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and none, perhaps, which contain definite statements respecting it. An apostle has indeed said that “now we see through a glass darkly; but then, face to face: now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known." ' But this can not be regarded as a very definite statement respecting our intellectual powers, and our literary and scientific attainments in the future state, or rather at the commencement of that state. We seek for clearer light. We shall be aided very much in our inquiry by considering certain theories respecting the mind itselt, and the manner in which it manifests itself. There are two of these theories, one of which we think, must be true, and either of them will have an important bearing on the question before us.
The first is, that the mind does not have an existence independent of the body, but is the result of the physical organization, or in some way depends on that organization for its existence. Now, if the mind has not an independent existence, if the power to think, to reason, and to plan, if the memory, the conscience and the will, are results of the physical organization, then, when the organization fails, the mind must cease to exist. For if the mind is a result of the bodily organization, the result must cease with its producing sense. On this theory, we can not see that there is anything left of us except the cold remains, when death has done its work. The mind must perish
when the body falls into decay and rests in the grave. Then it can not be that shall enter
the future life with the same powers and attainments which were possessed here, for we shall not exist at all except as a memory among friends who remain on the earth.
If it is contended that we shall exist beyond death, then we must be re-created. And if from our buried dust there shall spring a new intellect, or if a new mind shall be re-created from this perished body, who can tell what powers or faculties it will possess? It does not by any means follow that a new creation will be precisely the same as the old one which perished. If a mind is re-created from our perished selves, it is impossible for us to determine what will be its character, or what powers, capacities, and endowments, it will
This is a matter respecting which all are alike ignorant, and must remain so; for no
one can gain positive knowledge respecting it by the most patient inquiry or the most searching investigation. We may interrogate nature, reason, and our own consciences, with the most intense earnestness, but it will all be to no purpose. We must feel it to be fearfully true that there is no wisdom, nor knowledge, nor device in the grave to which we are hastening; and that all talk about powers and attainments in another life is idle speculation.
The other theory is, that the mind has an existence independent of the body; so that when the body dies, and turns to earth, the existence of the mind is not affected in the least. This we suppose to be the fact. The mind or spirit is immortal : it is not subject to decay, dissolution, or death. When the body falls a prey to disease; when it ceases to be a living thing, and lies stiff and cold in the habiliaments of the grave, the mind itself does not lose consciousness; it does not sink into oblivion. But, released from the body which for a time it tenanted, spreading meanwhile over the countenance the glow of intelligence, and making hope the guest of the heart, the mind shall still continue to exercise the prerogatives peculiar to itself, and shall continue to exist when time is no more.
It may be thought that this mind will ever remain the same, that its mode of action will be unchanged, and that it will continue to make progress during the whole period of its existence just as it did when connected with the body. Hence it would seem to follow that the attainments which it makes here will form a part, perhaps all, of its possessions when it leaves the body and enters upon the life which is beyond death. Therefore, the more discipline it gains, and the more knowledge it acquires here, the greater will be its advantage on entering the future life, over those who had but little intellectual culture in this life. This, to many, seems reasonable, and probably true. They can not think that the unlettered peasant who knows nothing of books or science, who values the earth only for its capacity to produce corn and wine, who contemplates the stars and planets only as bright points in the sky, enters upon the future life on a perfect equality, in regard to intellectual possessions, with Newton who discovered the laws which the Creator has impressed upon the worlds
above, and who made himself acquainted, to a surprising extent, with the wonderful works of God. It may seem probable to many that the most ignorant and the man of the greatest knowledge, who breathe their last at the same moment on earth, will not enter upon the future life in possession of the same mental powers, and of the same knowledge, so as to be, in all respects, equals in the world of light. We do not say they will be equals : we simply say that we know but little about it. Yet there are reasons which weigh much with us against the doctrine which teaches that there is a great difference in the mental powers and acquirements of men on their entrance upon the future life.
İf the mind has an independent existence, as we believe it has, it can act only through appropriate organs. The brain is the organ of the mind. The head is uniformly regarded as the seat of thought, reflection, intelligence, and memory: This being the case, he will seemingly have the most mind who has the largest brain in a healthy condition. All our truly great men, all who have really distinguished themselves, or have been known as men of gigantic intellect, have, we think, possessed a large amount of brain. There is something in a massive forehead, something in a large and well-formed head, that impresses the beholder favorably; while a diminutive head is taken by all as indicative of small intellect. When we see a man of good proportions, muscular limbs, and broad shoulders, we are convinced at sight that he possesses great strength; while a man of slender frame, thin muscles, and narrow chest, we feel satisfied has not great powers of endurance, and can not perform great feats of strength. So the man of massive forehead, noble mien, and active temperament, makes the impression at sight, on the beholder, that he possesses great intellectual power; but the man of small brain does not make that impression, and these impressions are generally, if not always, in accordance with fact. The mind itself may be the same in each case, but the organs through which it operates or manifests itself being different in size, quality, and condition, much more or a much greater mind is manifested by one than by the other. The difference may er of manifestation, not in the mind itself.
If the brain is diseased, it can not serve as a good organ of the mind; and a person thus affected may seem to
be in the powo
have a feeble intellect. The mind can not act efficiently through a diseased brain. There are certain kinds of disease in which the patient becomes demented to a considerable extent. So in the delirium of fever the mind seems wandering, and there is an entire inability to make intellectual effort. Nearly always, when the body suffers, the mind suffers with it. This is so well known that a sound mind in a sound body has become a proverb. But when the body is restored to a healthy state the mind becomes active again, and it is a pleasure to exercise the intellectual powers.
A small pressure upon the brain will unfit it to act as an organ of the mind; and if the pressure is considerable the mind seems to be destroyed. But when the pressure is removed the mind is restored, for then it can manifest itself through its appropriate organ. A certain man had his skull fractured in such a manner as to cause severe pressure on the brain. It caused him to seem demented. After a time he was trepanned ; the operation relieved the pressure, when he recovered his mental faculties as before. We once read of a man, who, from some injury, lost a portion of his brain ; he retained his faculties, yet, in certain respects, he did not have the strength of mind which he possessed before the injury.
We know, too, that there are national characteristics. The American indian differs from the negro, and he from the Asiatic, and this last from the European. The different races of men have a diversity of cerebral development corresponding with their diversity of mental gifts. We need no one to tell us which is the more intellectual, the European or the negro. The white is the dominant race, made so by superiority of intellect. This difference would exist, just as we now see it, were the mind itself precisely the same in all, but compelled to manifest itself through diversity of organs. Through an imperfect organ there can not be manifested so much intellect as through a large and healthy one.
The same general truth may be illustrated by reference to another well known fact. 'In infancy and early childhood but little mind seems to be possessed ; but the intellectual powers increase till the prime of manhood, after which they decline. In extreme old age, when the body becomes enfeebled, the mind seems to fail, and, in some instances, to be entirely gone. He who possesses a vigorous intellect in the meridian of life may, in old age, sink into a state of infancy, and know little more than when he lay a helpless infant in his mother's arms. We can account for all this by assuming that the brain in infancy is too weak, or is unfitted to serve as an organ of the mind, and that in old
age it returns to the same condition, while between infancy and old age it fulfils its office perfectly. So there may be really as much mind in one condition as in the other; the apparent difference in the intellectual powers in the different periods of life be owing to the condition in which the brain may be in those different periods. If this be a correct view of the case, there may be the greatest diversity of intellectual gifts though the mind itself remains ever the same. We can not tell, in any given instance, how great a mind may be possessed: we can only tell how much mind is manifested. We can not tell but they have minds precisely equal, in all respects, whose powers of manifestation are very unequal. The idiot may have as great a mind as the wisest and most intelligent. Who can know it is not so ? or who can show to the contrary ? For prove what you may respecting the power to manifest mind, you prove nothing respecting the mind itself, if it be granted that the mind exists independently of the body, and manifests itself through organs possessing different degrees of fitness for their office.
These views being admitted as correct, we can not fail to see the bearing they will have on the question under consideration. For when the mysterious union between the mind and the body is dissolved, when the latter falls into decay, and the former enters upon a new mode of existence, who can affirm that the mind will manifest itself precisely as it does here through imperfect, and, perhaps, through greatly imperfect organs ? Who can affirm that the idiot even, when released from the idiot body, will be idiotic still? Is it not reasonable to suppose that the mind will there exercise itself, and exert its powers in a manner it could not do here? Who will affirm that the spiritual body will be no more favorable to the manifestation of mind than this poor body of flesh and blood ? Then, will each one possess the same mental powers hereafter which