« ПретходнаНастави »
On the Intellectual Faculty of Brutes.
Upon what hypothesis can we account of different countries and kinds, some for a degree of foresight and penetra- | philosophers have maintained that tion such as this? Or will it be sug- / brutes are endowed with a soul, tho' gested, as a solution of the difficulty, l essentially inferior to that of men; and that a Dog may possibly become capa- to this soul they have allowed imble in a great measure of understanding | mortality, Father Bougeant, a Jesuit, human discourse, and of reasoning and formerly published a treatise expressacting accordingly; and that, in the pre- ly on this subject, entitled, A Philososent instance, the villain had either phical Amusement on the Language of uttered his design in soliloquy, or im-1 Brutes, in which he affirms that they parted it to an accomplice, in the hear-are animated by evil spirits, or devils. ing of the animal?
The strangeness of this doctrine has It has been much disputed whethor induced me to give the outline of his the brutes have any language whereby arguments, since they cannot fail to they can express their minds to each prove entertaining to the reader: other; or whether all the noise they “ Reason (says he) naturally inclines make consists only of cries inarticulate, us to believe that beasts have a spiriand unintelligible even to themselves, tual soul; and the only thing that opWe may indeed, from analogy, con- poses this sentiment is, the consequenclude, with great reason, that some of ces that might be inferred from it. If the cries of beasts are really expres- brutes have a soul, that soul must be sions of their sentiments; but whether either matter or spirit; it must be one one beast is capable of forming a de- of the two, and yet you dare affirm neisign, and communicating that design ther. You dare not say it is matter, by any kind of language to others, is because you must then necessarily supwhat I shall leave to the judgment of pose matter to be capable of thinking; the reader, after submitting to his con- nor will you say that it is spirit, this sideration the following instance: 1 opinion bringing with it consequences · A sparrow finding a nest that a mar contrary to the principles of religion; tin had just built, standing very conve- and this, among others, that man would niently for him, possessed himself of differ from beasts only by the degrees it. The martin, seeing the usurper of plus and minus, which would demoin her house, called for help to expel lish the very foundation of all religion. him. A thousand martins came full Therefore, if I can elude all these conspeed, and attacked the sparrow; but sequences; if I can assign to beasts a the latter being covered on every side, spiritual soul, without striking at the and presenting only his large beak at doctrines of religion ; it is evident that the entrance of the nest, was invul- my system, being moreover the most nerable, and made the boldest of them agreeable to reason, is the only warwho durst approach him repent of rantable hypothesis. Now I shall and their temerity. After a quarter of an can do it, with the greatest ease imabour's combat, all the martins disap- ginable. I even have means, by the peared. The sparrow thought he had same method, to explain many very got the better, and the spectators obscure passages in the holy Scripjudged that the martins had aban- tures, and to resolve some very great doned their undertaking. Not in the difficulties which are not well confuted. least. Immediately they returned to This we shall unfold in a more partithe charge; and, each of them having cular manner. procured a little of that tempered “Religion teaches us, that the devils, earth with which they make their from the very moment they had sinned, nests, they all at once fell upon the were reprobate, and that they were sparrow, and inclosed him in the nest, doomed to burn for ever in hell ; but to perish there, though they could not the Church has not yet determined drive him thence. Can it be ima- whether they do actually endure the gined that the martins could have | torments to which they are condemned. been able to hatch and concert this It may then be thought that they do design all of them together, without not yet suffer them, and that the exespeaking to each other, or without cution of the verdict brought against some medium of communication equi- | them is reserved for the day of final valent to language?
judgment.-Now, what I pretend to From all these extraordinary endow- infer from hence is, that, till doomsments, manifested by brute animals, 1 day comes, God, in order not to suffer
On the Intellectual Faculty of Brutes.
so many legions of reprobate spirits to | from shocking, pleases me mightily. be of no use, has distributed them I with gratitude adnuire the goodness through the several spaces of the world, of the Creator, who gave me so many to serve the designs of his providence, little devils to serve and amuse me. and make his omnipotence to appear. If I am told that these poor devils are Some, continuing in their natural state, doomed to suffer eternal tortures, I busy themselves in tempting men, in admire God's decrees, but I have no seducing and tormenting them; either manner of share in that dreadful senimmediately, as Job's devil, and those tence; I leave the execution of it to that lay hold of human bodies; or by the sovereign Judge; and, notwiththe ministry of sorcerers or phantoms. standing this, I live with my little
"These wicked spirits are those devils, as I do with a multitude of whom the Scripture calls the powers of people, of whom religion informs me darkness, or the powers of the air. that a great number shall be damned. God, with the others, makes millions of But the cure of a prejudice is not to be beasts of all kinds, which serve for the effected in a moment; it is done by uses of men, which fill the universe, time and reflection: give me leave and cause the wisdom and omnipo- then lightly to touch upon this difficulty tence of the Creator to be admired. By in order to observe a very important that means I can easily conceive, on thing to you. the one hand, how the devils can tempt “Persuaded, as we are, that beasts us; and, on the other, how beasts can have intelligence, have we not all of think, know, have sentiments, and a us a thousand times pitied them for spiritual soul, without any way strik- the excessive evils which the majority ing at the doctrines of religion. I am of them are exposed to, and in reality no longer surprised to see them have suffer? How unhappy is the condiforecast, memory, and judgment. I tion of horses! we are apt to say, upon should rather have occasion to wonder seeing a horse whom an unmerciful at their having no more, since their carman is murdering with blows. How soul very likely is more perfect than miserable is a dog whom they are ours. But I discover the reason of breaking for hunting! How dismal is this: it is because, in beasts as well as the fate of beasts living in woods! in ourselves, the operations of the mind they are perpetually exposed to the are dependent on the material organs injuries of the weather; always seized of the machine to which it is united; with apprehensions of becoming the and, those organs being grosser and prey of hunters, or of some wilder less perfect than in us, it follows, that animal ; - for ever obliged, after long the knowledge, the thoughts, and the fatigue, to look out for some poor insiother spiritual operations, ofthe beasts, pid food ; often suffering cruel hunger; must of course be less perfect than and subject, moreover, to illness and ours; and, if these proud spirits know death! If men are subject to a multitheir own dismal state, what an humi- tude of miseries that overwhelm them, liation must it be to them thus to see religion acquaints us with the reason themselves reduced to the condition of of it; viz. the being born sinners. beasts! But, whether they know it or But what crimes can beasts have comno, so shameful a degradation is still, mitted by birth, to be subject to evils with regard to them, the primary effect so very cruel? What are we, then, of the divine vengeance I just men- | to think of the horrible excesses of tioned ; it is an anticipated hell.” miseries undergone by beasts? miseries,
Having mentioned the prejudices indeed, far greater than those endured against this hypothesis, such particu- by men. This is, in any other system, larly as the pleasure which people of an incomprehensible mystery; whereas sense and religion take in beasts and nothing is more easy to be conceived birds, especially all sorts of domestic from the system I propose. The reanimals; he proceeds, “Do we love bellious spirits deserve a punishment beasts for their own sakes! No. As still more rigorous, and happy is it they are altogether strangers to human for them that their punishment is desociety, they can have no other ap- ferred. In a word, God's goodness is pointment but that of being useful and vindicated, man himself is justified : amusing. And what care we whether for what right can we have, without it be a devil or any other creature that necessity, and often in the way of mere unuses us? The thought of it, far diversion, to take away the life of inil
No. 26.-Vol. III.
On the Intellectual Faculty of Brutes.
lions of beasts, if God had not author- | mischievous, a dog so full of envy, a ized us so to do? And beasts being cat so malicious ? as sensible as ourselves of pain and “ But then many authors have predeath, how could a just and merciful tended, that beasts, before man's fall, God have given man that privilego, if were different from what they are now; they were not so many guilty victims and that it was in order to punish man of the divine vengeance?
that they became so wicked. But this “But hear still somethimg more con- opinion is a mere supposition, of which vincing, and of greater consequence: there is not the least footstep in holy beasts, by nature, are extremely vicious. Scripture. It is a pitiful subterfuge, We know well that they never sin, be- to elude a real difficulty: this at most cause they are not free; but this is the might be said of the beasts with whom only condition wanting to make them man has a sort of correspondence; but sinners. The voracious birds and beasts not at all of the birds, fishes, and of prey are cruel. Many insects of insects, which have no manner of relaone and the same species devour one tion to him. We must then have another. Cats are perfidious and un- recourse to the second proposition, that grateful; monkeys are mischievous; the nature of beasts has, like that of and dogs envious. All beasts in gene- man, been corrupted by some original ral are jealous and revengeful to excess; sin: another hypothesis, void of founnot to mention many other vices we dation, and equally inconsistent with observe in them: and at the same time reason and religion, in all the systems that they are by nature so very vicious, which have been hitherto espoused they have, say we, neither the liberty concerning the souls of beasts. What nor any help to resist the bias that party are we to take? Why, admit of hurries them into so many bad actions. my system, and all is explained. The They are, according to the schools, souls of beasts are refractory spirits, necessitated to do evil, to disconcert which have made themselves guilty the general order, to commit whatever towards God. The sin in beasts is no is most contrary to the notion we have original sin : it is a personal crime, of natural justice, and to the principles whicli has corrupted and perverted their of virtue. What monsters are these, nature in its whole substance; hence in a world originally created for order all the vices and corruption we observe and justice to reign in! This is, in in them, though they can be no longer good part, what formerly persuaded criminal, because God, by irrecoverably the Manicheans, that there were of reprobating them, has at the same time necessity two order of things, one good, divested them of their liberty.” and the other bad; and that the beasts These quotations contain the strength were not the work of the good prin- of Father Bougeant's hypothesis, which ciple: a monstrous error!
| also hath had its followers; but the « But how then shall we believe that reply to it is obvious. Beasts, though beasts came out of the hands of their remarkably mischievous, are not comCreator with qualities so very strange! pletely so; they are in many instances If man is so very wicked and corrupt, capable of gratitude and love, which it is because he has himself through devils cannot possibly be. The very sin perverted the happy nature God same passions that are in the brutes had given him at his creation. Of two exist in the human nature; and if we things, then, we must say one: either chose to argue from the existence of that God has taken delight in making those passions, and the ascendency beasts so vicious as they are, and of they have over inankind at some times, giving us in them models of what is we may say with as great justice, that most shameful in the world; or that the souls of men are devils, as that the they have, like man, original sin, souls of brutes are. All that can be which has perverted their primitive reasonably inferred from the greater nature. The first of these propositions prevalency of the malignant passions finds very difficult access to the mind, among the brutes than among men, is, and is an express contradiction to the that the former have less rationality holy Scriptures, which say, that what than men: and accordingly it is found, ever came out of God's hands, at the that among savages, who exercise their time of the creation of the world, was reason less than other men, every spegood, yea, very good. What good cancies of barbarity is practised without there be in a monkey's being so very being deemed a crime.
On the Treatment of Children.
Upon the whole, it is impossible to experience has confirmed me in the deduce this variety of action, in animals, opinion, that love, and not fear, is the from a general and uniform instinct most effectual incitement to goodness only. For they accommodate their in a child's mind :-fear, perhaps, operations to times and circumstances. must be resorted to in peculiar and They combine; they chuse the favour- very inveterate cases, and it is necesable moment; they avail themselves sary to preserve a strict sense of subof the occasion; and seem to receive ordination, which may be called fear; instruction by experience. Many of but every child, who is kindly and ratheir operations announce reflection : tionally treated, easily perceives that the bird repairs a shattered nest, instead his welfare is promoted by our control of constructing instinctively a new one: over him, and that bis obedience is a the hen, which has been robbed of her source of improvement and happiness. eggs, changes her place in order to lay Now, when that required obedience is the remainder with more security: the imbittered by a harsh manner and cat discovers both care and artifice in by severe words, when we evidently concealing her kittens. Again, it is exercise our power in anger and reevident, that, on many occasions, ani- sentment, and apparently to gratify mals know their faults and mistakes, our own revengeful feelings, the culprit, and correct them; they sometimes con- instead of being led to the consideratrive the most ingenious methods of tion of his own fault, has some of his obtaining their ends, and, when one worst passions roused, to repel and method fails, have recourse to another; resist our unkindness. We ought not and they have, without doubt, a kind of to become the enemy of those we find language for the mutual communication it necessary to punish: if we are of their ideas. How is all this to be Christians, we shall understand this ; accounted for, unless we suppose them for does not Jesus Christ command endowed with the powers of perceiving, us to forgive our erring brethren thinking, remembering, comparing, and “even until seventy times seven.” judging? They certainly have these Let us not think that our conduct to powers in a degree inferior to the little children ought not to be regulated human species, and form classes below by the same heavenly precepts of them in the graduated scale of intel mercy and of truth. ligent beings; but, their actions not God has made no mental distincbeing directed to moral ends, are con tions in regard to rank and station : sequently not accountable and proper the child of the meanest peasant ranks subjects for reward or punishment in as high, in an intellectual, moral, and a future world.
religious view, as the son of a prince. The gift of immortality, the belief in
an all-wise and merciful Providence, On the Treatment of Children.
is of the same value to both. “ Take
heed that ye despise not one of these TO THE EDITOR OF THE IMPERIAL
little ones," is the benignant language MAGAZINE,
of our Saviour. The influence of fear Sir, The Wrongs of Children are a is often had recourse to from ignorance copious subject for remark and com- of the human mind, as well as from plaint. Why we should think our-| | neglect of the divine law of love. The selves exonerated from a regard to the only legitimate end of punishment is common laws of justice and bumanity, defined, by some intelligent writers of in our treatment of beings so fitted to the present day, to be, the reformation excite every feeling of tenderness and of the offender; and retribution is exconsideration, would be inexplicable, cluded, and even exemplary punishif it were not explained by the generalment, as tending to much evil and tendency of unlimited power to mis- injustice. It may confidently be aslead the understanding and harden serted, that punishment, taken as the the heart. The system of punishment, retribution of moral guilt, can be still persevered in at our great public safely employed only by the supreme schools, ought to excite the indigna- Arbiter of the world ; and that, when tion of all enlightened and christian fallible men take upon themselves the parents; but at present I shall confine right of employing it, as the means of myself to a few hints on the discipline resentment, it is liable to the most of Charity Schools. Some degree of terrible abuse, and will equitably!
Moore on Gambling.
and there we must apply, if we would
BLING, BY THE REV. C. MOORE.
son, if not to resist and confound the