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• To be able to see without the eye, to hear without the ear, and to feel without touching the objects of sensation, would, we may venture to assert, have been considered utterly impossible, if we had not experience of the fact from the effects of imagination and of dreams. These facts, we contend afford direct proof in support of the position before advanced, that the percipient principle is independent of the organs of sense ; and they lead us to infer, also, that the material organization of the brain-by which the impressions of external objects are originally conveyed to the mind-must be distinct from the power that receives and retains those impressions : for it would be impossible otherwise to account for the activity of the perceptive power during the time that the brain ceases to hold any direct communication with the material world. The same reasoning will apply, with even greater force, to the intellectual faculties, which are exercised upon those ideal perceptions ; and as the action of memory, of perception, of thought, and of judgment, necessarily supposes consciousness of those mental operations, it follows, as a necessary consequence, that the power of consciousness also must be independent of the organized matter of the brain.'
317. • It is well known, for instance, that in certain states of the brain and nerves images of objects not present are perceived by the mind with a distinctness equal to reality. Now, when a person in the full exercise of his faculties perceives a figure which has no tangible existence, such an illusion requires for its production not only an impression to be made on the mind sufficiently strong to excite the idea of the apparition, but also of sufficient power to efface the impressions conveyed to the retina by the rays of light issuing from the objects that the apparition seems to conceal from sight. For, suppose the figure appear to be standing near the wall; then as every ray of light from the wall that previously produced an impression on the retina continues to act with a force equal to that imparted before the figure was seen, those rays which proceed from the points apparently covered by the apparition must, in some manner, be prevented from producing their accustomed impressions on the mind. Were this not the case, as there is in reality no object between the eye and the wall, the perfect vision of every point sending forth rays of light would preclude the possibility of the perception of any illusion. It must be evident, therefore, that in all spectral illusions visible in conjunction with real objects, the mind must possess the power of seeing not only images which have no tangible existence, but of seeing them also in opposition to the direct impressions of the perceptive organs.' pp. 319–321.
• Could we, indeed, establish the fact of the mind operating entirely apart from matter, we should be able at once to dispose of the whole question ; but our very limited faculties will not permit us to penetrate into the subtile properties of abstract etherial essences. Though the phenomena of dreams and of spectral illusions do not represent the perceptive faculties to be capable of acting when separated altogether from the corporeal machine, yet we conceive that the proofs which they exhibit of the agency of the perceptive powers, not only without the
aid of the organs of sensation, but in direct opposition to the impressions which those organs convey to the brain, are sufficient to establish the abstract independence of the mind.' pp. 323–324.
The chapters entitled General Summary and Conclusion, are worthy of an attentive perusal. Here our author has recapitulated and condensed his argument, and drawn out as it is with the impression of his foregoing reasoning and illustrations, conducted so openly and fairly, still resting on the mind, it certainly possesses no mean strength. We have already quoted so largely, and dwelt so much upon the various topics embraced in the volume, that we must deny ourselves the pleasure of introducing our readers to more than a single extract, in which the train of reflections is brought most logically and, allowing the preceding reasoning just, for aught we can see, most irresistibly to bear upon the position stated at the commencement of the treatise.
‘Had we to rely solely upon the arguments founded on the indestructibility of matter, they might have afforded satisfactory assurance that the sentient principle is also imperishable. The investigation into the subtile properties of matter, and the consideration that they are distinct from, and independent of, the material substances which they control, might have reasonably led to the conclusion that the soul is distinct from, and independent of, the material organization which is subservient to its will. The phenomena of life, again—which require for their first evolution a pre-existing power, distinct from the properties of matter, competent to dispose the elementary particles in their organic arrangements, and which in their more advanced processes exhibit the mind as distinct from material substance, and capable of acting independently of the organs of sensation-would alone lead directly to the conclusion that the soul is immaterial and immortal. When these three branches of our subject-each one of which is, we contend, sufficient to establish a satisfactory belief in a future state of existence—are taken collectively; and when the array of evidence they present is viewed in connection with the fundamental truths of Natural Theology, the testimony thus afforded of a future state of existence is scarcely less conclusive than demonstrative proofs. It must be borne in mind, also, that each branch of the inquiry, at the same time that it affords evidence to establish our general argument, furnishes answers to the principal objections that are raised against the immaterial and separate existence of the soul ; for all investigations into the properties and actions of material bodies serve to show that the incomprehensibility and apparent impossibility of a state of existence apart from material organization is not greater than the inscrutable mysteries and apparent impossibilities which surround and accompany the causes of every phenomenon we behold.
No one, we feel persuaded, would refuse his implicit assent to any proposition in physical science that rested on much less solid foundation than that afforded by natural evidence for the belief in a future life ; and shall we hesitate to receive the proofs in the latter case, because
they affirm a proposition the most interesting that can be submitted to the consideration of man? Shall that evidence, which would carry conviction in all cases connected with our relations to material creation, be deemed invalid only when it coincides with that innate feeling which prompts all mankind to look beyond the present world to another and a superior state of existence ?
pp. 365–367. Here then we leave our author. Our readers will have seen by the copious extracts which we have made, that the style is remarkably perspicuous and well suited to the subject. Some may think, that it admits of still more condensation ; but when we reflect on the ainbiguities of language, and that nearly all the dificulties which perplex many in the philosophical discussions of the day result from such ambiguities, few will be disposed to deem the fault a grievous one. Our author is evidently at home in the varied fields of science and learning. His manner is marked with deep sincerity, and he writes as a man who is well convinced, that truth is with him, yet without any straining after effect. We make no great pretensions to science ourselves, but we know the opinion of some well qualified in this matter, and they pronounce the work deserving high commendation. His frequent rebuke to those who refuse to believe what they cannot fully comprehend, merit the attention of a class of philosophers who proudly reject some of the great truths of revelation, because they cannot see how the facts are so. As to the main point to which the whole argument tends, although we are gratified to peruse such an analogical series of illustrations and deductions,-still we feel, that the weight of its support must rest upon the great principles of moral government to which even the light of nature as well as revelation conduct us. Here is a basis far more solid than the speculations of philosophy or of science, even penetrating into the arcana of chimical or physiological relations. Such an argument sounded on the principles of moral government may be constructed, we doubt not, as must command the assent of every candid mind. We are conscious of a living sentient principle within these bodies, -We have a true conviction that we are here on trial; that the change called death is not the end of our being; that though the body wastes and crumbles and returns to its kindred dust, yet the soul must meet its God. The feeling of immortality,—the longing still to be happy, is too deeply fixed within us to be driven out by the cold and cheerless scepticism which would consign us to annihilation. Individuals there may be who may so pervert the noble faculties which God has bestowed upon them, (as what monstrous forms of error and sin do not find their advocates,) that they believe against these monitions of conscience and the teachings of Heaven. With such, an argument like that embraced in this volume may perhaps exert some influence; but much as we ad
mire the author's tact in discussion and his felicity of illustration, we can scarcely hope, that it will convert the bardy sceptic to the belief and reception of a truth, which carries with it such awsul terrors of condemnation. The perverseness is in the heart, and angels “trumpel-tongued” in eloquence, or truth written as in sunbeams, will not move or melt him, who has fenced in his doubts by the pride of intellect, and by the certain conviction, that he must disbelieve or bid farewell to present ease and enjoyment in sin. Gloomy indeed is that philosophy which can look no fariher than the grave,which can feel, that an eternal oblivion rests on this (as we know it to be) vestibule of future life. “ Thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ,” by whom we are taught to feel that through this dark vale lies our pathway to a world of light, and bliss and love.
ART. V.-MEMOIR OF DR. BEDELL.
Memoir of Rev. Gregory T. Bedell, D. D., Rector of St. Andrero's Church, Phil
adelphia. BY STEPHEN H. Ting. Second edition, Philad. Henry Perkins,
Or late our pages have been frequently occupied in opposing the arrogant claims of the Episcopal church.' The Christian Spectator has thus assumed more of a polemic character than we could desire. It will be recollected, however, that we have acted only on the defensive. We have not called in question the validity of Episcopal ordination, nor have we delivered the members of that communion over to "the uncovenanted mercies of God." We have not complained of their increased activity in the dissemination of their views, nor of their soliciting and receiving aid from our churches in the endowment of their seminaries. We have rejoiced in witnessing in some portions of the Episcopal church an evident increase of piety and christian effort. We have suffered publications on Episcopacy to increase and multiply in silence. Doctors of medicine and divinity, prelates and proselytes have brought forward arguments that have been ofttimes refuted) proving to their own complete satisfaction, that their church" with the bishops and inferior clergy” is the only true primitive apostolic church, unless indeed the claims of her elder sister be allowed. We were kindly informed that these treatises, especially those fabricated by mitred heads, were perfectly unanswerable, and our ears were frequently saluted with shouts of triumphs from the Episcopal battlements.* For a long time we had been silent spectators of these things, for we were unwilling to call off the
attention of the ministers and members of our churches from efforts immediately connected with the salvation of souls. Knowing however, that confident uncontradicted assertion will bave its effect, and believing that the prevalence of prelatical Episcopacy would have a tendency to retard the conversion of the world, the pages of the Christian Spectator were opened to articles on this subject, the tenor and ability of which are well known. But this was by no means the most pleasant of our duties. We had much rather meet our Episcopal brethren as members of the same church, and laborers in the same fields than as opponents. Not that we fear their arguments, or the issue of the controversy. But in addition to the reason above alluded to, we may be permitted to say, that we feel but little interest in this controversy through its lack of novelty. Nothing to the point has been said lately, that has not been said and reluted many years ago. The young converts 10 prelacy who would enlighten us by their writings, and “recall us from schism," ought to know, that every tolerably well read Congregational minister bas made himself acquainted with all the r arguments previously to his being ordained by the laying on of the bands of the Presbytery.” We should think poorly indeed of our theological semivaries, if we supposed, that they often sent forth men whom Cooke, Chapman, or Colion could instruct in things pertaining to the work of the ministry.
Such being our views it gives us peculiar pleasure to notice and speak of the Episcopal church in connection with piety rather than polity. We delight to do honor to those men within her pale who prefer the salvation of souls to the prerogatives of bishops. While living we hail them as members of the church of Christ, and when dead their memory is precious.
Such was the Rev. Dr. Bedell. He was a member of the family of Christ, an active and honored laborer in his cause. We loved and honored bim not the less because he was connected with that portion of the church termed Protestant Episcopal. He labored for the whole church, and his memory is the property of the whole church. He was a good minister of Jesus Christ, an eminently successful one, and hence all our readers will desire to become acquainted with the history of his life and Jabors. It will be our purpose in this article to present some of the leading facts of his life, so that our readers may form in some good degree an estimate of his worth. We shall draw our materials in part from the volume before us, and in part from personal knowledge. Our object is not to supersede the perusal of the memoir, but to meet in some measure the wants of those who may not be able to procure
it. Gregory Townsend Bedell was born on Staten Island, Oct. 28, 1793. His mother was the sister of Bishop Moore of Virginia,