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there is no radical difference between good and evil is utterly repugnant to both.

A distinctive personal immortality is impossible in pantheistic theory. Man conscious of individual existence now is desirous that it should be prolonged. Annihilation and absorption are alike repugnant to the higher aspirations and longings of the human soul. But pantheism denies personal immortality; it allows continued being just in the same sense it affirms that what now is has always been in substance though not in form. But what is being to man apart from individual consciousness? A blank, as great a blank as annihilation. In the immense and incomputable duration already passed, what is there of any significance to man beyond the period of self-consciousness? Yet pantheism teaches that all through the immeasurable past, man has existed in the one substance, and when this short period of self-consciousness is ended the immeasurable future will be just of as little significance as the immeasurable past. Life is robbed of its meaning and dignity. Men have proceeded from the great ocean of beings, as drops they have realised their individuality, but they have only realised it to lose it again in the ocean to which they are flowing. How simple and yet how profound when compared with this unmeaning transcendentalism is christian teaching, and how responsive is all that is true and good in human thought and experience, to the old and yet ever new truths of revelation.

This brief discussion is sufficient we think to make good the alledged charge against pantheism that it is unphilosophic, and inadequate as a theory to solve the profound problems of being. The co-existence of the infinite and the finite-the one and the many -has ever been a difficulty in speculative inquiry. One instance of this difficulty for it occurs under various forms-we have in the existence of space and duration, and all things contained in them, with the absolute eternity and infinity of God. All our knowledge of things is gained under the conditions of time and space, and hence what we see and know of the operations of the Almighty is seen and known under these same conditions; but we cannot reach the absolute infinity and eternity of God by any indefinite extension of space or duration. There is in the relation of Deity to his works more than we can comprehend. The difficulty occurs again when we contemplate the constant change in the universe in connection with the unchangeableness of Deity. Everything is in mutation, and yet there is in all the abiding and unchangeable presence of God. Divine agency in the universe is both immanent and transient. But in what sense it can be both? or how far either one or the other? or whether it can be both at once in the same phenomenon? are questions which man cannot

answer.* In endeavouring to reconcile the Divine supremacy with human freedom the same difficulty re-appears, and the highest philosophy furnishes no other answer than that which occurs to the most unphilosophic thinker-that the problem is unsoluble— past finding out; for the question under any of its aspects exceeds the limited comprehension of man. Had this common-sense and really philosophic conclusion been accepted as satisfactory, the world would never have been perplexed by the unintelligible and visionary theories of pantheism. Spinoza maintained that there was nothing inconceivable, that there was no such thing as an incomprehensible. In this he departed from all the great masters in philosophy who preceded him, and in this he has been followed by many who "professing themselves to be wise became fools." The humanly conceivable does not exhaust what is, and the limits of thought are not to be accepted as the limits of possibility. A true philosophy teaches that while there is much we cannot comprehend, this incompetency furnishes no reason to doubt that the incomprehensible really is. "A learned ignorance is thus the end of philosophy as it is the beginning of theology." The truth which pantheism contains, that God is not far from every one of us, let us hold fast, and by the mediation of Jesus Christ let us seek that oneness with God of which the oneness of pantheism is a sad perversion. A. J.

ART. VII. THE BLIND.

"Where's the blind boy, so admirably fair,
With guileless dimples, and with flaxen hair
That waves in every breeze? He's often seen
Beyond yon cottage wall, or on the green,
With others match'd in spirit and in size,
Health on their cheeks and rapture in their eyes.
That full expanse of voice, to children dear,
Soul of their sports, is duly cherished here.
And hark! that laugh is his,-that jovial cry-
He hears the ball and trundling hoop brush by,
And runs the giddy course with all his might,—
A very child in everything but sight;

See Thompson's "Christian Theism."

A 2

† Romans i. 22.

DR

With circumscribed but not abated powers,
Play the great object of his infant hours.
In many a game he takes a noisy part,

And shows the native gladness of his heart."

R. BULL who quotes this fancy sketch, says that the picture which it contains is "touchingly and most truthfully delineated." "Foremost among his young companions in their pleasant pastime," says the Doctor in his own person, "he [the blind child pursues his sport as active and daring as any, guided and guarded by the exquisite keenness of the perceptions of hearing and touch."* There are instances familiar to every one, which both Bloomfield's and Dr. Bull's language very faintly and inadequately portray. Such is that of John Metcalf (or, as he was called, "Blind Jack"), celebrated as a lad for his boldness in swimming, diving, fox-hunting, and all daring and athletic amusements.† So far, however, is it from being true that blind children ordinarily manifest the same bodily energy, that M. Dufau points out in them a tendency to inaction and repose which is in remarkable contrast with the incessant and restless mobility of children who see. Instead of "running the giddy course with all their might," a "more or less rapid walk, according as the place in which they may be is more or less known to them, is generally the only exercise they take." There are children who arrive at the age of reason without

* Sense [of Vision] Denied and Lost, page 37.

As we may afterwards have to refer to the case of Metcalf, it may be well to give some account of him here.

John Metcalf was born at Knaresborough, in 1716. He lost his sight through smallpox, when he was six years of age. At fifteen he was employed to dive for the bodies of two drowned men in the river Nid, and succeeded in bringing one of them up. He also dived for, and brought up, two packs of yarn, which were sunk in twenty-one feet of water. He rode and won a race, on his own horse; and enlisting in 1745 in Thornton's troop, fought at Culloden and elsewhere. He afterwards acted as a guide for belated travellers, and drove a stage-waggon between York and Knaresborough. After studying mensuration and engineering, "We soon find him engaged," says Dr. Bull, from whom we have abridged the foregoing statement, "as a projector and surveyor of roads and bridges. Amongst other works, he built Boroughbridge, and made roads through Yorkshire, Lancashire, Derbyshire, and Cheshire. Dr. Bew, the intimate friend of Dr. Moyse, was well acquainted with Metcalf, and thus speaks of him: With the assistance only of a long staff, I have several times seen this man traversing the roads, ascending precipices, exploring valleys, and investigating their several extents, forms, and situations, so as to further his projects in the best manner. . . . . Most of the roads over the Peak in Derbyshire have been altered by his directions, particularly those in the vicinity of Buxton. I afterwards made some inquiries respecting a new road he was making. It was really astonishing to hear with what accuracy he described the courses, and the nature of the different soils through which it was conducted. Having mentioned a boggy piece of ground it passed through, he observed that it was the only place he had doubts about, and that he was apprehensive they had, contrary to his directions, been too sparing of their materials. This extraordinary man lived to the advanced age of eighty-five, possessed of his mental faculties to the last, and died in 1802.'" (Bull's Sense Denied, pp. 103-7.)

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ever having run. "Their games," says the same authority, "are seldom animated." At work their immobility is even more striking. "At most one sees a hand noiselessly seeking its neighbour hand the words Tenez-vous tranquille, which are elsewhere always in the master's mouth, are here rarely used; it is very common to see young people, who have reached the time of life at which an ardent activity develops itself in us, remaining for a quarter of an hour at a time perfectly motionless: their closed eyes, their grave foreheads, their countenances, in which the soul fails to be reflected, then present the appearance of the calmest sleep. When their features are good, you might think them antique busts, the models of which had been borrowed from the school of Zeno."*

With regard to the physical influence of light, we may refer to a question connected with this subject which has been made a matter of controversy among the blind themselves; viz. whether those who are totally destitute of vision have any sense whatever of the presence or absence of the luminous fluid. M. Knie, who has translated into German, with notes of his own, the treatise of M. Dufau, affirms that, "in spite of his state of complete blindness, he has a feeling of the light." M. Rodenbach, who also is blind, affirms, on the other hand, that the blind man whose eye has altogether wasted away can have no sensation except of the degree of heat, moisture, &c., which coincides with the presence of the luminous ray. M. Zeune is of the same opinion. Dufau seems to incline to the opposite view. The question was first started by Diderot, who relates the following incident of Saunderson:

M.

"It is said that, during some astronomical observations which were one day being made in a garden in his presence, the clouds which from time to time hid the disk of the sun from the observers occasioned a change in the action of the rays upon his face, which was sufficiently sensible to him to enable him to mark the moments which were favourable for observations, and the contrary. You may perhaps suppose that some agitation capable of informing him of the presence of light, but not of the presence of objects, occurred in his eyes. I should have thought so too, if it were not certain that Saunderson had lost not only sight, but the organs of sight. Saunderson, therefore, saw by means of his skin."

As clouds would intercept heat as well as light, this instance is not conclusive. M. Dufau relates others; but they do not necessarily show more than that the blind are cognisant of a difference between day and night. This, however, may be due to the change of temperature, and of atmospheric conditions, rather than to any

* Dufau, pp. 2, 3.

distinct and immediate perception of the luminous fluid itself. Nevertheless, considering that the solar rays which convey heat are different from those which convey light, and that the necessity of the latter to healthy organic life, vegetable and animal, is clearly established, it may very well be the case that their action upon the nerves of the skin, of which the effect probably is to quicken and exalt the vital activity, is attended with a peculiar feeling, which, like most vague and obscure sensations, escapes those who have a better clue to the presence of the object from which it proceeds. The physical (as distinguished from visual) sense of the absence of light, in a slackened energy and torpor of the entire organisation, is perhaps expressed in the complaint which Milton transfers from himself to the hero of the Samson Agonistes:

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From the influence of blindness on the physical constitution generally, we pass to the effects of the absence of vision upon the remaining senses. Its well-known tendency to increase their range and quicken their susceptibility is expressed in the often-quoted lines of Rochester, which tells us,

"That if one sense should be suppressed,
It but retires into the rest;"

from which the inference would be that the perception of colours, which alone is proper to sight, is possible without it. The meaning intended to be conveyed is, however, clear and true,-that the knowledge of outward objects and their laws, which the seeing gain by the examination of one set of their qualities, the blind may acquire as certainly and accurately by attention to another.

Taking the several senses in succession, we begin, for several reasons, with the Muscular Sense, or the feelings attending the muscular motions; the claims of which to rank as a sixth sense are now pretty generally recognised by writers on physiology and mental science. The new-born infant, in obedience, it may be probably conjectured, to an impulse from within, to a spontaneous discharge of the nervous force proceeding from its centres in the brain and spinal ganglia to the muscles, moves and tosses his limbs

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