influenced by moral or political considerations, we must be conscious of that influence, and capable of perceiving it upon reflection. Now, when I reflect upon my actions most attentively, I am not conscious that in speaking truth, I am inHuenced on ordinary occasions by any motive moral or political. I find, that truth is always at the door of my lips, and goes forth fpontaneously, if not held back. It requires neither good nor bad intention to bring it forth, but only that I be artless and undefigning. There may, indeed, be temptations to fallhood, which would be too strong for the natural principle of veracity, unaided by principles of honour or virtue ; but where there is no such temptation, we speak truth by instinct; and this instinct is the principle I have been explaining.

• By this instinct a real connection is formed between our words and our thoughts, and thereby the former become fit to be signs of the latter, which they could not otherwise be. And although this connection is broken in every instance of lying and equivocation, yet these instances being comparatively few, the authority of human testimony is only weakened by them, but not destroyed.

• Another original principle implanted in us by the Supreme Being, is a disposition to confide in the veracity of others, and to believe what they tell us. This is the counter-part to the former; and as that may be called the principle of veracity, we shall, for want of a more proper name, call this the principle of credulity. It is unlimited in children, until they meet with inftances of deceit and falsehood : and it retains a very

confiderable degree of strength through life.

If nature had left the mind of the speaker in equilibrio, without any

inclination to the side of truth more than to that of falsehood, children would lie as often as they speak truth, until reason was fo far vipened, as to fuggest the imprudence of Rev. July, 1764


lying, lying, or conscience, as to suggest its immorality. And if nature had left the mind of the hearer in equilibrio, without any inclination to the side of belief more than to that of disbelief, we should take no man's word until we had positive evidence that he spoke truth. His testimony would, in this case, have no more authority than his dreams; which may be true or false, but no man is disposed to believe them, on this account, that they were dreamed. It is evident, that in the matter of testimony, the balance of human judgment is by nature inclined to the side of belief; and turns to that fide of itself, when there is nothing put into the opposite scale. If it was not so, no proposition that is uttered in discourse would be believed, until it was examined and tried by reason; and most men would be unable to find reasons for believing the thousandth part of what is told them. Such distrust and incredulity would deprive us of the greatest benefits of society, and place us in a worse condition than that of favages.

« Children, on this supposition, would be absolutely incredulous; and therefore absolutely incapable of instruction: those who had little knowlege of human life, and of the manners and characters of men, would be in the next degree incredulous : and the most credulous men would be those of the greatest experience, and of the deepest penetration; because, in many cases, they would be able to find good reasons for believing testimony, which the weak and the ignorant could not discover.

• In a word, if credulity were the effect of reasoning and experience, it must grow up and gather strength, in the same proportion as reason and experience do. But if it is the gift of nature, it will be strongest in childhood, and limited and restrained by experience; and the most superficial view of human life Thews, that the last is really the case, and not the first.'

Having considered the general principles of the human Mind which fit us for receiving information from our fellow-creatures, by the means of language, our Author proceeds to consider the general principles which fit us for receiving the informations of nature by our acquired perceptions. And here he enquires into the reason why we believe that the future will be like the past; and observes, that the wile Author of Nature hath implanted in human minds an original principle, by which we believe and expect the continuance of the course of nature, and the continuance of those connections which we have observed in time pait, It is by this general principle of our nature, he says, that when two things have been found connected in time part, the appear, ance of the one produces the belief of the other. He concludes his work with some very pertinent reflections upon the opinions of Philosophers concerning the human Mind and its operations. Part of what he says, when speaking of Des Cartes and Locke, is as follows.


« The natural furniture of the human understanding is of two kinds; first, The notions or simple apprehensions which we have of things; and secondly, The judgments, or the belief which we have concerning them. As to our notions, the new system reduces them to two classes ; ideas of fenfation, and ideas of reflection : the first are conceived to be copies of our sensations, retained in the memory or imagination ; the second to be copies of the operations of our minds, whereof we are conscious, in like manner retained in the memory or imagination: and wo are taught, that these two comprehend all the materials about which the human understanding is, or can be, employed. As to our judgment of things, or the belief which we have concerning them, the new system allows no part of it to be the gift of nature, but holds it to be the acquisition of reason, and to be yot by comparing our ideas, and perceiving their agrecments or disagreements. Now, I take this account, both of our notions, and of our judgments or belief, to be extremely imperfect; and I shall briefly point out some of its capital des fects.

The division of our nctions into ideas of sensation, and ideas of reflection, is con:rary to all rules of logic; because the fecond member of the division includes the firit. For, can we form clear and just notions of our sensations any other way than by reflection? Surely we cannot. Sensation is an opera:ion of the mind of which we are conscious; and we get the notion of sensation, by reflecting upon that which we are conscious of. In like manner, doubting and believing are operations of the mind whereof we are conscious; and we get the notion of them, by reflecting upon what we are conscious of. The ideas of sensation, therefore, are ideas of reflection, as much as the ideas of doubting, or believing, or any other ideas whatsoever.

• But to pass over the inaccuracy of this division, it is extremely incompleat. For, since sensation is an operation of the mind, as well as all the other things of which we form our no. tions by reflection; when it is afferted, that all our notions are either ideas of fenfation, or ideas of reflection, the plain Englith of this is, That mankind neither do, nor can, think of any thing but of the operations of their own minds. Nothing can be more contrary to truth, or more contrary to the experience of mankind. I know that Locke, while he maintained this doctrine, believed the notions which we have of body and of its qualities, and the notions which we have of motion and of

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space, to be ideas of fenfation. But why did he believe this? Because he believed those notions to be nothing else but images of our sensations, If, therefore, the notions of body and its qualities, of motion and space, be not images of our sensations, will it not follow, that those nutions are not ideas of sensation ? Most certainly.

There is no doctrine of the new system which more directly leads to scepticism than this. And the Author of the Treatise of human nature knew very well how to use it for that purpose : for, if you maintain that there is any such existence as body or fpirit, time or place; cause or effect, he immediately catches you between the horns of this dilemma; Your notions of these existences are either ideas of sensation, or ideas of reflection ; if of sensation, from what sensation are they copied ? if of reflection, from what'operation of the mind are they copied ?

It is, indeed, to be wished, that those who have written much about sensation, and about the other operations of the mind, had likewise thought and reflected much, and with great care, upon thore operations : but is it not very strange, that they will not allow it to be possible for mankind to think of any

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" The account which this system gives of our judgment and belief concerning things, is as far from the truth as the

account it gives of our notions or simple apprehensions. It represents our lenses as having no other office, but that of furnishing the mind with notions or simple apprehensions of things; and makes our judgment and belief concerning those things, to be acquired by comparing our notions together, and perceiving their agreements or disagreements.

« We have shewn, on the contrary, that every operation of the senses, in its very nature, implies judgment or belief, as well as simple apprehenfion. Thus, when I feel the pain of the gout in my toe, I have not only a notion of pain, but a belief of its existence, and a belief of fome disorder in my toe which occasions it, and this belief is not produced by comparing ideas, and perceiving their agreements and disagreements; it is included in the very nature of the sensation. When I perceive a tree before me, my faculty of seeing gives me not only a notion or simple apprehension of the tree, but a belief of its existence, and of its figure, distance, and magnitude; and this judgment or belicf, is not got by comparing ideas, it is included in che very nature of the perception. We have taken notice of several original principles of belief in the course of this EnquiJ!; and when other faculties of the mind are examined, we


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