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view of viction, reasons and persuasion, allorements and emo Such a knowledge is quite unnecessary, and therefore View of Bacon's tions, of gravity, magnetism, irritability, &c.; and we causes are no more cognisable by our intellectual Bacon's Philosophy, carry on conversations on these subjects with much en powers than colours by a man born blind; nay, who- Philosophy,

tertainment and seeming instruction. Language is the ever will be at the pains to consider this matter agree-
expression of thought, and every word expresses some ably to the received rules and maxims of logic, will find
notion or conception of the mind; therefore it must be that necessary connection, or the bond of causation, can
allowed, that we have such notions as are expressed by no more be the subject of philosophical discussion by
cause, power, energy. But it is here, as in many cases, man, than the ultimate nature of truth. It is precisely
we perceive a distinction without being able to express the same absurdity or incongruity, as to propose to exa-
it by a definition, and that we do perceive the relation mine light with a microscope. Other rational creatures
of causation as distinct from all

others, and in particular may perceive them as easily as we bear sounds. All
as distinct from the relation of contiguity in time and that we can say is, that their existence is probable, but
place, or the relation of agent, action, and patient, by no means certain. Nay, it may be (and we may
must be concluded from the uniformity of language, never know it) that we are not the efficient causes of
which never confounds them except on purpose, and our own actions, which may be effected by the Deity or
when it is perceived. But even bere we shall find, that by ministering spirits ; and this may even be true in the
none of the terms used for expressing those powers of material world. But all this is indifferent to the real
substance which are conceived as the causes of their cha- occupation of the philosopher, and does not affect either
racteristic phenomena, really express any thing different the certainty, the extent, or the utility of the knowledge
from the phenomena themselves. Let
any person try which he may acquire.

to define the terms gravity, elasticity, sensibility, and tlie We are now able to appreciate the high pretensions The object
like, and he will find that the definition is nothing but of the philosopher, and his claim to scientific superiority. of the phi-
a description of the phenomenon itself. The words are We now see that this can neither be founded on any sci-


the disco. all derivatives, most of them verbal derivatives, imply- entific superiority of bis object, nor of his employment. very of ing action, gravitation, &c. As the general resemblan His object is not causes; and his discoveries are nothing physical ces in shape, colour, &c. are expressed by the natural but the discovery of general facts, the discovery of phy-laws. historian by generic terms, so the general resemblances sical laws: and his employment is the same with that of in event are expressed by the philosopher in generic pro- the descriptive historian. He observes and describes positions, which, in the progress of cultivation, are also with care and accuracy the events of nature; and then abbreviated into generic terms.

he groups them into classes, in consequence of resemThis abundantly explains the consistency of our lan. bling circumstances, detected in the midst of many guage on this subject, both with itself

and with the ope- others which are dissimilar and occasional. By gradualrations of nature, without however affording any argu- ly throwing out more circumstances of resemblance, he ment for the truth of the assumption, that causes are the renders his classes more extensive ; and, by carefully

objects of philosophic research as separate existences ; marking those circumstances in which the resemblance 43 or that this supposed necessary connection is a necessary is observed, he characterises all the different classes: and, The per truth, whether supreme or subordinate. But since the by a comparison of these with each other, in respect to ception of

perception of it has its foundation in the constitution of the number of resembling circumstances, he distributes this con. nection a

the human mind, it seems intitled to the name of a first his classes according to their generality and subordinafirst prin principle. We are hardly allowed to doubt of this, tion; thus exhausting the whole assemblage, and leaving ciple. when we consider the importance of it, and the care of nothing unarranged but accidental varieties. In this

nature to secure us in all things essential to our safety procedure it is to be remarked, tbat every grouping of
and well-being, from all danger, from inattention, igno- similar events is, ipso facto, discovering a general fact,
rance, or indolence, by an instinct infallible in its in a physical law; and the expression of this assemblage is
formation, and instantaneous in its decisions. " It would the expression of the physical law. And as every obser-
not be like her usual care (says Hume), if this opera vation of this constancy of fact affords an opportunity
tion of the mind, by which we infer like effects from for exerting the instinctive iuference of natural connec-
like causes, and vice versa, were entrusted to the falla- tion between the related subjects, every such observation
cious deduction of our reason, wbich is slow in its ope- is the discovery of a power, property, or quality, of na-
rations, appears not in any degree during the first years tural substance. And from what has been said, this ob-
of infancy, and in every age and period of human life servation of event is all we know of the connection, all
is extremely liable to error. It is more conformable to we know of the natural power.

And when the philoso-
her ordinary caution (mark the acknowledgement) to per proceeds farther to the arrangement of events, ac-
secure so necessary an act of the mind by some instinct, cording to their various degrees of complication, he is,
or blind tendency, which may be infallible and rapid in ipso facto, making an arrangement of all natural powers
all its operations, may discover itself at the first appear according to their various degrees of subordinate in-
ance of life, and may be independent of all the labour fluenee. And thus his occupation is perfectly similar to
ed deductions of reason. As she has taught us the use that of the descriptive historian, classification and are
of our limbs, without giving us any knowledge of rangement; and this constitutes all the science attain-
the nerves and muscles by which they are actuated; able by both.
so she has implanted in us an instinct, which carries
forward the thought in a course conformable to that Philosophy may therefore be defined, the study of Philosophy
established among external objects, though we be igno- the phenomena of the universe, with a view to discover defined.
rant of the powers and forces on which this regularity the general laws which indicate the powers of natural

substances, to explain subordinate phenomena, and to




View of improve art: Or, in compliance with that natural in- tions are NATURAL OF PHYSICAL Latvs ; and then the View of Bacon's stinct so much spoken of, Philosophy is the study of the detecting and marking those resemblances in event, is Bacon's Philosophy, phenomena of the universe, with a view to discover their the investigation of physical laws; and we may deno

causes, to explain subordinate phenomena, and to im- minate this employment of the philosopher INVESTIGA-
prove art.

The task is undoubtedly difficult, and will exercise In the prosecution of this task, it will be found that
our noblest powers. The employment is manly in it. the similarities of fact are of various extent: and thus
self, and the result of it important. It therefore justly we shall form plıysical laws of various extent; and we
merits the appellation of philosophy, although its objects shall also find that some are subordinate to others ; for
are nowise different from what occupy the attention of the resemblance of a number of facts in one circumstance
other men.

does not hinder a part of them from also resembling in The cm

The employment of the philosopher, like that of the another circumstance : and thus we shall find subordinaof the phi. patural bistorian, is threefold; DESCRIPTION, ARRANGE tions of fact in the same way as of quiescent qualities. losopher. MENT and REFERENCE; wbile the objects are not things And it is found here, as in natural history, that our asbut events.

semblage of resembling events will be the more extensive
The description, when employed about events, may as the number of resembling circumstances is smaller;
be more properly termed history. A philosophical his- and thus we shall have kingdoms, classes, orders, genera,
tory of nature consists in a complete or copious enume and species of pbenomena, which are expressed by phy-
ration and narration of facts, properly selected, cleared sical laws of all those different ranks.
of all unnecessary or extraneous circumstances, and ac It has been already observed, that this observation of
curately narrated. This constitutes the materials of physical laws is always accompanied by a reference of
philosophy. We cannot give a better example of this that uniformity of event to a natural bond of union be-
branch of philosophical occupation than astronomy. tween the concomitant facts which is conceived by us as

From the beginning of the Alexandrian school to this the cause of this concomitancy; and therefore this pro-
day, astronomers have been at immense pains in observ- cedure of the philosophier is considered as the discovery
ing the beavenly bodies, in order to detect their true of those causes, that is, the discovery of those powers of
motions. This bas been a work of prodigious difficulty: natural substances which constitute their physical rela-
for the appearances are such as might have been exhibit- tions, and may justly be called their distinguishing qua-
ed although the real motions had been extremely differ- lities or properties. This view of the matter gives rise
ent. Not that our senses give us false information ; but to a new nomenclature and language. We give to those
we form basty, and frequently false judgments, from powers generic names, such as sensibility, intelligence,
these informations ; and call those things deceptions of irritability, gravity, elasticity, fluidity, magnetism, &c.
sense, which are in fact errors of judgment. But the These terms, without exception, mark resembling cir-
true motions have at last been discovered, and have been cumstances of event; and no other definition can be
described with such accuracy, that the history may be given of them but a description of these circumstances.
considered as nearly complete. This is to be found in In a few cases which have been the subjects of more
the usual systems of astronomy, where the tables contain painful or refined discussion, tre have proceeded farther
a most accurate and synoptical account of the motion; in this abbreviation of language.
so that we can tell with precision in what point of the We have framed the verb " to gravitate," and the
heavens a planet has been seen at any instant that can verbal noun “ gravitation,” which purely expresses the
be named.

fact, the phenomenon ; but is conceived to express the Phenome Sir Isaac Newton's Optics is such another perfect operatim or energy of the cause or natural power. It neology.

model of philosophical history, as far as it goes. This is of importance to keep in mind this metaphysical re-
part of philosophy may be called PHENOMENOLOGY. mark on these terms; for a want of attention to the

Having in this manner obtained the materials of phi- pure meaning of the words has frequently occasioned
losophical description, we must put them into a compen very great mistakes in philosophical science.
dious and perspicuous form, so that a general knowledge We may with propriety call this part of the philoso .
of the universe may be easily acquired and firmly retain. pher's employment AitioLOGY.

ed. This is to be done by classification and arrange We shall give an instance of its most suecessful ap-
ment, and this classification must proceed on resemblan. plication to the class of etents already adduced as an
ces observed in the events; and tlie subsequent arrange- example of philosophic history or phenomenology.
ment must be regulated by the distinctions of which Kepler, a celebrated Prussian astronomer, having ma-
those resemblances are still susceptible. This assemblage turely considered the phenomena recorded in the tables
of events into groups must be expressed. They are facts; and observations of his predecessors, discovered, amidst
therefore the expression must be propositions. These pro- all the varieties of the planetary motions, three circum- Kepler's
positions must be what the logicians call general or ab starices of resemblance, which are now known by the laws an in-
stract propositions ; for they express, not any individual name of Kepler's lau's.
fact of the assemblage, but that circumstance in which 1. All the planets describe ellipses, having the sun in
they all resemble. Such propositions are the following:

Proof is accompanied by belief; kindness is accompa 2. The elliptic areas described by a planet in the dif48

nied by gratitude ; impulse is accompanied by motion. ferent parts of its orbit, are proportional to the times of Investiga. These are usually called general facts; but there are description.

none such ; every fact is individual. This language, 3. The squares of the periodic times are propor-
however inaccurate, is very safe from misconstruction, tional to the cubes of the mean distances from the
and we may use it without scruple. These proposi- sun.




one focus.





more gene


'View of By this observation or discovery, the study of the pla- fected by some moving force. Since the bodies of the . View of Bacon's netary motions were greatly promoted, and the calcula solar system are neither in a state of rest, nor of uni- Bacon's Philosophy. tion of their appearances was now made with a facility form rectilineal motion, they must be considered as so Philosoply.

and an accuracy which surpassed all hopes : for the cal affected ; that is, that there operates on every one of
culation of the place of a planet at any proposed instant them a moving force, directed towards all the others,
was reduced to the geometrical problem of cutting off and having the proportions observed in the deflection.
an area from an ellipse of known dimensions, which Other philosophers have endeavoured to show, that Attempts
should bear the same proportion to the whole area, as this general fact, detected by Sir Isaac Newton, is in. to include
the time for whose duration the motion is required, cluded in another still more general, viz. that every bo- under im.
has to the known time of a complete revolution. dy moves which is impelled by another body in motion. pulse,

Long after this discovery of Kepler, Sir Isaac Newton They assert, that all the bodies of the solar system are

found that these laws of Kepler were only particular continually impelled by a fluid which they call ether, Compre cases of a fact or law still more general. He found that which is moving in all places, and in all directions, or hended un- the deflections of the planets from uniform rectilineal in circular vortices, and hurries along with it the planets der one motion were all directed to the sun ; and that the simul- and all heavy bodies. It would seem that the familiari. ral law,

taneous deflections were inversely proportional to the ty of motion produced by impulse, at least in those in-
squares of the distances from that body.

stances in which our own exertions are most employed,
Thus was established a physical law of vast extent : has induced philosophers to adopt such notions ; per.
but further observation showed him, that the motion of baps, too, they are influenced by an obscure and indi-
every body of the solar system was compounded of an stinct notion affixed to the term action, as applied to
original mution of projection, combined with a deflection changes in the material world, and which has given rise
towards every other body; and that the simultaneous to an axiom, “ that a body cannot act at a distance, or
deflections were proportional to the quantity of matter where it is not ;” and thus have thought themselves ob-
in the body towards which they were directed, and to liged to look out for an immediate and contiguous agent
the reciprocal of the square of the distance from it. Thus in all those phenomena.
was the law made still more general. He did not stop But the philosophers who profess to be most scrupu-
here. He compared the deflection of the moon in her lous in their adherence to the rales of philosophic discus-
orbit with the simultaneous deflection of a stone thrown sion, deny the legitimacy of this pretended investigation
from the hand, and describing a parabola ; and he found of causes, saying that this doctrine is in direct npposi-
that they followed the same law, that is, that the de- tion to the procedure of the mind in acquiring the know-
flection of the moon in a second, was to that of the stone ledge of causes. Since the fact of impulse is not really
in the same time, as the square of the stone's distance observed in the celestial deflections, nor in the motions whilst im-
from the centre of the earth, to the square of the moon's of heavy bodies, the law cannot be inferred. They say pulse itself
distance from it. Hence be concluded, that the deflec- that it is not even necessary to show that the phenomena served.
tion of a stone from a straight line was just a particular of the celestial motions are unlike the phenomena of im-
instance of the deflections which took place through the pulse, although this can be done in the completest man-
whole solar system.

ner. It is enough that neitber the fluid nor the impulse
The deflection of a stone is one of the indications it are observed; and therefore they are in the right when
gives of its being gravis or heavy; whence he calls it they assert, that there is inherent in, or accompanies all
gravitation. He therefore expresses the physical law the bodies of the system, a power by which they deflect
which obtains through the whole solar system, by saying to one another. See Optics.
that “every body gravitates to every other body; and The debate is foreign to our present purpose, which
the gravitations are proportional to the quantity of mat is only to show how the observation and arrangement of
ter in that other body, and inversely proportional to the phenomena terminates in the discovery of their causes,
square of the distance frons it.”

or the discovery of the powers or properties of natural
Thus we see how the arrangement of the celestial substances.
phenomena terminated in the discovery of physical laws; This is a task of great difficulty, as it is of great
and that the expression of this arrangement is the law importance. There are two chief causes of this diffi-

Since the fall of a beavy body is one instance of the 1. In most of the spontaneous phenomena of nature
physical law, and since this fall is considered by all as there is a complication of many events, and some of them
the effect of its weight, and this weight is considered as escape our observation. Attending only to the most ob-
the cause of the fall, the same cause is assigned for all vious or remarkable, we conjoin these only in our ima-

the deflections observed in the solar system; and all the gination, and are apt to think these the concomitant Causes of
matter in it is found to be under the influence of this events in nature, the proper indication of the cause, and the difficul.
cause, or to be beavy: and thus bis doctrine has been the subjects of this philosophical relation, and to suppose ty of philo-
denominated the system of universal gravitation. that they are always conjoined by nature. Thus it was sophical in-
Philosophers have gone farther, and have supposed thought that there resided in a vibrating chord a power

vestigation. that gravity is a power, property, or quality, residing by which the sensation of sound was excited, or that a in all the bodies of the solar system. Sir Isaac Newton chord bad a sounding quality. But it appears clearly does not expressly say so, at least in that work where he from observation that there is an inconceivable number gives an account of these discoveries. He contents him- of events interposed between the vibration of the chord self with the immediate consequence of the first axiom and the sensitive affection of our ear; and therefore, that in natural philosophy, viz. that every body remains in a sound is not the effect of the vibration of the chord, but state of rest, or of uniform rectilineal motion, unless af- of the very last event of this series : and this is comVOL. XVI. Part I.



called gre



View of pletely demonstrated by showing that the vibration and particular case of that regard which every person has for Viet of Bacon's the sound are not necessarily connected, because they are his dearest interests. The rise of water in pumps is ex. Bacon's Philosophy, not always connected, but require the interposition of plained, when we show it to be a particular case of the Philosoples

. air or of some other elastic body.

pressure of fluids, or of the air. The general law un-
These observations show the necessity of the most ac der which we show it to be properly arranged is called
curate and minute observation of the phenomena, that the PRINCIPLE of the explanation, and the explanation
none of those intermediate events may escape us, and we itself is called the THEORY of the phenomenon. Thus
be thus exposed to the chance of imaginary connections Euler's explanation of the lunar irregularities is called a
between events which are really far asunder in the pro- theory of the lunar motions on the principle of gravita-
cedure of nature. As the study has improved, mistakes tion.
of this kind have been corrected ; and philosophers are This may be done either in order to advance our own
careful to make their trains of events under one name as knowledge of nature, or to communicate it to others.
short as possible. Thus, in medicine, a drug is no long. If done with the first view, we must examine the pheno-
er eonsidered as a specific remedy for the disease which menon minutely, and endeavour to detect every circun-
is sometimes cured when it has been used, but is deno stance in it, and thus discover all the known laws of na-
minated by its most immediate operation on the ani ture which concur in its production ; we then appreciate
mal frame : it is no longer called a febrifuge, but a su the operation of each according to the circumstances of

its exertion ; we then combine all these, and compare Means of 2. When many natural powers combine their in the result with the phenomenon. If they are similar, insuring Anence in a spontaneous phenomenon of nature, it is fre we have explained the phenomenon. We cannot give a success,

quently very difficult to discover what part of the com better example than Franklin's explanation of the phe-
plicated effect is the effect of each ; and to state those nomena of thunder and lightning. See LIGHTNING, and
circumstances of similarity which are the foundation of a ELECTRICITY Index.
physical law, or entitle us to infer the agency of any na If we explain a phenomenon from known principles,
tural power. The most likely method for insuring suc we proceed synthetically from the general law already
cess in such cases is to get rid of this complication of established and known to exert its influence in the pre-
event, by putting the subject into such a situation that sent instance. We state this influence both in kind and
the operation of all the known powers of nature shall be degree according to the circumstances of the case ; and
suspended, or so modified as we may perfectly understand having combined them, we compare the result with the
their effects. We can thus appreciate the effects of phenomenon, and show their agreement, and thus it is
such as we could neither modify nor suspend, or we can explained. Thus, because all the bodies of the solar sys-
discover the existence of a new law, the operation of a tem mutually gravitate, the moon gravitates to the sun
new power,

as well as to the earth, and is continually, and in a cer-
This is called making an experiment; and is, of all, tain determinate manner, deflected from that part which
the most efiectual way of advancing in the knowledge she would describe did she gravitate only to the earth
of nature, and has been called EXPERIMENTAL PHILO. Her motion round the earth will be retarded during the

first and third quarters of her orbit, and accelerated duIt seems, however, at first sight, in direct opposition ring the second and fourth. Her orbit and her period to the procedure of nature in forming general laws. will be increased during our winter, and diminished duThese are formed by induction from multitudes of indi- ring our summer. Her apogee will advance, and her

vidual facts, and must be affirmed to no greater extent 57.

nodes will recede; and the inclination of her orbit will A seeming than the induction on which they are founded. Yet it be greatest when the nodes are in syzigee, and least whea anomaly is a matter of fact, a physical law of human thought, they are in quadrature. And all these variations will be explained. that one simple, clear, and unequivocal experiment, in certain precise degrees. Then we show that all these

gives us the most complete confidence in the truth of a things actually obtain the lunar motions, and they are
general conclusion from it to every similar case. Whence considered as explained.
this anomaly? It is not an anomaly or contradiction of This summary account of the object and employment
the general maxim of philosophical investigation, but the in all philosophical discussion is sufficient for pointing out
most refined application of it. There is no law more its plaee in the circle of the sciences, and will serve ta
general than this, that “ Nature is constant in all her direct us to the proper methods of prosecuting it with
operations." The judicious and simple form of our ex success. Events are its object; and they are considered
periment insures se (we imagine) in the complete know as connected with each other by causation, which may
ledge of all the circumstances of the event.

Upon this

there fore be called the philosophical relation of things. supposition, and this alone, we consider the experiment The following may be adopted as the fundamental proas the faithful representative of every possible case of the position on which all philosophical discussion proceeds,

conjunetion. This will be more minutely considered af and under which every philosophical discussion or disco58 terwards.

very may be arranged : Theory or The last branch of philosophic occupation is the ex Every change that we observe in the state or condi- Fundamenexplanation planation of subordinate phenomena. This is nothing tion of things is CONSIDERED BY US as an effect, indi tal proposi. nate pheno-more than the referring any particular phenomenon to cating the agency, characterising the kind, and deter-tion of phiшера,

losophical that class in which it is included; or, in the language mining the degree of its INFERRED cause."

discussion of philosophy, it is the pointing out the general law, or As thus enounced, this proposition is evidently a phy. that general fact of which the phenomenon is a particu- sical law of human thought. It may be enounced as a lar instance. Thus the feeling of the obligations of vir- necessary and independent truth, by saying, every change tue is thought to be explained, when it is shown to be a in the state and condition of things is an EFFECT, &c.





View of And accordingly it has been so enounced by Dr Reid* ; We believe that Mr Hume is the first author who View of Balcon's, and its title to this denominatiou has been abundantly has ventured to call the truth of this opinion in question ; Bacon's Philosophy.

supported by bim. But we have no occasion to consi. and even he does it only in the way of mere possibility. Philosophy * Essays der it as possessing this quality. We are speaking of He acknowledges the generality of the opinion ; and be on the In- philosophy, wbich is something contingent, depending only objects to the foundation of this generality : and tellectual

ControPowers of

on the existence and constitution of an intellectual he objects to it merely because it does not quadrate with verted by Man. being such as man ; and, in conformity to the view his theory of belief; and therefore it may happen that Mr Hume

which we have endeavoured to give of human knowledge some men may have no such opinion. But it must be
in the subjects of philosophical relation, it is quite suf observed on this occasion, that the opinion of a philoso-
ficient for our purpose that we maintain its title to the pher is of no greater weight in a case like this than that
rank of an universal law of human thought. This will of a ploughboy. If it be a first principle, directing the
make it a first principle, even although it may not be a opinions and actions of all, it must operate on the minds
necessary truth.

of all. The philosopher is the only person who may
All the proof necessary for this purpose is universa chance to be without it: for it requires much labour,
lity of fact; and we believe this to be without excep and long habits resolutely maintained, to warp our na-
tion. We are not to expect that all mankind have made, tural sentiments, and experience shows us that they
or will ever make, a formal declaration of their opinion; may be warped if we are at sufficient pains. It is also
but we may venture to say that all have made it, and worthy of rema:k, that this philosopher seems as much
continually do make it, virtually. What have the phi- under the influence of this law as ordinary mortals. It
losophers of all ages been employed about but the disco is only when he is aware of its not tallying with his

61 very of the causes of those changes that are incessantly, other doctrines that his scruples appear. Observe how with great going on? Nil turpius physico (says Cicero) quam fieri he speaks when off his guard : “ As to those impres- inconsistsine causâ quidquam dicere. Human curiosity has been sions wbich arise from the senses, their ultimate cause ency. directed to nothing so powerfully and so constantly as to is, in my opinion, perfectly inexplicable by human rea

Many absurd causes have been assigned for the son; and it will always be impossible to decide with
phenomena of the universe ; but no set of men have certainty whether they arise immediately from the ob-
ever said that they happened without a cause. This is ject, are produced by the creative power of the mind,
so repugnant to all our propensities and instincts, that or are derived from the Author of our being."
even the atheistical sect, who, of all others, would have Among these alternatives he never thought of their
profited most by the doctrine, have never thought of not being derived from any cause.
advancing it. To avoid so shocking an absurdity, they But it is not enough to show that this is a physical
have rather allowed that chance, that the concourse of law of the human mind: we have assumed it as a first
atoms, are the causes of the beautiful arrangements of principle, the foundation of a whole science ; tberefore
nature. The thoughtless vulgar are no less solicitous not included in or derived from any thing more general.
than the philosophers to discover the cause of things; Mr Hume's endeavours to prove that it is not a neces-
and the poet expresses the natural and instinctive pas sary truth, show with sufficient evidence that most at-
sion of all men, when he says,

tempts to derive it in the way of argument are petitiones
Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.
principii; a thing very commonly met with in all at-

62 tempts to prove first principles. It cannot be proyed This proAnd this anxiety is not to nourish, but to get rid of su by induction of facts that every event has a cause, be- position a perstitious fears: for thus

cause induction always supposes an observed fact or

first prinevent. Now in by far the greatest number of events pable of

ciple incametus omnes, ei inexorabile fatum Subjecit pedibus, strepitumque Acherontis avari.

the causes are unknown. Perhaps in no event what-proof.

ever do we know the real cause, or that power or Had men never speculated, their conduct alone giver energy which, without any intervention, produces the sufficient evidence of the universality of the opinion. effect. No man can say, that in 'the simplest event The whole conduct of man is regulated by it, nay, al. which he ever observed, he was fully apprised of every most wholly proceeds upon it, in the most important circunstance which concurred to its production. We matters, and where experience seems to leave us in suppose that no event in nature can be adduced more doubt : and to act otherwise, as if any thing whatever simple than the motion of a suspended glass ball when happened without a cause, would be a declaration of in- gently struck by another glass ball ; and we imagine sanity. Dr Reid has beantifully illustrated this truth, that most of our readers will say that he perfectly sees by observing, that even a child will laugh at you if you every thing which happens in this phenomenon.' We try to persuade him that the top, which he misses from believe, too, that most of our readers are of opinion the place where he left it, was taken away by nobody. that a body is never put in motion but by the impulse You may persuade him that it was taken away by'a of another, except in the cases of animal motion ; and fairy or a spirit; but he believes no more about this no that they are disposed to imagine that magnets put iron body, than the master of the house when he is told that in motion, and that an electrified body moves another, nobody was the author of any piece of theft or mischief. by means of an interposed though invisible fluid someWhat opinion would be formed, says Dr Reid, of the how circulating round them. Now we must inform such intellects of the juryman, on a trial for murder by per readers, that unless the stroke has been very smart, 80 sons unknown, who should say that the fractured skull, smart indeed as to shatter the glass balls, the motion of the watch and money gone, and other like circum the suspended ball was produced without impulse : that stanice3, might possibly have no cause ? he would be is, the two balls were not in contact during the stroke; pronounced insane or corrupted.

and the distance between them was not less than the


3C 2

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