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The spiritual excitements of impulse are confined to the regions of the chest; they seem to be produced in the nerves about the source of the sanguinous system; hence we find the term kind-hearted, tender-hearted, gentle-bosom, lion-hearted, &c. in common use to indicate the characters of individuals.

The following are facts of a highly important nature relative to impulse, and, hence to distinguish them, I choose to call them the laws of impulse; they are, 1st. that the strength of an impulse increases or decreases in proportion to its due exercise, which means that the frequent excitement or due exercise of any kind of impulse tends to increase its power; and that the unfrequency of excitement has an opposite tendency.

If means be taken to excite continually the feeling of fear in a human child, the impulse is expanded so as to give the child a timid disposition. If means be taken to excite in the young lion his more gentle impulses, to avoid inflaming his angry feelings, to take care that his material desires are not strongly excited, but to keep him well fed, &c., and as quiet as possible; the violent disposition that distinguishes him in his wild state, will not be formed, and on the contrary he can be made so tractable as to permit his keeper's head to be put into his mouth, and withdrawn at the will of the keeper.

Exhibitions illustrative of this law may be seen in most menageries. The art of taming wild animals is based on this metaphysical principle, and experience has given thousands of facts illustrative of it. Not only the beasts of the desert have been changed, and made subservient to the will of man, by its means; but the inhabitant of the atmosphere, the eagle, has had his spirit changed, and the hawk has been taught to do the errands of man, while even reptiles, such as crocodiles, lizards, and snakes are rendered harmless and obedient to him by proper training, which means treatment in accordance with this fact.

The second law is,—that impulses frequently excited, and at the same time restrained by other stronger impulses, such as fear, pain, &c., or by physical obstacles, thereby increase in strength. In accordance with this law it is that hunger gradually increases; that a dog that has been chained up for some time, when he gets loose is impelled to run about excessively; that a man when fed on low diet for some time, and having thus his appetite restrained, is liable to excessive indulgence when an opportunity occurs; and that young people who have been kept in a state of restraint, so frequently burst out into the most violent intemperance.

The third law is,-That an impulse when too frequently excessively exercised is thereby decreased in strength, and an opposite feeling produced. This expresses the truth, that excess leads to satiety. The soldiers, in England, are the most brutal portion of the population, and exhibit, when they have an opportunity, a erful impulse to drunkenness, the power of which is from habitual exercise, or sometimes from excitement and restraint. ' In the time of the war, they were often placed in circumstances which permitted the excessive gratification of the desire for drunkenness, wine and brandy being at times as easily to be obtained by them as water commonly is; the result was that

many

became surfeited, and for a long time afterwards looked with disgust on both. That which formerly had excited desire, thus became the producer of aversion. Children often exemplify this truth when having repeatedly indulged excessively in any particular pursuit; they say they are tired or sick of it; the proposal of a repetition of it is found to excite their disgust.

CHAP. IV.

Powers of the Consciousness-Intellectual—Moral-Modifications of

Consciousness.

The consciousness is possessed of four powers only, three may be called intellectual, and one moral. The intellectual are the ability possessed by the knowing states of excitement to act on the nervous susceptibility

and re-excite, or suggest, other states of knowledge, the ability to re-produce leading thoughts, and the ability possessed by the knowing states to excite feel. ings of impulse: these are, as far as I am aware, the only intellectual powers or faculties possessed by animals; they can be demonstrated to exist in the lower animals as well as man.

The moral power is called the will : it is in that state or disposition of the consciousness, in which a certain impulsive excitement predominates. When the ruling impulses relate to something to be effected by bodily motion, they cause the muscular contractions calculated to effect the object. When the impulse is an anxiety, or uneasiness, or fondness for certain knowing states, it constitutes what is called attention, and has a tendency to make such states more vivid, and consequently more liable to be reproduced.

The consciousness is, at all times, an excitement of knowledge and feeling. By knowledge, I mean those states of sensation, or thought, that I have described as the guiding principle; by feeling, those movers, or impulsive excitements, which produce effect. Knowing states seldom, if ever, exist without producing impulse of some kind, however slight, and an impulse must always be accompanied by a knowing state, which guides to the gratification of it. The strongest existent simple or complex impulse is a will. We are always conscious of being actuated or controled by some feeling, which during the period of governing, is the most forcible existent impulsive excitement, But the material and spiritual states, that produce the impulses, are continually varying, and hence the will is changing continually, one impulse predominating over another, and then, in its turn, becoming the weaker, and giving place to some stronger excitement.

Sometimes the will is made up of a number of impulses, all tending to a similar objecct, and hence a powerful union of desires takes place, forming one strong predominant impulse to effect the end. The tiger prowls abroad in quest of his prey : his predomi

nant impulse or will is made up of hunger, thirst for blood, and the desire of animal destruction. He is guided in his course by the knowledge of the locality, or by the smell or sight of his intended victims; but, if the hunters should appear, the strong impulse of fear is excited, and predominates over the compound impulse, and away he turns and flees. If he should escape, and screen himself in the depths of the thicket or jungle, his alarm abates gradually, and the compound impulse again predominates, with the addition of a feeling of caution; and, somewhat under the guidance of suspicions, relative to the presence or absence of his dreaded persecutors, he sallies forth again. Upon a sudden he gains the scent of his prey; his impulse is stimulated, his pace quickens, he gets in sight, the animal speeds away; the impulse is again stimulated, and the tiger bounds along; his strength is fast failing when he comes close upon his victim, perhaps a buffalo or deer. On a sudden the animal turns, and gores him with its horns; the impulse that was almost giving way to the feeling of exhaustion, becomes expanded or changed into the most terrific rage; his claws are lashed into the victim, like so many daggers, his teeth tear away at the living flesh with an overwhelming energy: when opposition is overcome, the anger that it kindled dies away. A repast is made upon the steaming flesh and blood, each mouthful is gulped from the impulse of desire, and when that is sated, a feeling of heaviness and drowsiness comes into action, and the knowing state accompanying it suggests a neighbouring thicket, associated with the consciousness of security, thither he is moved by an impulse, constituted of weariness and a desire of security, and when, at length, he arrives, a feeling of drowsiness stretches him on the ground, and exhaustion soon removes his consciousness, when all those busy thoughts and feelings, those terrible excitements, that move and guide the animal in his career, are, for a time, annihilated in the peaceful unconsciousness of sleep.

The occurrence of an impulse, acting for its own removal, is, in the human being, as in other animals, called willing. We are always, when awake, willing something, for there is always some predominant feeling in excitement, for one desire, or set of desires, continues to govern until some other predominates. Suppose that thoughts are suggested to a man relative to something that he may do of an advantageous nature to himself; but, at the same time, he is aware that, in doing this, there is some risk. The thoughts relative to the advantages to be derived, excite a feeling of attention, that is, an uneasiness to know more of the subject; this is the predominant impulse or will; then feelings of desire to do the act rise into an increasing excitement, and the act would be attempted, but that the thought of success, that excites the desire at the same moment, suggests, by contrast, the thought of failure, and this excites feelings opposed to the action. During the government of the will, to know more of the subject, a variety of suggestions associated with the subject may be produced, and each may excite peculiar impulses for, against, in favour of further consideration, in favour of giving up the subject, &c. But suppose that a leading thought, relative to something of considerable importance that ought to have been attended to, rushes, as it were, into sudden excitement; a feeling of alarm accompanies it; the other subject is overwhelmed and obliterated ; another impulse is the will; the man is willing something different to what he was before.

When we are doing anything, the disposition of the consciousness that causes us to do so is the will; thus, when we are walking, we are willing the action of walking; when we are sitting, we are willing so to sit; when talking, the strongest simple or complex impulse is a will, and governs the conversation, as for instance, observe a buyer and seller in the market: the desire of the buyer is to get the article he wants at a cheap price, the impulse of the seller is to vend the article at as high or dear a price as possible. Each state of knowledge that is excited, whether by the immediate circumstances, by suggestion, or in the way of leading thoughts, be

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