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pass was known in Europe, without which even philosophers could not ascertain the most common facts regarding the size, form, and productions of the earth. It is but three hundred and fifty-nine* years since one half of the habitable globe, America, became known to the other half; and considerable portions of it are still unknown even to the best informed inquirers. It is little more than two hundred years since the circulation of the blood was discovered; previously to which it was impossible even for physicians to form any correct idea of the uses of many of man's corporeal organs, and of their relations to external nature. Haller, who flourished in the early part and middle of the last century, may be regarded as the founder of human physiology as a science of observation.
8. It is only between fifty and sixty* years since the true functions of the brain and nervous system were discovered; before which we possessed no adequate means of becoming acquainted with our mental constitution and its adaptation to external circumstances and beings. It is no more than seventyseven* years since the study of Chemistry, or of the constituent elements of the globe, was put into a philosophical condition by Dr. Priestley's discovery of oxygen; and hydrogen was discovered so lately as 1766, or eighty-five* years ago.
9. Before that time, people in general were comparatively ignorant of the qualities and relations of the most important material agents with which they were surrounded. At present this knowledge is still in its infancy, as will appear from an enumeration of the dates of several other important discoveries. Electricity was discovered in 1728, galvanism in 1794, gaslight about 1798, steamboats 1807, daguerreotypes in 1839, and the magnetic telegraph in 1837.
10. It is only of late years that the study of Geology has been seriously begun; without which we could not know the past changes in the physical structure of the globe, a matter of much importance as an element in judging of our present position in the world's progress. This science also is still in its infancy. An inconceivable extent of territory remains to be explored, from the examinations of which the most interesting and instructive conclusions will probably present themselves. In Astronomy, too, the discoveries of the two Herschels promise to throw additional light on the early history of the globe.
7, 8, 9. Mention the important discoveries given here, and their dates ? 9. What is the state of knowledge even now?
10. What has been the progress of the study of Geology ? What of Astronomy?
11. The mechanical sciences are at this moment in full play, putting forth vigorous shoots, and giving the strongest indications of youth, and none of decay.
The sciences of morals and of government are still in many respects in a crude condition.
In consequence, therefore, of his profound ignorance man in all ages has been directed in his pursuits by the mere impulse of his strongest propensities, formerly to war and conquest, and now to accumulating wealth, without having framed his habits and institutions in conformity with correct and enlightened views of his own nature, and its real interests and wants.
12. Up to the present day, the mass of the people in every nation have remained essentially ignorant, the tools of interested leaders, or the creatures of their own blind impulses, unfavorably situated for the development of their rational nature; and they, constituting the great majority, necessarily influence the condition of the rest. But at last, the arts and sciences seem to be tending toward abridging human labor, so as to force leisure on the mass of the people, while the elements of useful knowledge are so rapidly increasing, the capacity of the operatives for instruction is so generally recognized, and the means of communicating it are so powerful and abundant, that a new era may fairly be considered as having commenced.
11. What are the indications of the mechanical sciences? What is the con. dition of the sciences generally, of morals, and of government? What have been the consequences of man's ignorance ?
12. What has been the condition of the great mass of the people? What beems to be the tendency of the arts and sciences ? May the results of this be considered as signs of improvement?
13. From the want of a practical philosophy of human nature, multitudes of amiable and talented individuals are at present anxious only for preservation of the attainments which society possesses, and dread retrogression in the future. If the views now expounded be correct, this race of moralists and politicians will in time become extinct, because progression being the law of our nature, the proper education of the people will render the desire for improvement universal.
CALAMITIES ARISING FROM INFRINGEMENT OF THE PHYSICAL
1. The proper way of viewing the Creator's institutions is to look, first to their uses, and to the advantages that flow from using them aright; and, secondly, to their abuses, and the evils that proceed from this source.
2. In Chapter II., some of the benefits conferred on man by the law of gravitation are enumerated; and I
may here advert to some of the evils originating from that law, when human conduct is in opposition to it. For example, men are liable to fall from horses, carriages, stairs, precipices, roofs, chimneys, ladders, and masts, and also to slip in the street, by which accidents life is often suddenly cut short, or rendered miserable from lamoness and pain; and the question arises, Is human nature provided with any means of protection against these evils at all equal to their frequency and extent ?
3. The lower animals are equally subject to this law; and the Creator has bestowed on them external senses, nerves, muscles, bones, an instinctive sense of equilibrium, the sense of danger, or cautiousness, and other faculties, to place them in accordance with it. These appear to afford sufficient protection to animals placed in all ordinary circumstances; for we very rarely discover any of them, in their natural condition, killed or mutilated by accidents referable to gravitation. Where their mode of life exposes them to extraordinary danger from this law, they are provided with additional securities.
13. What gives anxiety and the dread of retrogression in the minds of some ? Can the human race go back to barbarism ?
1. How should we view the Creator's institutions ?
3. What has the Creator given to the lower animals for a protection against these evils ?
4. The monkey, which climbs trees, enjoys great muscular energy in its legs, claws, and tail, far surpassing, in proportion to its gravitating tendency or its bulk and weight, what is bestowed on the legs and arms of man, so that by means of them it springs from branch to branch, in almost complete security against the law in question. The goat, which browses on the brinks of precipices, has received a hoof and legs that give precision and stability to its steps.
5. Birds, which are destined to sleep on branches of trees, are provided with a muscle passing over the joints of each leg and stretching down to the foot, and which, being pressed by their weight, produces a proportionate contraction of their claws, so as to make them cling the faster the greater their liability to fall. The fly which walks and sleeps on perpendicular walls and the ceilings of rooms, has a hollow in its foot, from which it expels the air, and the pressure of the atmosphere on the outside of the foot holds it fast to the object on which the inside is placed.
6. The walrus, or sea-horse, which is destined to climb up the sides of ice-hills, is provided with a similar apparatus. The camel, whose native region is the sandy desert of the torrid zone, has broad spreading hoofs to support it on the loose soil. Fishes are furnished with air-bladders, by dilating and contracting which they can accommodate themselves with perfect precision to the law of gravitation.
4. Where there are great dangers, what additional securities are given Give illustrations.
5. Mention other instances. 6. What is said of the walrus, the camel, and of fishes, in regard to their adaptation to their modes of life?
7. In these instances, the lower animals, under the sole guidance of their instincts, appear to be placed admirably in harmony with gravitation, and guaranteed against its infringement. Is man, then, less an object of love with the Creator ? Is he alone left exposed to the evils that spring inevitably from its neglect? His means of protection are different, but when understood and applied, they will probably be found not less complete.
8. Man, as well as the lower animals, has received bones, muscles, nerves, an instinct of equilibrium, and the faculty of Cautiousness; but not in equal perfection, in proportion to his figure, size, and weight, with those bestowed on them. The difference, however, is far more than compensated by other faculties, particularly those of Constructiveness and Reflection, in which he greatly surpasses them.
9. Keeping in view that the external world, in regard to man, is arranged on the principle of the supremacy of the moral sentiments and intellect, we shall probably find that the calamities suffered by him from the law of gravitation are referable to predominance of the animal propensities, or to neglect of proper exercise of his intellectual powers.
10. For example, when coaches break down, ships sink, or men fall from ladders, how generally may the cause be traced to decay in the vehicle, the vessel, or the ladder, which a predominating Acquisitiveness alone prevented from being repaired; or when men fall from houses and scaffolds, or slip on the street, how frequently should we find their muscular, nervous, and mental energies impaired by preceding debaucheries
-in other words, by predominance of the animal faculties, which for the time diminished their natural means of accommodating themselves to the law from which they suffer.
7. What governs these animals, and prevents them from infringing upon the laws of gravitation ? Are man's means of protection complete ?
8. What powers has man in common with the lower animals? How does he differ from the lower animals ?
9. Which faculties have the supremacy? Why has man suffered from the laws of gravitation ?
10. What examples can you give ?