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7th he says,
that ever was propounded by the schoolmen: If these
organs were bestowed after the Fall, whether man, with new organs added to his brain, and new propensities to his mind, continued the same being ?" &c.Upon this I would only remark, that Mr Combe, in proposing such a question, seems to have forgotten what he had written in a former part of his work; for at page
“ If a theologian were to maintain that these organs, or several of them, were bestowed on man in consequence of sin, or from any other cause, philosophers would remain silent to such proposition.” He seems to be aware, that such a statement as this, coming from his opponents, would be utterly unphilosophical and preposterous: and yet, with marvellous inconsistency, he makes no scruple of gravely submitting to them this very proposition, as requiring their serious consideration, and as giving rise to a question which it is incumbent on them to solve ! This is utterly undeserving of answer. dignandum de isto, non disputandum est."*
The last question is, “ Whether the existence of these organs, and of an external world adapted to them, does not prove that man, as he now exists, is not actually the same being as when he was created, and that his corruption consists in his tendency to abuse his faculties, and not in any inherent viciousness attributable to his nature itself?” Passing over the ineffable nonsense about new organs being added to the brain, and admitting man to be essentially the same being, (that is, of the same species,) as he was at his creation, it may be asked, What does it signify whether his corruption consists in a natural tendency to abuse his faculties, or in any inherent viciousness attributable to these faculties? What is the difference between an inherent viciousness, and an inherent tendency to abuse ? There is, and there
can be none whatever. Viciousness, is a tendency to abuse; and a tendency to abuse, is just viciousness. If Mr Combe admits a natural tendency in man to abuse his faculties, he admits quite enough to establish the doctrine of human depravity.
But to return to the questions put respecting the existence of such propensities as Combativeness and Destructiveness, — although the questions themselves are uiterly unphilosophical, and though they neither deserve nor admit of an answer, so far as regards the facts, it is easy to answer the objection which they are intended to raise against the paradisaical state of man at his creation. To the question, whether man was originally endowed with propensities of Combativeness and Destructiveness, we answer, that we have no means of knowing ; but supposing he was, this affords no objection to the supposition that he was originally placed in a world from which sorrow, sin, death, and danger were excluded; for even in such a world, there might have been abundant exercise for such propensities. Mr Combe himself states, (p. 26,) that in his philosophical millennium, after man shall have been able to discover and obey all the natural laws, and when, consequently, on his own principles, pain and evil must be banished from the world, Combativeness and Destructiveness “ would receive full gratification in muscular exercises,” or “ in any employment requiring the exertion of muscular strength.”
I have already alluded to what Mr Combe has mentioned in his “ System,” (though he has not chosen to repeat it in his “ Constitution of Man,”) that these two propensities are general powers, not limited to the outward acts of fighting and killing, but communicating to the mind, each in its own way, a certain species of energy, which may be turned to account even in carrying
into effect the purposes of benevolence. This is the true view of the matter; and what is there in the fact of the existence of such faculties as these, inconsistent with the supposition of a paradisaical state? The fact is, that such faculties are not useful merely, they are absolutely necessary to the perfection of such a being as man in any state whatever. Without them he must have been a poor, weak, nerveless, and inefficient creature, unfit for maintaining the prominent place in creation he was destined to hold, and utterly incapable of exercising that dominion which was given to him over the creatures.
Combativeness is now perfectly understood to be a quality which gives the love of strenuous exertion of any kind, physical or mental. Destructiveness, or the feeling which
goes under that name, communicates to the mind an energy superior to this, a vehemence and fiery impetuousity which bears down all before it, and which is necessary on various occasions to give effect to the brightest exhibitions of moral excellence, and the most splendid exertions of genius. Who that has heard the finest bursts of eloquence from some of our first rate orators, whether at the bar, in the senate, or in the pulpit, but must be satisfied of the immense effect which the powers we have mentioned have in exhibiting to advantage all the highest qualities of mind ? Who, for instance, that has heard our own orator, Dr Chalmers, in some of his most transcendent displays of genius, but must be satisfied that the truths which he inculcates with regard to the condition of man, or the magnificent views which he opens up of the greatness and goodness of the Deity, owe more than half their power and effect to the overwhelming vehemence with which they are poured forth, and brought home to the consciences and the understandings of his hearers ?
In fact, the qualities we have mentioned have not only
both a fair and legitimate sphere of activity of their own, but seem to be necessary to the effective and vigorous manifestation of all the other powers, bodily or mental. Holding this to be the case, can it be supposed that man, with all his faculties of body and mind in a state of absolute perfection, would, when placed in a world where no evil was allowed to enter, be deprived of powers so indispensable, and condemned to a state of bodily or mental inaction? Would not one great source of his happiness consist in the vigorous exertion of all his powers, accompanied with a perfect satisfaction such as at present we are hardly able to imagine ? What we are now enabled to accomplish with toil and difficulty, he would then be able to perform with ease and pleasure. And what is there to prevent us from supposing, that in this perfect state of the faculties, the most powerful and energetic activity of these, and of all the other powers, bodily and mental, might be so controlled and modified as to be exercised on all' occasions, and under all circumstances, consistently with the most perfect innocence, and that the highest exertions of power and genius might then be made harmless as the gambols of childhood ? He must, at least, have a low idea of the perfection of human nature, of the goodness of God, and of the infinite resources of divine wisdom, who cannot imagine to himself all this, and a thousand times more, as possible in a world which God himself saw to be good, and into which sorrow and sin, pain and death, were not permitted to enter.
It is of no consequence whether what is here suggested in answer to Mr Combe's objection to the paradisaical state, be true or not, in point of fact. The matter lies beyond the reach of our faculties, and nothing respecting it can be reduced to the test of evidence. But what we have now suggested may be true, and that is quite suffi
cient as an answer to the objection. For aught we know, and for aught Mr Combe knows, the above may have been the state of man in Paradise. Other answers might be given which would equally remove the difficulty, but it is useless to multiply conjectures about a fact, the real state of which cannot possibly be known.
In regard to Cautiousness—there is no doubt that it is a faculty well adapted to our condition in the present life, where so much danger and evil abound; but there is just as little doubt that it might have been equally well adapted, though in a different way, to another state of things. The perfect satisfaction of this faculty consists in the feeling of safety; and where could this feeling be enjoyed in so much perfection, as in a state from which all pain, and danger, and evil were excluded? While man continued in a state of dependence upon God, and while it was his privilege and his delight to do His will in all things, an appropriate exercise would be afforded to this sentiment, by leading him to avoid every thing that could offend his gracious Benefactor. This is a feeling which no degree of perfection in his powers, no circumstances of happiness in his condition, could ever render unnecessary to a finite and created being, standing in the presence of his great Creator and Master. The difference between his condition then and his condition now may have been this, that, in his original and perfect state, all his faculties were sufficient to answer the purposes for which they were conferred; whereas now, in our imperfect and fallen state, we feel that they are not always sufficient for these purposes. Then, the possession of Cautiousness would enable man, with ease, to avoid every cause of annoyance; while now, we feel that, in spite of all the caution we are able to bestow, troubles come upon us, as the sparks fly upwards, many of which we are not