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   Chapter 3 THE FUNCTIONS AND LIMITATIONS OF THE MIND.

To Infidelity and Back By Henry F. Lutz Characters: 38053

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03


The objections made to faith are by no means an effect of knowledge, but proceed rather from ignorance of what knowledge is.-Bishop Berkley.

No difficulty emerges in theology which has not previously emerged in philosophy.-Sir Wm. Hamilton.

The human mind inevitably and by virtue of its essential constitution finds itself involved in self-contradictions whenever it ventures on certain courses of speculation.-Mansel.

In the last two chapters I presented the reasons that led me to infidelity and back to Christ, as they appeared to me while in the thick of the conflict and soon after. In this and following chapters I wish to present the matter in the light that has come to me on the subject up to the present date.

As will be noticed in the previous chapters, the external causes that drove me to infidelity were the theology of creeds, sectarianism and the apparent difficulties in the Bible and in religion. But the real underlying cause was rationalism, or a failure to recognize the proper functions and limitations of the finite intellect. In later chapters, I shall show how I overcame the difficulties about creeds and speculative theology and how I solved the problem of sectarianism by turning to Christian union on the primitive gospel. In this chapter I wish to speak more definitely of rationalism or the subjective cause of my infidelity. For, after all, the whole matter resolves itself into a question of psychology, or science of the mind. What is the profit of reading numerous books on the subject, pro and con, so long as we are reading the books through colored glasses that deceive our vision and lead us to apply false tests as to what the truth in the matter is?

There must be some matters that require our prayerful and serious consideration, when we observe how the most talented, scholarly, devout and honest of all ages have been divided into warring camps on questions of religion, politics, medicine and science. Certainly truth is not divided; and there must be some mysterious, deceptive mental pitfalls that have caused this Babel of confusion. When we count the cost of this warring conflict of the choicest spirits of the earth in waste, failure, suffering, bloodshed and death, and contemplate the gain in prosperity, progress, happiness and conquest over ignorance and evil, that would have resulted had all the good been enabled to see alike, and thus unite on the truth, we cannot fail to be impressed with the fact that this is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, theme that has ever engaged the attention of mortal man. Well may we ask with Pilate, "What is truth?" Or perhaps the more important question, "How can we discover what is truth?" What is there in the nature of the mind that side-tracks the wisest and best in their effort to know the truth? Why was Paul, the conscientious, intellectual giant, so deceived that he "verily thought he was doing God service" while destroying the best and holiest thing that had ever come to earth? Why did Cotton Mather and other saintly, scholarly Christians martyr innocent saints as witches? Why did devout patriots of the North and South slaughter each other in cold blood? Why were the scientific theses written at Harvard during forty years, all found out of date by Edward Everett Hale? Why are the intelligent and consecrated hosts of Christ wasting three-fourths of their men and money through sectarian divisions? Why are the intelligent, patriotic citizens of America divided into two camps on free silver and other issues when the truth and their interest are one, and by a united effort they could carry every election for truth and righteousness? Common sense asks, Why? The interests of humanity ask, Why? Love and compassion ask, Why? I believe we must find the answer chiefly in the failure to understand clearly the nature and functions of the mind.

The Nature of Conscience.

Turn, for example, to conscience. What is its nature? Is it a safe guide? Does it always tell us what is right? Why has conscience fought on both sides of every great historical conflict? Surely we should stay this awful, pitiable and destructive conflict of the conscientious; at least, long enough to examine most earnestly into the cause of this strange and disastrous puzzle. If conscience is not a safe guide, then woe betide us; for it is the only moral guide we have, or, at least, the only avenue through which human and divine truth can guide us. For it is the moral nature itself.

The eye without light cannot see, but if we are lost in a forest, the eye becomes helpless as a guide, even if there is light. Yet the eye is a safe guide, and in bodily movements it is essentially the only guide we have. We thus learn that to exercise their function the eyes must have light and knowledge of the localities in which they are to act as a guide. What the eyes are in guiding our bodily movements, that the conscience is in guiding our moral actions. But as the eyes without light and knowledge are helpless as a guide, so conscience without love and truth is a blind monster. There is conscience and conscience. And as long as we use the term ambiguously and fail to discriminate between conscience proper and the term as used in the looser, larger sense, we will have nothing but confusion. Conscience proper is simply the impulse of the soul that urges us to do right as we see the right. We do not deny that it also embodies the basic element in the soul that enables us to discover what is right; but our conviction as to what is right is dependent upon knowledge acquired through other faculties. When we speak of conscience in the loose and general sense, we refer to both of these elements. In this sense conscience is the product of a number of faculties working together. Thus when we talk about following conscience, we mean following the voice of our moral nature, or the convictions of the highest and best aspirations in our soul. Conscience should always be followed as a guide in both its proper and larger sense; but as an impulse to do what we believe to be right, it is infallible, while as a guide to knowledge of what is right, it is fallible and liable to lead us into all kinds of folly and error.

While, therefore, we should always follow our conscience, or our highest conviction of what is right, we should assiduously probe our conscience day by day to seek for errors in the part that is dependent upon information. In other words, a truly conscientious person not only scrupulously does what he believes to be right; but he also constantly strives to get all the truth, that his conscience may be enlightened more and more. To follow our conscience, therefore, in searching for and obeying the truth, is our highest duty to God, and it is the sine qua non of acceptance with him. This is the "love of the truth" (2 Thess. 2:10), "the good and honest heart" (Luke 8:15), through which the gospel becomes fruitful. To refuse to follow our conscience, or highest light of duty, as revealed in the Bible or from any other source, is treason toward God in whose image we were morally created; and such persons forfeit heaven, no matter how faultless their outward acts may be. With God it is a matter of the inner motive, as the entire Bible reveals. The man who lives a respectable life outwardly, but fails to meet his inner moral obligations, is not a good moral man, but a hypocrite. Therefore no man can ever be saved without morality in the full and true sense of the word. Conscience, then, enlightened by truth, is the voice of God to the soul. The Proverb says, "The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inward parts" (Prov. 20:27), while in Rom. 2:14-16 we read: "For when Gentiles that have not the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are the law unto themselves; in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness therewith, and their thoughts one with another accusing or else excusing them; in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men, according to my gospel, by Jesus Christ."

God wants us to follow our present conviction of duty until by investigation we discover a better one. Thus God guides the individual in his conduct through his conscience enlightened by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 9:1). But this guidance is only for the individual. It has a fallible element in it that needs to be improved by constant and vigilant readjustment as the individual increases his knowledge and sharpens his conscience by exercise (Rom. 12:2). Alas! how much mischief has come from neglect of these facts. How many have tried to thrust the leadings of their conscience on others, in and out of creeds. Again, how many good people have become self-righteous and despised those who differed from them because they mistook matters of opinion and expediency as matters of conscience, through failing to recognize the fallible, variable element in their conscience. How foolish we act if we do not keep in mind these distinctions. The infidel who claimed that he was unhappy because he knew too much, and that Christians are happy because they are deluded, and then promulgated his misery-producing doctrine for conscience' sake, is an illustration of the absurdity into which a sensitive but perverted conscience will lead a person. But yesterday I met a very conscientious young man who left the ministry because he could not agree, with members of the church he was serving, on matters of expediency. On my table lies a letter recently received from a young man who graduated for the ministry last spring, but through doubts, similar to those I formerly experienced, left the ministry for conscience' sake. This unhappiness of doubters and this testimony of their consciences, even while they hold opinions that logically rob conscience of any authority, should cause every one to think; and is strong evidence that skepticism is unnatural and fundamentally wrong. I followed rationalism into infidelity for conscience' sake. I gave up belief in the miraculous and supernatural in the Bible for conscience' sake. But after the rationalists had driven me to this bitter end, through my sensitive conscience, I was gravely informed that conscience was a mere creature of education and therefore should only be followed conditionally.

I discovered sufficient truth in this claim to open my eyes to the fact that I had been deceived and had followed the fallible part of my conscience, which is a creature of education, as though it were infallible and the voice of God.

It will be noticed that eternal life depends on the infallible element of conscience, while stupendous, yet only mundane, interests depend upon its fallible element. This is a mystery that perplexes a great many people. Is ignorance an excuse? Does it not matter what you believe, just so you are honest? The highest and best thing anybody can ever do, is to follow his conscience, or the voice of his highest moral and spiritual nature. This the teaching of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. To teach that God would damn a soul for doing this is destructive of all moral distinctions, and is as abominable as the old doctrine that God elects certain people and damns others irrespective of their thoughts and conduct. Ignorance is an excuse if it is innocent ignorance. What about those who are willfully ignorant? or those who have a seared conscience? They are not following their conscience at all. Conscience insists that we make every possible effort to get the truth. By a seared conscience we mean a person who does not follow his conscience at all, and he knows it.

We know that ignorant innocence is an excuse in the sight of God, but we do not know who is innocently ignorant. The former fact is revealed to us in the Bible, but the latter is known only to God. Therefore in these matters we should "judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels of the heart; and then shall each man have his praise from God" (I Cor. 4:5).

Nothing has ever been revealed more clearly in the Bible than that innocent ignorance is an excuse in the sight of God. The cities of refuge and the entire ceremonial law were based upon this fact. Christ said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). James says, "To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (Jas. 4:17). In Acts 17:30 we read, "The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked." In the second chapter of Romans Paul makes it clear that each person shall be judged by the light that comes to him, whether in or out of the law or of the gospel. Heathen people, who never heard the gospel, will not be condemned for rejecting the gospel, but for rejecting the light that came to them through their conscience and through other sources. "For this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19). But we will be condemned if we do not do all in our power to bring the gospel to the heathen.

We need not worry about the pious, conscientious peoples scattered among the sectarian churches; but we need to worry lest we do not do all in our power to make it impossible for them to remain pious and conscientious while upholding sectarianism. It is our duty to help them to understand the Word; and if, after they understand it, they refuse to obey it, they are under condemnation. But we cannot and dare not decide whether they understand it or not. It is ours to preach the Word, and it will judge them in that Great Day.

The ground or mainspring of conscience is love-love of the well-being or welfare of all sentient beings, or of all beings capable of enjoying happiness. Our conscience goads us to do what love demands as our duty. He who, through want of discrimination, ignores the love element in conscience, becomes a cruel misanthrope, and is misguided by a perverted conscience. May the Lord help us to clear up our minds on this subject of conscience so that this divine light may lead us onward and upward towards perfection in holiness; and that this eye of the moral nature may not be deprived of love and knowledge and thus flounder around like a blind giant spreading misery and suffering everywhere.

The Feelings or Emotions.

Psychology divides the mind into intellect, sensibilities and will. This is doubtless a valuable classification in a general way. But the classification is very general and indefinite. Indeed, school psychology has confined itself almost entirely to a consideration of the general operations of the mind and has given us very little light on the classification of the mental faculties. The limited attempts at classification have varied considerably according to the subjective make-up of the author, as the classifications were based on introspection.

While the deductive, axiomatic or intuitive, scholastic or introspective methods of inquiry prevailed in the intellectual world, systems of philosophy, psychology and theology were built up according to the peculiar subjective nature of their author, and held the field until some other strong mind projected its views of the subject and thus rivaled or supplanted the other systems. It was the modern inductive or empirical method of investigation, introduced by Bacon, Locke, Mill and others, that has put knowledge on a real scientific basis and has led to the marvelous scientific and material progress of recent times. I believe the time is not far distant when the old medieval, introspective psychology of the schools will be displaced by a more scientific system. All that is of value in the old system will be retained, but the most valuable psychological knowledge will come from the new system. That this need is generally recognized by those who have given the matter most attention, is evidenced by the words of that prince of modern psychologists, Professor James, when he says, "At present psychology is in the condition of physics before Galileo and the laws of motion or of chemistry before Lavoisier." I believe that phrenology has blazed the way for this new psychology. It was violently attacked by the old-school psychologists because it taught that the brain is the instrument of the mind, that the mind has a plurality of faculties and that various brain functions can be localized. Every one conversant with the present literature on physiology and psychology will see that phrenologists have conquered, and that their basic principles are now accepted by all. It is now simply a matter of the application of these principles by further investigation. The psychologists have made some progress in brain localization through various mechanical and more or less abnormal methods of investigation. When they come to a more sensible and natural method of inquiry by observing the concomitance between various brain developments and various mental traits, I feel sure that they will have to admit that the phrenologists are essentially right in their brain localizations, just as they have already admitted that they are right in their basic principles.

That the tide is already turning is manifest from the following quotations.

Alfred Russell Wallace, one of the greatest of scientists, in his book, "The Wonderful Century," says: "I begin with the subject of phrenology, a science of whose substantial truth and vast importance I have no more doubt than I have of the value and importance of any of the great intellectual advances already recorded.

"In the coming century, phrenology will assuredly attain general acceptance. It will prove itself to be the true science of mind. Its practical use in education, in self-discipline, in the reformatory treatment of criminals, and in the remedial treatment of the insane, will give it one of the highest places in the hierarchy of sciences; and its persistent neglect and obloquy during the last sixty years, will be referred to as an example of the almost incredible narrowness and prejudice which prevailed among men of science at the very time they were making such splendid advances in other fields of thought and action."

Benard Hollander, M.D., F.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., in his late book on "Functions of the Brain," says: "What Gall knew at the close of the eighteenth century is only just dawning upon the scientists of the present day. The history of Gall and his doctrine is given in these pages, and will be quite a revelation to the reader. No subject has ever been so thoroughly misrepresented, even by learned men of acknowledged authority." In his "Scientific Phrenology," Dr. Hollander says: "In this volume I have laid stress on the strictly phrenological method of observing special parts of the brain, distinct lobes and convolutions, and comparing their size to development of the rest of the brain-whic

h, if applied in conjunction with the study of the mental characteristics of our fellow-beings, would enable us to make observations by the million. This method, which was considered unscientific, and hence shunned, for a long time, has found favor with scientists, since the author's first papers on scientific phrenology were published in 1886, and was for the first time advocated publicly last year by Dr. Cunningham, professor of anatomy in Dublin University, in his presidential address to the Anthropological Section of the British Association at their meeting in Glasgow. Dr. Cunningham was upheld by Sir Wm. Turner, professor of anatomy at Edinburgh University and president of the General Medical Council, who, like Sir Sam. Wilks, the expresident of the College of Physicians, and the late Sir James Paget, besides others with whom I have not come in contact, have always kept an open mind on this subject. In Germany, Dr. Landois, professor of physiology at Griefswalt, has been long urging a reinvestigation of Gall's doctrines; Dr. R. Sommer, professor of clinical psychiatry at Griessen, recommends it, not dogmatically, but as a working hypothesis; and the Swiss professor of physiology, Dr. Von Bunge, in his text-book just published, acts as pioneer in devoting two chapters to a rehabilitation of Gall; Dr. Mobius, of Leipsic, has published several books on the same subject, and, quite lately, the renowned professor of psychiatry in the University of Vienna, Dr. R. Von Krafft-Ebing, has joined in the defense of this great discovery."

Beecher said that if he were in the pulpit without his knowledge of phrenology, he would feel like a mariner at sea without a compass; and he declared: "All my life long I have been in the habit of using phrenology as that which solves the practical phenomena of life. I regard it far more useful, practical and sensible than any other system of mental philosophy which has yet been evolved."

Horace Mann said: "I declare myself a hundred times more indebted to phrenology than to all the metaphysical works that I ever read. . . . I look upon phrenology as the guide to philosophy and the handmaid of Christianity. Whoever disseminates true phrenology is a public benefactor."

Joseph Cook declared: "Choosing a foreman or clerk, guiding the education of children, settling my judgment of men in public or private life, estimating a wife or husband, and their fitness for each other, or endeavoring to understand myself and to select the right occupation, there is no advice of which I so often feel the need as that of a thoroughly able, scientific, experienced and Christian phrenologist."

Oliver Wendell Holmes changed his views on phrenology in his maturer years and said: "We owe phrenology a great debt. It has melted the world's conscience in its crucible and cast it in a new mould, with features less like those of Moloch and more like those of humanity."

Andrew Carnegie said: "Not to know phrenology is sure to keep you standing on the 'Bridge of Sighs' all your life."

I think the superiority of the phrenological classification of the mental powers to that of other systems of psychology will be apparent from the following:

Phrenological Analysis of Mental Faculties.

I. Domestic Propensities (Family Affections).

1. Amativeness-Love between the sexes. 2. Conjugality-Matrimony, love of one. 3. Parental Love-Regard for offspring, pets, etc. 4. Friendship, sociability. 5. Inhabitiveness-Love of home. 6. Continuity-One thing at a time.

II. Selfish Propensities (Lookout for "No. 1").

1. Vitativeness-Love of life. 2. Combativeness-Resistance, defense. 3. Destructiveness-Executiveness, force. 4. Alimentiveness-Appetite, hunger. 5. Acquisitiveness-Accumulation. 6. Secretiveness-Policy, management. 7. Bibativeness-Fondness for liquids.

III. Selfish Sentiments (Promote Self-interests).

1. Cautiousness-Prudence, provision. 2. Approbativeness-Ambition, display. 3. Self-esteem-Self-respect, dignity. 4. Firmness-Decision, perseverance.

IV. Moral Sentiments (Religion and Morality).

1. Conscientiousness-Justice, equity. 2. Hope-Expectation, enterprise. 3. Spirituality-Intuition, faith, credulity. 4. Veneration-Devotion, respect. 5. Benevolence-Kindness, goodness.

V. Semi-intellectual Sentiments (Self-perfecting Group).

1. Constructiveness-Mechanical ingenuity. 2. Ideality-Refinement, taste, purity. 3. Sublimity-Love of grandeur, infinitude. 4. Imitation-Copying, patterning. 5. Mirthfulness-Jocoseness, wit, fun. 6. Human Nature-Perception of motives. 7. Agreeableness-Pleasantness, suavity.

VI. Intellectual Faculties.

1. Perceptive Faculties (Perceive physical qualities).

(1) Individuality-Observation, desire to see. (2) Form-Recollection of shape. (3) Size-Measuring by the eye. (4) Weight-Balancing, climbing. (5) Color-Judgment of colors. (6) Order-Method, system, arrangement. (7) Calculation-Mental arithmetic. (8) Locality-Recollection of places.

2. Semi-perceptive or Literary Faculties.

(1) Eventuality-Memory of facts. (2) Time-Cognizance of duration. (3) Tune-Sense of harmony and melody. (4) Language-Expression of ideas.

3. Reasoning or Reflective Faculties.

(1) Causality-Applying causes to effects.

(2) Comparison-Inductive reasoning.

NOTE.-These definitions are taken from "The Self-instructor," Fowler &

Wells Co., New York, the leading phrenological publishing-house.

I have received more help for my practical work in the ministry from phrenology than from any other half-dozen studies, except the Bible. Even if its physical basis could not be substantiated, its analysis of the mental faculties is far better and more helpful than that of any other system of psychology. While it places the intellectual, moral and spiritual faculties at the top as supreme, it is just as vitally interested in the care of the body, education, discipline, self-culture, choice of occupation, matrimonial adaptation, heredity and all the practical affairs of life. How could a person be more healthy, happy and successful than by normally and harmoniously developing all his faculties as phrenology points them out to him?

Phrenology teaches that the mind has certain elementary, selective instincts, or propensities and sentiments, that attract to them the mental food germane to their function just as the various cells of the body select from the blood the elements required. I say that these instincts have selective power, but they are subject to perversion, and dependent upon the guidance of judgment and knowledge, just as conscience does. Take, for example, the appetite for different kinds of food, the faculty of music, judgment of color, beauty, etc.; and you will see at once that they have selective power, but that this power can become perverted, and thus lead to great difference of opinion. Notice that while these faculties are not infallible guides, and need the earnest help of other faculties to be the most useful to us, no one can deny that they point toward truth on these subjects, and are our proper and only guides along these lines.

Some of the faculties of the mind inspire the specialized affections; as, love for wife, children, home, friends, etc., which are at the very foundation of our Christian civilization. These special affections have their proper claims upon us, and in so far as they are neglected we become unhappy; but when they exert more than their proper influence, they warp our judgment and more or less unbalance our character. How many people are blinded to truth because of selfish love for their children, or their home, or their party, or their church.

There are some things that the feelings cannot do. For example, they cannot give us information about facts outside of the mind. The faculty of love cannot reveal to a young man the existence of a young lady; but when he gets acquainted with her through what he sees and hears, he can feel that he loves her; and after learning that she is willing to become his, he can and will feel happy because of the fact. The world is full of folly, division and fanaticism because people look to their feelings or impressions for things that they cannot furnish. Thus people have claimed immediate knowledge of God, of pardon, of the will of God, of their perfection and security, etc., through their feelings. It is true that God created all nations "that they should seek God, if haply they might feel [Professor Green says the Greek word here means 'to feel or grope for or after, as persons in the dark'] after him and find him" (Acts 17:27). When we see the condition of the heathen nations to whom the revelation of the Bible has not come, we must admit that they are indeed "groping or feeling in the dark after God," as their superstitions and idolatries abundantly testify.

Of course people feel good whenever they follow their conscience, or best conviction of duty; but the feeling of conscience cannot tell them of the gospel of Christ, and of the pardon it makes possible to them. Just as people who trust their "reason," or their "think so's," as the voice of God, naturally reject the Bible as a revelation from God, so those that trust their "feel so's" will naturally have no use for the Bible in conversion, sanctification or as an evidence of pardon. It is easy to become so self-confident about our feelings, or impressions, as to believe them to be axiomatic truths or direct revelations from God. This has been one of the most fruitful sources of strife and divisions in religion, and the handicap that for centuries held the world in medieval darkness. The false prophets of the Old Testament were very religious men. That is, they had strong hereditary religious faculties. But these strong religious feelings, perverted, led them to trusting the imaginations and impressions of their hearts as the will of God instead of following his will as revealed in the Bible (Jer. 23:16, 17, 28, 30-32).

Conscience is a safe guide; but it is not an infallible guide, and it is our duty to perfect it day by day by seeking more truth and obeying it. Our instincts or feelings are safe guides within certain limitations; but they are not perfect guides, and it is our duty to strengthen, guide and restrain them with the knowledge and help that other faculties can supply.

The Intellect.

Let us now see what light we can get concerning the intellect. What are its functions and limitations? Is it safe as a guide? According to the phrenological classification, the intellectual faculties are divided into three classes; viz.: the perceptive, literary and reasoning faculties. The perceptive faculties bring us into relationship with the external world, and through them we learn about the color, size, form, weight, etc., of material objects. If the phrenologists are right, then neither those who claim that the mind is like a blank sheet and knows nothing but what it gets from without, nor those who ascribe almost everything to innate, intuitive ideas, are wholly correct. As usual, the truth lies midway between the two extremes. The mind has innate, intuitive powers of perception, selection and discrimination without which material objects, events and thoughts could make no more impression upon us than upon a fence-rail. But these innate powers are subject to improvement by heredity and culture and their dictates must be carefully watched and corrected by other faculties, as they are fallible and most of them subject to perversion and delusion. As the conscience and sentiments although not infallible, are our only guides in their sphere; so our perceptive faculties are good and safe, but not perfect, guides. These perceptive faculties, in a measure, help and correct each other's impressions; and through optical illusions, expectant attention, dreams, etc., we learn that their dictates must be carefully watched and verified. The latest voice of science is that all the sensation produced by physical stimulants can also be produced by the imagination; so that people can feel cold, heat, pain, etc., when there is no physical cause for them. These things should not make us skeptical about our perceptive powers, but rather cautiously critical.

If we turn to the reasoning faculties we find that they have been the cause of most contention and misunderstanding. On the one hand have been the extreme intuitionalists, or deductive theorizers, who for centuries limited philosophical thought almost entirely to fruitless, abstract, deductive reasoning based upon premises that had no real foundation in facts. As John Stuart Mill pointed out, the mind may become so accustomed to conceiving of a thing as true that it seems like an axiomatic truth, although facts discovered later may show that it was an error. Thus the time was before modern discoveries, when people could not conceive of persons living under the earth walking with their heads down, or of objects attracted towards each other without some material object to connect them and thus draw them together.

Other extremists have looked upon the mind as a blank sheet, or have become so skeptical of its intuitive impressions that they mistrust its guidance almost entirely, especially in religious matters; although, strange to say, they inconsistently seem to trust it all the more in material things.

It cannot be denied that our "think so's," "feel so's," impressions, prejudices and inherited or preconceived ideas may seem as infallible to us as any so-called axiomatic or intuitive truths. This delusion of the mind has led to multitudes of errors and has held people in bondage to ignorance and superstition in all centuries and in all countries. It has ever been the greatest hindrance to progress. Closely allied to this and reinforcing it is the inertia of the mind, through which it naturally continues to run in the grooves in which it has been running. After awhile the grooves or ruts become so deep and smooth that it seems next to impossible to turn out of them without breaking something or upsetting the mental team. We see on every hand how hard it is to get away from the ideas we have inherited or in which we have lived a long time. When truth, like a vine-dresser, has attempted to trim off these unnecessary and injurious accretions, it has always raised the hue and cry that the foundations of truth were being destroyed.

When Mansel, in his Bampton lectures of 1858, showed that the finite intellect is inadequate and helpless in trying to grasp the truth where infinity of any kind is involved, the cry was raised that he robbed reason of its glory and authority, tore away the very foundation of religion and of all truth, and opened the way to all kinds of skepticism. But the very purpose of that marvelous piece of reasoning was to lead people to the truth as revealed in the Bible and to keep them from setting it aside or robbing it of its power because it transcends their finite intellects. Good but misled people, in all ages, have set aside or limited God's Word by their "think so's" or "feel so's," which were mistakingly taken as an infallible test of truth. Just as man by feeling knew not God (Acts 17:27), so man by wisdom knew not God; and it pleased God by the foolishness of a revealed gospel to save such as accept it by faith (I Cor. 1:21). President Schurman voices the highest conclusion of philosophy when he says that the farthest reason can go is to assert that God is necessary as a working theory. To this we can add conceptions of God revealed in our moral nature (Rom. 1:19, 20). But what a lifeless skeleton this is compared to the revelation of God in Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Bacon, Locke, Mill and others have joined in the battle to destroy a false trust in subjective impressions without subjecting them to a fearless test of observed facts as revealed in experience, observation and testimony. This is not intellectual skepticism that destroys all the authority of reason and leaves us to imbecility. Just as the conscience, sentiments and perceptive faculties are our safe, proper and necessary guides, although not infallible, so our logical reason is our safe and necessary guide to truth, although helpless to grasp and understand infinite truths and likely to deceive us unless we carefully test its impressions or conceptions by experience and facts. Reason is the eye of the intellect as conscience is of the moral nature. But as the eye is helpless as a guide without light, and the conscience without love, so reason is helpless and worthless as a guide without facts. There is no conflict between theory and practise if the theory takes into consideration all the facts. For example, if from the fact that a horse can trot a mile in three minutes on the race-track, one should conclude that he can trot from one city to another five miles away in fifteen minutes, the theory would be false, because it did not take into consideration the condition of the road and the fact that a horse cannot keep up the same speed for a long distance. Whatever impressions or conceptions of the mind may be self-evident or axiomatic truths, it is certain that our highest conception of truth must be taken as our only and necessary guide; but, knowing the variable part of our judgment, and knowing how very likely we are to be mistaken in our "think so's" and "feel so's," we should ever be on the alert to verify or rectify our convictions by the help of experience and facts. The question as to how much of our intellectual power is intuitive and innate, or how much is acquired and dependent upon truth learned by induction, is not so important after all. For the powers of the mind which enable it to learn truths through induction from facts observed and experienced come from God just as much as the powers that enable us to see truth intuitively.

If we take the consensus of all the mental faculties, we have the wonderful human intelligence created but little lower than the angels and crowned with glory and honor (Ps. 8:5). Created in the very image of God himself (Gen. 1:27), man is an intelligence with the threefold guidance of intellect, conscience and sentiments which give him abundant light for his daily walk in the fear of the Lord. But even our so-called "consciousness," including all these powers, is fallible and subject to deception, perversion and delusion and therefore it needs the help of the truth revealed in the Bible and the help of all the truth we can learn from life and science to enable us to fulfill our highest destiny and to continue to progress Godward and heavenward.

Let us remember that love is the arch that unites and supports all the mental faculties and all the operations of the mind. On it hang all the law and prophets, and the gospel as well. Let us rejoice and glory in our wonderful heritage of intelligence, but, knowing the limitations of our finite minds, let us walk humbly before God and our fellow-men.

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