Page images

Here, joy and grief, hope and fear, love and hatred, fluctuate and toss the sullen and the gay, the brave and the coward, the giant and the dwarf, the deformed and the beautiful, on ever-restless waves. We find all within that we find without. The number and character of our friends within, bear an exact resemblance to those that are external. The number and character of our enemies within, are just as many, as immoderate and irreconcileable as those without The world that surrounds us is the magic glass of the world within


tb #


[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

The Divinity is a boundless ocean of bliss and glory: human minds are smaller streams, which, arising at first from this ocean, seek, amid all their wanderings, to return to it, and so lose themselves in that immensity of perfection. When checked in this natural course by vice and folly, they become furious and enraged, and, swelling to a torrent, do then spread horror and devastation on the neighbouring plains.

If, Epicurus, this whole artful frame
Does not a wise Creator's hand proclaim,
To view the intellectual world advance;
Is this the creature too of fate or chance ?
Turn on thyself thy godlike reason's ray,
Thy Mind contemplate, and its powers survey.
What high perfections grace the human mind,
In flesh imprison'd, and to earth confin'd!
What vigour has she ! what a piercing sight!
Strong as the winds, and sprightly as the light !
She moves unwearied as the active fire,
And, like the flame, her flights to heaven aspire,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

The human mind is symbolically called the Sun; as, whilst our mind therefore shines and exerts itself within us; spreading, as it were, a meridian light through the soul, we are then in our right senses, without any divine influx: but when the mind goes down, then a divine ecstasy and prophetic madness falls upon us; for when the divine light shines, the human sets: this rises again ; and this is what 'usually happens to the prophetic race; for the mind is

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]


driven out of us when the Divine Spirit comes in, and wlien that aga quits us, the other returns; for it is not fit that mortal should cohabit with immortal.


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

The goods of the mind are, in many respects, superior to those of the body and of fortune; not only as they have more dignity, are more durable, and less exposed to the strokes of fortune; but they are the only goods in our power, and which depend wholly on our conduct.

Reid, The play of the mind, such as being able to repeat a great deal on once bearing, extemporaneous verse, satirical similes, turning every thing to jest, sopbistry, pupping, &c. are like the tricks of tumblers, sleight of hand, &c. matters of no real worth or importance.

Lord Bacon,
What is the mind of man? À restless scene
Of vanity and weakness, shifting still,
As shift the lights of our uncertain knowledge,
Qr as the various gale of passion breathes.

Thompson, A man, who has not got a great strength and variety of mental power, por much liberal and elegant information and knowledge, but who has a good deal of confidence, vivacity, and fluency, and who dashes at every thing, must make some lucky bits; must, at times, throw out a striking association or collision of ideas; but, in want of strength and exuberance of mind, and of the stores which supply such a mind, and that such a mind bas always at command, he will at different times, be very unequal to bimself aš an interesting companion; his brilliancy to-day will, perhaps, fade considerably to-morrow; and, to those who are much with him, when his circle of anecdotes and stories, with their intermediate jerks of pun and fancy, has completed its round, that brilliancy will, ere long, be totally extinguished. But the mind on which nature has bestowed vigour, brightness, acuteness, and versatility, and which is, likewise, highly cultivated and enriched by polite literature, is always present, and always afluent to its owner; and, as its force creates at pleasure, its rays illuminate and beautify all its variegated, finely combinedo, and strikingly contrasted images; they illumináte--not with the

[ocr errors][ocr errors]


o those ignity


et des




dubious and perishable flashes of the meteor, but with the clear,
steady, and eternal light of the sun.

P. Stockdale,
He that hath treasures of his own
May leave the cottage or the throne,
May quit the globe, and dwell alone
Within his spacious mind.

WATTS. The mind is that principle within us, which feels, perceives, and acts. It is the source of life and power, to which we ascribe no organization.

Cicero. It is not like a vessel, (i. e. the mind,) into which may be poured any quantity of whatever the possessor chooses to infuse. It is rather like a plant, wbich, by the operation of its own internal powers, imbibes the nutriment afforded by the earth. Knox. The power

of the mind will be great, if we are patient in thought. I keep, says Sir Isaac Newton, the subject constantly before me, and wait till the first dawnings open clearly, little by little, into a full and clear light.

Trusler. The faculties of the mind are reason, imagination, memory, appetite, will.

It has the softness of air to receive impression, with the vigour or fire to embrace action.

Lord Bacon, We ought, in humanity, no more to despise a man for the misfortunes of the mind, than for those of the body, when they are such as he cannot belp. Were this thoroughly considered, we should no more laugh at one for having his brains cracked, than for having his bead broke.

Pope. . As the most beautiful object in nature is a modest woman, conscious of attracting merited admiration; the most majestic, a ship, with outstretched canvas, sweeping the sea; the most awful, the ocean, (the storm having subsided,) when it ascends and falls in one swell from the horizo); the most splendid, the canopy of night, emblazoned with many stars; the most magnificent, the rising sun; So, the most wonderful is the human mind.


[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Mind, mind alone, (bear witness heaven and earth)
The living fountain, in itself, contains
Of beauteous and sublime. Here, hand in hand,
Sit paramount the Graces : here, enthroned,
Celestial Venus with divinest airs
Invites the soul to never-fading joy.

AKENSIDE, There are three things which, in an especial manner, go to make up that amplitude or capacity of mind, which is one of the noblest characters belonging to the understanding.

1. When the mind is ready to take in great and sublime ideas withe out pain or difficulty.

2. When the mind is free to receive new and strange ideas, upon just evidence, without great surprise or aversion.

3. When the mind is able to conceive or survey inany ideas at once, without confusion, and to form a true judgment, derived from that extensive survey.

The person, who wants either of these characters, may, in that respect, be said to have a narrow genius.

Watts. On the cultivation of the mind every man depends for an adequate relish of his enjoyments; for these give bim, according to bis station, a proper taste or sensibility of happiness; or, at least, afford him a sentimental relish of true pleasure, which is in its nature innocent, and opposite to vice, and soften and refine his passions, so as to enable bim properly to regulate them. In short, upon the due culture of the mind every man depends for fixing a principle of virtue in his breast, (entwining it, as it were, with the fibres of his heart) and for giving his nature, originally made for virtuous use and enjoyment, that feeling which may and should be impressed on all.

Feltham. The powers of man's mind show hiin to be almost a divine existence; he thinks he is conscious of internal acts-he forms ideas of all things-be reasons on his thoughts-he perceives an infinite variety of objects—he reflects on these images of things in his mind le recollects his thoughts, and surveys their agreement with objects, and their difference from each other-he brings all past ages and time present to his mind, and views the transactions of men

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

and revolutions of empires for thousands of years. He can re-
collect a thousand, ten thousand, a million facts at once; he
makes them pass in a quick succession before the eyes of his
mind. He marks the different natures and tendency of men's ac-
tions ; sees how one kind have a direct influence upon his peace and
happiness, while others issue in ruin, devastation, and death. He
commands the future time to the present view of his vast and mighty
mind, foretels the consequences of actions, penetrates the dark veil of

and dives into the condition of men for ten thousand years to come. He pursues a mental tour around the earth; and ranges bis thoughts all over the skies; he roves from planet to planet, from gun to sun, from world to world, almost to infinity.

Hence it follows, that ideal knowledge is essential to a mind: it is found nowhere, originally, but in the Eternal Mind; and it is essential to the very notion and idea of a mind; for what is a mind without the images and ideas of things ?

Which is a good argument, that created minds, as far as they partake of the Eternal Mind, have the natural ideas of things interwoven in their frame and constitution, if I may so speak. For a mind is a mind, whether created or uncreated; and, if created minds are made after the pattern of the Divine Mind, (and there is no other pattern for our minds,) natural ideas must be as essential to created minds as they are to the Uncreated Mind; for there is no notion of a mind without them.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Dr. Sherlock.





lo 11.

108. isto leak pite

In the mind, we shall find several faculties or powers, which may be arranged under separate heads, and which bave been treated of by various authors; such as Ideas, Thoughts, Imagination, Reason, Conscience, &c. And first,

Ideas, Every man being conscious to bimself that he thinks, and that which his mind is employed about, whilst thinking, being the ideas that

are there, it is past doubt, that men have in their minds several ideas, such as are those expressed by the words--whiteness, hardness, sweetness, thinking, motiou, man, elephant, army, druvkenness,

and obe


and others.

« PreviousContinue »