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No. I. THE EFFECT OF PHYSICAL INFLUENCE ON THE MIND. Reason and Science are handmaids to Religion : those who would deprive her of their agency, as being inimical to her safety and progress among mankind, can have but a very poor opinion of her, and but a very small degree of faith. The fear that is often exhibited by comparatively good, but weak men, of investigating the successive links of action and impression, from eventually being obliged to rest on second causes only, forgetting the great first cause, arises from erroneous conception. When we look to the government of God, and endeavour to trace in our view, its immensity and its moral attributes, we can only refer such an agency to an infinite mind, and can form no comprehensible idea of its operation; but when we look to this government presiding as everywhere, and as acting through the use of means which have been provided, and which scientific research enables us to understand, we can then form some idea of this wonder-working agency in some infinitesimal portion of creation; and by the infinite multiplication of this sustaining power, our views of its grandeur, and goodness, and all-pervading influence and love, are immensely increased ; the rational mind is expanded, where feeling and prejudice would before have operated; and the conviction which results, is of a far firmer, and larger, and more enduring quality, as well as more universally operative. God is every where we acknowledge it as an abstract truth, or as a matter of faith; but when we trace his footsteps we see it and know it. The only chance of evil attending this investigation consists in the possibility of forgetting his primary agency; but this will never be realized when such research is undertaken with a view to his glory, and with a simple desire to be led into all truth. God is a God of order, working by the agency of means; to the perversion, or diseased or morbid application of which, by sinful man, can alone be referred those deviations from consistency which have often been ascribed to purely spiritual agency, but which really do, for the most part, owe a bodily origin.
Science has proved the brain to be the organ by which the mind acts, the same as the stomach is the organ of digestion, or the lungs that of breathing. Like those other organs the brain is liable to be acted upon by many physical causes, with, however, this addition, that it not only bears its own peculiar burdens, but it is called upon to sympathize when any
organ of the body is affected with morbid irritation ;' thus proving that it is eminently the organ which is most under the influence of physical disturbance. The effects of stimulating drinks taken into the stomach is to exhilirate the mind by the sympathy VOL. II. --July, 1835.