« AnteriorContinuar »
Animadversions on Mr. Gilchrist's Sermon.
in an age,
petit-maitres" who shrink with dis- composition,-a spirit which I do not gust from madness or “ any thing hesitate to say, (even at the risk of like madness" in religious controver- being “trampled in the dust for a sy; so ignorant indeed as never to dwarfish tyrant") is unbecoming a have heard what Christian madness is; Christian minister. Such fiery disso confined in my reading as never to courses seem to me likely to answer have met with any mention of it in no one good end, neither of pleasure the writings of Shakespear, Bacon, nor improvement, conciliation nor Taylor, or Barrow, to say nothing of conviction. They may feed the vathe New Testament, which, how- nity and illiberality of the red hot ever, I do recollect, says something convert who is already too much disof Christian meekness; and lastly, so posed to merge his Christianity, I mean-spirited as to rejoice that I live mean his charity, in his Unitarian
“finical and dwarfish,” ism-but they will grieve the serious though it be, in which candour and and Catholic Unitarian whose comcourtesy are not universally deemed prehension of mind is not narrowed inconsistent with honesty and zeal; by party spirit,—and they will excite in which the odium theologicum is the determined hostility and aversion beginning to subside, in which the of the adversary when it ought to be philosopher is no longer known by the object first to conciliate, and his tub, por the Christian controver. then to convict. “ Though speaking sialist by his coarseness. But to come honourable things of God," says Bishto the point, whatever may be thought op Taylor, an author in Mr. G.'s adof the argument of Mr. Go's sermon miration of whom I warmly agree, (which though clear and simple does " be an employment that does honour not I confess strike me as peculiarly to our tongues and voices; yet we ingenious or novel), of the manner must tune and compose even those and spirit of it I think there can be notes so, as may best profit our neighbut one opinion amongst sober and bour.” It should not be forgotten serious Christians, an opinion deci. that the same spirit of uncharitablededly unfavourable. Where, I would ness, which we condemn in the anathask the author, is the wisdom or the ema of the Calvinist, may exist in decency of those affected exclamations no less lively vigour in the contempof disgust and repugnance to his sub- tuous sneer of the Unitarian. Coarse ject, with which his discourse is so language and opprobious terms are a copiously interlarded, such as these: disgrace to any cause, and no real “ I feel at every step as if condemned friend of Unitarianism will, I hope, to a degrading task. I feel as if be ashamed or afraid to avow that brought upon the stage to fight with “ his ears are shocked by them." In wild beasts or to contend with mad. conclusion, Mr. Editor, I shall make men."_“I am weary of such solemn an extract from Mr. Gilchrist's sertrifling."-" It is a most irksome task mon, which might have served, I to handle subjects to which one can think, both for a favourable specimen, neither apply argument nor ridicule," and for a review, and the candour of &c. Such exclamations if affected whiclought perhaps to mitigate the are disgusting, and if serious, are severity of censure." If any illiberal ridiculous. He who undertakes a remark, if any unseemly expression task voluntarily (and a man need not escape from us, place it to the account print against his will, even though he of human imperfection, place it to should be asked) has no right to tor- the account of the individual addressment you with complaints of its irk- ing you ; on him be all the blame : someness. He who voluntarily de- let it not be charged to his opinions, scends from his elevation, whether nor to other men who profess them. real or fancied, has no right to com A good cause may come into the plain of being degraded. "If Mr. Gil. hands of . ..... injudicious advochrist really deemed his subject of se- cates: and if one man should give ofrious importance he should have feuce by his manner of treating a suhtreated it with serious earnestness, if ject, you ought not on that account he did not deem it important, he was
to be offended with the subject it. not obliged to treat it at all. An in. self, nor with a whole class of Chris tolerant and contemptuous spirit seems tians." What a pity that the excelto me to pervade almost the whole lent feeling displayed in this, and the
An Irish Reformer.-Natural Theology. eloquent passage immediately preced. and since, the priest has turned tin ing, did not prevail with the author ker and joined heart and hand in pro to commit this abortion of his genius moting the Protestant faith and in to the flames! I remain, a sincere structing the poor. To meet in any friend to Unitarianism, not so much house or cabin would draw the attenfor its own sake, as for the sake of tion of the priests and perhaps exthat Christianity of which I deem it communication on the person who the purest form.
permitted it would follow; this is the A. A.
reason of his drawing the boys off to
a distance in a manner before stated ; SIR,
-the name of this great man is ThaTHE following circumstance I dy know will give you great plea
J. W. sure: A few weeks ago my brother P.S. I add an anecdote of the sinin-law, Mr. 5, of Dublin, was with gular but praiseworthy integrity of a me : he is an anxious promoter of the Quaker tradesman :-a clerk at the education of the poor ; and it appears general post office told me the other the Catholic Priests oppose generally, day, that one of the above society calevery thing in their power, what is led every quarter to repay those letdone by the Protestants associated for ters that by mistake were underthat purpose, and too generally suc rated. ceed, though, as it will appear, the people are not adverse to it and con
Natural Theology. No. XII. Dive at its introduction. A person in humble life, but of strong mind, and
Of the Brain and Nerves. an enthusiast to promote this great THE brain is a soft pulpy mass of work, travels through the country in disguise, taking with him the Bible, occupies all that cavity which is formtranslated into the language of the ed by the bones of the skull, and is lower classes, and has succeeded in surrounded by two membranes, the forming what he calls Hedge Schools, outermost called the dura mater, the where sometimes twenty boys will second is denominated pia mater. The aitend, and generally great progress former lines the iuside of the skull and has been made in the cultivation of prevents its eminences from giving intheir minds. He gives prizes to those jury to the delicate structure of the who learn by heart most of the parts brain ; it serves also to prevent conof the scriptures that he points out. cussious of the organ: it separates He subjects himself to every privation the whole mass into portions, which and on his last visit to the society in by its partitions it supports and proDublin, bis dress being so dirty and tects from pressure. This membrane tattered, it was recommended that he is strong and of a tendinous nature, should have a new suit : “ No," said like the other membranes of the body, he, “that will never do, if I go back which are only intended to perform with a good coat, my scholars and subservient offices for the living parts; friends will say, You have been to it is insensible, and may be torn withDublin and got bribed by the great, out giving any pain. It adheres closeanel we will have no more to do with ly to the inside of the skull by a great you." Ilis plans are carried on un number of filaments and small vessels known to the priests, and no public which enter the bone every where. notice is ever taken of it by the 60 The pia mater is a soft, thin, transciety, feeling that publicity would parent substance, full of vessels, condefeat the object. He has won num nected with the former by the veins bers over from the Catholic faith and which pass between them, and lies sets about the task of conversion in in contact with the surface of the a manner never suspected at first, by brain, not only covering this organ, his opponents ; sleeps in their wretch- but insinuating itself into all its winded cabins and partakes of their coars. ings and fissures for the conveyance est fare. It appears he had from time of vessels, and of nourishment, to supto time various controversies with a ply the waste of this active machine. priest; and at last not ouly succceded Between these two membranes there in detaching him from his opinions, is spread a third, which is extremely but also in leading him into his views; delicate, resembling a cob-web; but
Natural Theology. No. XII.-Of the Brain and Nerves.
19 does not dip into the convolutions of among the internal organs of the the brain.
trunk, to be distributed chiefly to the There are three great divisions of exterior parts of the body and to the the brain. 1. The cerebrum is the up- limbs. Though the nerves run out permost and by much the largest porc in pairs, from their origin, they soon tion: it is separated into two hemis- separate to go to different parts of pheres, each of which is divided into the body, by splitting in innumerable three parts, called lobes. 2. The cere- ramifications. bellum which lies at the under, and To describe these nerves, and point back part of the skull, and is divided out their several ramifications would into two portions by the descending take us much beyond the bounds asfold of the dura mater. 3. The third signed to these papers, but a single division is called the medulla oblonga- instance will illustrate the nature and ta : it lies at the base of the skull, uses of the whole, and this shall be and is a continuation of the substances taken from the fifth pair of nerves, of the other two divisions. The spin which is branched to the ball, the nal marrow proceeds without inter- muscles, and glands of the eye ;-to ruption from this third division of the the ear-to the jaws, the gums and brain; it passes out of the head by teeth :—to the muscles of the lips :the great opening of the skull, and to the tonsils, the palate, the tongue, running down the canal of the back- and other parts of the mouth to bone, where it is safely lodged, giving the præcordia also, or parts situated off nerves till it reaches the pelvis, about the heart and stomach, by comwhere it splits into numerous thread- ing in contact with one of its nerves, like nerves, resembling a horse's tail : and finally to the muscles of the face, the spinal marrow, like the brain, particularly the cheeks. Hence there consists of the same sort of substance, is a great consent and sympathy beand is protected by a continuation of tween the parts, so that certain thiogs the membranes belonging to that or or smelt excite the appetite, gan.
affect the glands and parts of the The nerves arise from the brain mouth, and in some instances excite and spinal marrow : they come out what is known by the phrase of wain pairs and are distributed over the ter in the mouth : some things seen whole body. 1. To bestow an acute or heard affect the cheeks with mosensation in the instruments of sense. dest blushes ;-on the contrary, if a 2. To give the utmost facility of mo- thing pleases or tickles the fancy, it tion to the instruments of motion : and affects the præcordia, and the muscles 3. To confer in all other parts a nice of the mouth and face with laughter : perception of whatever gives pain. others causing sadness and melancholy « If any person,” says Galen, "shall exert themselves upon the præcordia, attend to dissections and consider at- and shew themselves by causing the tentively how nature has not distri- glands of the eyes to emit tears, which buted the nerves in equal measure to by a most wise provision of nature are all the different parts of the body, intended not only to brighten the corbut to some more abundantly, and to nea, and to express grief, but to alothers more sparingly, he will find leviate sorrow : “ Fletus ærumnas lehimself compelied to acknowledge vat," and the muscles of the face put that nature is eminently wise, just, on the gloomy aspect of crying. Hence skilful and provident in her arrange- also the passions of anger, of hatred, ment of the
animal economy. There of malice and envy, of love, of joy are forty pairs of nerves: of these nine and hope are all produced, and expair arise from the base of the brain hibited by the countenance, so that, within the skull; a tenth from the in fact, it is by means of this combrain, as it passes through the great munication of the nerves, that whathole of the skull into the spine, and ever affects the mind is demonstrated the remaining thirty take their rise spontaneously by a consentaneous disfrom the spinal marrow. Those aris- position of the præcordia within, and ing from the brain ,are chiefly dis a suitable configuration of the muscles tributed to the organs situated in the and other parts of the face without. head, and to those contained in the It is, says Pliny, an admirable conchest and belly, while those that pro trivance of the great God of nature, ceed from the spinal marrow go partly that the face should be given to man,
20 Natural Theology. No. XII.-Of the Brain and Nerves. of all his creatures, to be the index ver its sense and action. Again, if a of sorrow and cheerfulness, of com- particular nerve, which conveys the passion, of severity, &c. With this immediate cause of motion from the we consent and with it we deny. brain, or spinal marrow, to a part to With this we manifest pride and con- be moved, be injured or compressed, tempt, and other passions that have the part to which this nerve is distheir sources elsewhere.
tributed will become senseless, and Of the structure of the brain and lose its power of motion; hence injunerves, and of the nature of their ries of particular nerves produce palpowers little is known. We read of sies of the parts to which these are the operation of the mind, and fre- sent, as loss of voice, of hearing, of quently measure its powers in the ex- speech, &c. tent of genius and science : but though Fourtbly. The nerves are the orwe can view the astonishing proper- gans, and the brain the receptacle of ties of the brain in their results, we our sensations, and the source of our are at a loss to explain how these re ideas. That sensation arises from imsults are produced. We know, how pression made on a nerve and conever, first, That the brain and nerves veyed to it by the brain is evident constitute the organs of feeling and from this, that if a nerve be irritated sensation : for upon touching the brain pain is produced, and the mind bewith a knife or other instrument, the comes instantly informed of the sufferanimal is seized with convulsions: and ing: but if that nerve be compressed if a probe be thrust into the spinal above the seat of its irritation, so as marrow all the muscles of the limbs to cut off the channel of communicawill be violently convulsed. By ir- tion between it and the brain, the ritating or tying a nerve, the muscles mind is then no longer conscious of to which the branches are distributed any irritation that is made below the will be violently convulsed, and the point of compression, and the affected animal thrown into the most acute parts are reduced to a state of insenpain.
sibility similar to that of parts which Secondly. All the other parts of are destitute of nerves, and may be the body derive their power of feel- injured or even destroyed without ing and sensation from the brain, the exciting pain. spinal marrow and the nerves, being
Pain is occasioned hy disagreeable in themselves wholly insensible, and sensations produced by the forcible made capable of feeling only in pro- contact of bodies with the organs of portion as they have the nervous our senses, and it is wisely planted branches distributed over them : this in the system to guard it against infact is made evident by tying up a jury, for without pain, as the result nerve that leads to any part of the of excessive sensations, the delicate body, that part becomes immediately structure of our frames would be alparalytic below the ligature; but will most constantly liable to destruction recover its powers on freeing the from various bodies in nature around.
And it is further proved by But as pain is the 'salutary consethe degrees of sensibility of the differ- quence of excessive sensations, so sen. ent parts of the body, bearing pro- sations without pain are the results of portion to the quantity of nervous a due impression on our sensitive orbranches which can be discovered gans, from the objects that are calto belong to that part.
culated to influence us: and as long Thirdly. The excitement to all vo as the body remains in health in all luntary motion, or to those actions its parts, these impressions will conwhich are produced by the will, flows tinue to cause sensations in the nerves from the brain or spinal marrow, which will forward them to the brain, through the medium of the perves, or where ideas of the nature and proto those parts of the body which we perties of the impressing objects will wish to move. For if the brain be be instantly formed for the instruccompressed by any cause, the body tion of the mind. Hence the skin becomes paralysed, and the power of and other parts possessed of what we motion is suspended, but on removing call feeling is susceptible to the touch, the pressure, the paralysis will cease, and communicate to the brain and and the whole frame, unless it has the mind the sensations of hardness, been permanently injured, will reco- softness, &c. of such bodies as may
Natural Theology. No. XII.-Of the Brain and Nerves. be brought in contact with it ; while opera dancer, every one of which are the eye, the ear, the nose and palate received in the mind, before they can being differently organized, but still be executed by the hands and feet : deriving their sensitive powers from and also in the organs of speech, by the nerves, yet by their regular struc- which it is said 2000 letters can ture they are enabled to receive dif- be distinctly pronounced in a minute ferent kinds of impressions, each ac- every one of which requires a distinct cording to its properties and confor- and successive contraction of many mation : thus the eye is impressed by muscles. rays of light, the ear by sound, the “The skin,” says Mr. Burke, in his nose by smell, the palate by taste. Popular Compendium of Anatomy," Hence the varied and extensive know. possesses a finer degree of sense than ledge acquired by the human mind the flesh, being fuller of nervous from impressions made on the brain branches, and rising in the scale of by external objects.
sensibility, may be said to form the From what bas been said it is evi- lowest of the organs of the senses. dent that the brain, spinal marrow Feeling is the property and use of the and nerves, constitute the sentient skin of the human body, which enor feeling part of the human system, joys it over its whole surface, but and that all other parts are capable more exquisitely in some parts than of feeling only in proportion as they in others : thus while the greater receive the branches of nerves: and part of the skin possessés it in a dehence it has been inferred that there gree sufficient only to guard the body is a kind of gradation of feeling from danger, by warning it of the throughout the whole body, each of contact of substances, which being its organs and parts being endowed too hot, too cold, too sharp or rough, with that particular degree of sense, might be injurious ; there are other which is just sufficient for the per- parts, as the palm of the hands, and formance of its function in the living the sole of the foot, which are en• machine.
dowed with a greater sensibility, 80 Thecellular membrane, for instance, as on a slight friction, to create a whose use is to connect and unite tickling kind of pleasure, and in some into one whole all the moving parts persons, involuntary laughter. But of the system is without feeling so it is most perfect in the points of the also are the coverings of the brain, fingers, which from their convexity, the coats of the nerves, the sheaths are particularly adapted to be the orof muscles, tendons, and ligaments, gans of touch, and from the nice disand the apparatus of joints, with the crimination with which our fingers substarce of the tendons and liga. enable us to examine the surfaces, and ments themselves; for these parts exterior properties of bodies, this performing only 'subservient offices to sense has got the denomination of living organs would derange the whole feeling. The tongue, the organ of system by being possessed of sensi- taste, possesses this sensibility in a bility, which would leave them no higher degree still ; for though it longer capable of bearing the friction, judges of the substances which con. blows, &c. which they now endure stitute our food, by the same process without injury in the different move. as that used by the fingers, namely, ments of the frame.
contact; yet the latter with their The feeling of the bones is doubt- finest feeling would be inadequate to ful, but the muscles are all endowed discover bodies by their flavour. А with this sense by a distribution of step higher may be ranked the organ the
nervous fibres every where of smelling ; the nose is so acute in throughout their substance'; this is its sense, as to be impressed by the necessary to their office: as agents light and volatile effluvia rising from of voluntary motion they must be ca- bodies, and floating in the air, and pable of receiving and obeying the consequently distinguishes substances commands of the will : hence the at a considerable distance. Higher mind no sooner wills an act, than the again stands the sensitive faculty of nerve is ready to obey the implied the ear ; this organ is qualified to be command, and the action is instantly acted upon by the mere vibrations of performed: this dispatch is well illus- the air, which striking against this trated in the rapid movements of an delicate part of our mechanism, pro