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ability, operation, nor influence, when presented to the mind, and conceived by it.

In reply, permit me to declare, that in my opinion, ability and operation in mental matters, that is, the efficient part of a mental cause, as really exifts and may be as fully proved, as the existence of ability and operation in matter, conftituting the efficient part of a phyfical cause.

By the medium obfervation, we have, I mean all have, a notion, yea cannot exclude the notion of ability and operation, when a signal puts an army in motion. The fame thing is evident, when fight of alms moves a beggar to our doors. In all fimilar cafes, we obferve, that the effects produced in men by objects presented to their perception, are as constant, uniform, and certain, as the motion of a watch on winding up the fpring. But by obfervation on others, we cannot trace power through any intermediate stages of human intellect, or perceive any thing of its operation, till it again makes its appearance, by the man's external motion, of fome fort or other: The paffions and purpofe, often appear involuntary in the countenance.- -There is certainly no man who has lived any time in the world, but is by his obfervations practically convinced, has attained conviction on thousands of experiments, and every day acts on such conviction, that commands, invitations, promises, and threatenings, have ability, and consequently

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in fuitable circumftances have influence: nay, in fome cafes, is next to certain, when well acquainted with the party, or his circumstances, of what will be the effect of mental causes, previous to their existence and influence on an individual. Even in general cafes, no man doubts but merchandize will be fold when the full price is offered. Alms will be accepted by the foliciting neceffitous. A loan will be accepted in certain circumstances. Ruth iii. 18, "The man will not be in reft, until he has finished the thing this day."

Although common sense, in my apprehenfion, must infallibly secure an affent in those unprejudiced by zeal for a system, yet I readily grant that many feem as ignorant of what paffes in the mind of the party, between his perception of the object and his fhewing visible signs, as another is, of the operation of a coffee mill, from its receiving the coffee to its discharging it in powder. Or as another person is, of the maintaining force of a watch, as imparting motion to all the wheels. But as in these cafes all readily admit, that the intelligent know in the first inftance, whether the effect is produced by scraping, cutting, filing, or bruifing, and in the latter inftance, can trace operation and influence, from wheel to wheel, till its laft effect: Why fhould it be difficult to fuppofe, that those exercised in reflection on what passes in their.

their minds, may trace influence, if not operation, through feveral modifications of thinking?

Although by observation alone, we can have no conception of the various ftates of another perfon's modified thinking, or thoughts, between his evident perceiving, and consequent acting or forbearing: yet as taught by a large induction of experimental reflections, we conceive, and that even habitually, of ability in thought under one modification, and its operation, in and on the mind in refpect of thought, under another modification: And thus giving birth to a new ability and confequent operation, until action or refraining claims our observation:-So that to gain any conception of what paffes in the interim, we must reflect on what we feel within ourselves in fimilar fituations for from all experiments made, we find no reason but to conclude, that as in water and in the glass, face answers to face, so doth the heart of man to man. Prov. xxvii. 19.

Much knowledge of mind may be gained by many reflections. I fay, without hesitation, that an unlettered ploughman, who is accustomed to reflection on what he is confcious of, knows more of caufal efficiency, respecting changes in his own mind, than one perfon in an hundred does, of the various agency and efficiency of a complicated machine for any one purpose: fuch, for inftance, as the stocking loom; tapestry and carpet looms; water engine or steam engine. I do not


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fay, he is able to talk pertinently of mental ope


If the objector fhould further alledge, that mental mediums, such as rewards, punishments, offers, &c. do not always fucceed, the effect desired is not always produced.-Granted, but thus it is also even in mechanical matters. Witness the many experiments yearly, but unsuccessfully made, and why, but because there was not a happy conjunction of unknown properties, with fuch properties as were known? I doubt not but the ploughman, juft refered to, was able to discover more of what prevented, when his addreffes to a neigbouring nymph were not accepted, and in many other mental cafes, than one person in a thousand can of the cause of his watch ftopping.

In my apprehenfion, mental causes are causes in as proper a fenfe as any causes whatsoever, they have as real an operation, and are as truly the ground and reafon of an event coming to pafs. I have faid fo much on this fubject, because many men feem to forget, or affect to forget, that there is any other operation or influence in the world, but under the laws of matter, which they seem to apprehend they can univerfally form conceptions of.

.. I would remind objectors, that the laws of thinking, are in a great measure known, and actually applied to practice. Do not writers of no


vels and plays owe their ability to please, to that knowledge? And thus alfo, orators of every clafs who are fkilled in perfuafion?

Does not the gamefter owe the perfection of his dexterity at cards, drafts, and fome other games, to knowledge of the confequences of ability, capacity, and of changing circumstances on the thoughts of his opponent?

And respecting evil operation, Does the politician plan and execute his manœuvres for raifing insurrections in an oppofing country without affuming knowledge of the laws of mental effi. ciency?

Let these obfervations fuffice for the present, a more particular attention to these points, belongs to the second subject of this Essay, which we prefently enter on. Suffer me in this place to addThere are laws or rules of the operations of the mind; there also laws of the operations which exift in the material fyftem; and as the latter are the ultimate conclufions, which the human faculties can fometimes reach in the philofophy of bodies, fo the former are frequently the ultimate conclufions we can reach in the philofophy of minds.

"In the operations of the mind, as well as in those of bodies, we must often be fatisfied with knowing, that certain things are connected, and invariably follow one another, without being able to discover the chain that goes between them." Such

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