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is where the organ, through which the object is perceived, is in a different state, whether at different times in the same person, or in different persons at the same time. There is a certain state of the eye, in which vision is clear and distinct: in every deviation from this state it becomes imperfect or confused. In order to distinct vision, it is
tic progressions in the fixed stars, to which as novel revolutions this great equinoctial year of ours, arguing from the recession of the earth's nodes, is probably but a day. The measure of time by our ideas, either with reference to the succession now passing, or to remote periods, is obviously most variable and unequal. There was an idea of time in the Monthly Magazine some years back, which supposed it to be to each individual in a continued decremental ratio to the time passed; that a year to a boy of 5, 10, and then going to 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 45, 55, 60, would be expressed by taking units for the numerator, and the years passed for the denominator, 5,01. 015, &c. So that a year to a man of 60 would seem less than a week. But we neither have, nor can have, such a measure of time. The elapsed portions of it, be they great or small, lose all measure of any certainty or proportion in our minds, like the deficient part of an avenue of trees; but much more so: for co-existent processions have still some ratio, though with proportional decrement: time, which has no coexistent parts, but vanishes in procession, is capable to us of only artificial measurement by the idea of spaces passed over at a known measurable rate from a given point. I am happy to say that a year does not appear a week to me - that it does not appear shorter than it used to do, nor on the other hand do I complain of its length. If the hypothesis had been founded, the first day, every minute of the life of an infant must be equal to that individual to infinite duration. I have been so Jong on this, that I have not room for other matters. I cannot
necessary that the
that the rays of light meet in a focus at a certain point within the eye. When the eye is round and full, and its coats are distended by too large a quantity of the humours, the rays, that fall upon the external eye, are too much refracted, and meet too soon, for distinct vision, On the other hand, when the eye is flattened, the hu
find my Watls, and I remember Watts' Essays to have been the first book, which at nine or thereabout turned my ideas strongly to metaphysics. Time, space, matter, and motion appear to me all modifications of perception, nothing more. Before I was six years old, I used to wonder how my mind could be carried upon wheels from London to Hoddesdon. And, were I a materialist, I might cease to wonder now; but as I am not, and cannot be, the problem is still insolvable ; for I no relation between mind and space, if space be anything real, and if mind be immaterial or a reality, which has no common property either with space or matter. But if mind, pure, intellectual, percipient being, be all, then all contradictions vanish."
The friend, to whom Mr. Lofft addressed these Letters writes thus to me in a Letter dated Sept. 20, 1828. : line quoted by Mr. Lofft was my own.
He found it in my preceding Letter. There is something very remarkable in the history of it. I had not even looked into Cicero's treatise De Natura Deorum for more than 20 years, when, falling one evening into reverie on the subject of time, (for I was then, and too long had been enamoured of metaphysics,) the thought occurred to me in the very form, that Mr. Lofft has quoted. I had occasion, about three years after, to read over again that treatise, when, (judge, if you can, of my surprise,) I found that the line was nearly a literal translation of the following passage : Ne in cogitationem quidem calit, ut fuerit tempus aliquod, nullum cum tempus esset, p. 21. ed. 1718. I was, when I first
mours scanty, and the coats less distended, the refraction is less, and the rays meet not soon enough. Both these defects are remedied by glasses of different construction; in the first instance by concave glasses, where the rays are made to diverge, before they reach the eye; in the other, by convex glasses, by which they are made to converge.
thought of it, and ever since have been, utterly unconscious of deriving it from any source but that of my own mind. You have now reminded me of the happiest part of my whole life, when at Ipswich I enjoyed diurnal communication or intercourse with two such persons as Mr. Capel Lofft and Mrs. Cobbold. I sincerely and unreservedly loved and respected them both. Oh! my
dear Sir, Mr. Capel Lofft was a most interesting character, in which there was as little fault, as perhaps ever could be found in any. I shall never think of him without feeling some of the purest and holiest emotions of my soul. I had not been much more than a year acquainted with him, when I passed a day or two with him and his family at Troston, in a manner more delightful than I recollect to have passed anywhere else in my whole life. Immediately after I came hither, he went with his family to the Continent, our correspondence was interrupted, and alas ! he died. But I have not forgotten him,– I never can forget him ; I cherish the memory of him more tenderly than I have ever get done that of any other human being. I hope yet, ere I die, to draw and send
his whole character; for it would at any time bear the most rigorous examination. He was pre-eminently ingenious, amiable, and learned, without ever, even in a single instance, assuming the appearance of any one of those qualities. He was an excellent scholar in both the Greek and Roman languages, and had read nearly every classick author ; but still I will not compare him with Parr, but to him in metaphysical attainment he was equal, if not superior. I hope soon to resume this subject.” E. H. B.]
But in all these cases, you see, the representation is just and as it should be; and it would not be just, were it otherwise. It is therefore an indubitable fact, that where the organs of sense are the same, and the circumstances the same, the perception will also be always the same."*
“Febr. 15. I am very glad you had the conversation you mention with Charles Barker, though I am by no means of the same opinion with him in every point. A parsonphysician is, doubtless, not likely to do great things in either way, or even in both ways together. Bishops will certainly not prefer him, and physicians will as certainly set their faces against him. Yet surely a ciergyman may be so situated, as to be able to add not inconsiderably to
*[I am disposed to digress for one moment to notice a curious fact, connected with the history of philosophy, to which my attention was, some years ago, first directed by my amiable and intelligent friend, Mr. Serjeant Rough: - Locke's Essay on the Human Understanding was first published in 1690, and Bishop Pearson's Exposition of the Creed first appeared in 1659. To the learned Bishop, then, belongs the honour of having first, if cursorily, yet luminously and fearlessly promulgated the great truth, which was fully demonstrated by Locke, that all our ideas proceed from sensation and reflection. For he thus writes P.
18.: .“ As for the existence of such a being, how it comes to be known unto us, or by what means we are assured of it, is not so unanimously agreed upon, as that it is. For, although some have imagined that the knowledge of a Deity is connatural to the soul of man, so that every man hath a connate, inbred notion of a God, yet I rather conceive the soul of man to have no connatural knowledge at all, no particular notion of anything in it from the beginning ; but being we can have no assurance of its pre-existence, we may more rationally judge it
bis income by a moderate share of medical practice. In a plan of this kind, however, the clerical part must go first, and every idea of the medical profession must be kept out of siglit till things are ripe for the assumption of it. But it is impossible to fix a matter of this kind by writing; nor is it by any means necessary, that at present anything should be fixed. Your path is obvious, to improve yourself, as much as possible, both in classical and philosophical, (in which I include mathematical) knowledge. This knowledge will be of essential service to you, whatever be your profession. Were you absolutely to determine for orders, I cannot by any means enter into Mr. Barker's ideas of Hebrew, and much less
to receive the first apprehensions of things by sense, and by them to make all rational collections. If, then, the soul of man be at the first like a fair smooth table without
actual characters of knowledge imprinted in it,-if all the knowledge, which we have, comes successively by sensation, instruction, and rational collection, then must we not refer the apprehension of a Deity to any connate notion, or inbred opinion, - at least we are assured God never chargeth us with the knowledge of him upon that account.” It was a right noble instance of independent thinking in a Christian preacher to proelaim, in those early days, contrary to the general, if not the universal belief, that we had no 'connate, inbred notion of a God.' To a very intelligent friend I am indebted for a sight of Archdeacon Paley's MS. Lectures on Locke's Essay, and from them I shall make the following extract: “ It was maintained before Locke that the idea of God was innate. This may be divided into two questions, the answers to which will be evident, 1. Whether the belief of God is innate? 2. Whether the image of the Deity is innate? A negative answer will appear so just as to need no further illustration.” E. H. B.]