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W. W. M. 


IT has long been a conviction of the author that 
much more use than is common might be made 
by preachers of the materials furnished to them 
at college. From Church History, for example, 
endless illustrations might be derived; and the 
womanly heroism of a Blandina or the manly 
achievement of a Basil or an Ambrose might be 
a welcome change to hearers rather tired of the 
rope thrown to a drowning man or the rescue by 
a fireman from a burning house. Not less fruit- 
ful for the same purpose might be some of the 
studies pursued at the university, and especially 
those of the philosophical classes, such as Psy- 
chology and Ethics. In these studies many who 
become divinity students have excelled ; and 
no doubt their minds are permanently enriched, 
adorned and fertilised thereby; but few ever 
think of utilising these acquisitions systematically 
in their ordinary work. Yet such fruit from the 
tree of knowledge would be welcomed by the 



people. I have myself, both in Kirkcaldy and 
Glasgow, taught Psychology in its religious 
aspects to a Bible Class ; and no other subject I 
ever tried either drew so large a class or kept 
it so well together to the end of the session. 

The circumstances in which these chapters 
came together, as lectures delivered at Richmond 
and Auburn Seminaries in the United States of 
America, necessitated the adoption of a popular 
style, because the audience consisted half of 
students and half of the general public. I do 
not, however, regret this ; because the unintel- 
ligibility of philosophical writing is a reproach ; 
and, in my opinion, if one makes an idea perfectly 
clear to oneself, it is generally possible to make 
it intelligible to others. As the attendance of 
the public, when the lectures were delivered, did 
not abate to the end, I presume I was under- 
stood ; and this renders me hopeful that, in print, 
the course may still be able to secure a non- 
professional as well as a professional audience. 

At not a few points I have felt how much 
better the work might have been done by a 
psychologist intensely interested in religion than 
by a theologian intensely interested in psychology. 


But in all attempts to bring together different 
domains of knowledge there must be more or 
less of such onesidedness ; and I hope I have not 
made many serious mistakes. At all events my 
psychology has not been got up for the occasion ; 
and, though there are multitudes of books on 
Psychology which I should like to have read but 
have not been able, I believe I have read the best. 
In the notes will be found the names of the 
authors to whom I am most indebted ; and I 
here acknowledge with gratitude that there is 
hardly a page that does not betray the influence 
of Sir William Hamilton and Professor James. 
Amidst the perplexities and uncertainties inci- 
dental to the study of theology, I have always 
felt it tranquillising to return to the kingdom 
that is within ; and the glamour of the adage, 
inscribed on a prominent spot in the philosophical 
classroom of my Alma Mater, has never left 
my mind, that " the proper study of mankind 

is man ". 

Early in the present year, it was mentioned in 
the public prints that a young minister in Eng- 
land, called to a university-city from a sphere in 
which he had been exceptionally useful, assigned, 


as his reason for complying, a desire to be in an 
academic centre, where he would have opportuni- 
ties of studying Psychology in its bearing on 
religion and theology. This is a straw indicat- 
ing in which direction scholarly minds are being 
borne at present. This young scholar may find, 
indeed, that the subject has already been more 
cultivated than he is aware. Yet there will be 
plenty of room for his contribution ; because it 
will only be through the labours of many inquirers 
that the wealth hidden in this field will be brought 
to light for the benefit of both pew and pulpit. 

To two of my students I have to express 
hearty thanks to the Rev. R. J. Bain, M.A., 
for carefully reading the proofs, and to Mr. 
James McLeod for preparing the Index. 

ABERDEEN, 1 September, 1914. 








VI. HABIT 145 

VII. THE BEASON . . . .. . . . .165 












A GENERATION ago, when psychology was men- 
tioned in connexion with religion, it was Biblical 
Psychology that was thought of. It was the 
time when Biblical Theology that is, the science 
of the succession and growth of ideas first in the 
Old Testament and then in the New was assert- 
ing its right to a place among the theological 
sciences ; and those who were captured by this 
new study seemed to themselves to discern in 
the Old Testament, but especially in the New, in- 
dications of the presence of a Biblical Psycho- 
logy. That this should be found in the books 
of the Bible need occasion no surprise ; because, 
if the first subject about which the Bible speaks 
is God, the second is undoubtedly man, and it 
can scarcely speak as much as it does on this 
theme without bodying forth some connected 
system of ideas in relation to man's constitution 
and destiny. In the very first chapter of the 

Bible occurs the great saying : " God created 

(17) 2 


man in His own image, in the image of God 
created He him ; male and female created He 
them," and in the second chapter appears the 
equally suggestive statement : " And the Lord 
God formed man of the dust of the ground, and 
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life ; and 
man became a living soul ". We have not pro- 
ceeded far when we come upon the great com- 
mandment : " Thou shalt love the Lord thy God 
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and 
with all thy might," 1 where " soul," "heart" 
and " might " seem to indicate a primitive effort 
to distinguish the different parts of the inner 
man ; and to distinguish these is always the 
purpose of psychology. When we come down 
to the New Testament, writers on Biblical Theo- 
logy are quite in the way of assuming that cer- 
tain psychological principles lie at the back of 
the teaching of Jesus Himself ; and they are 
still more confident that they can discern such 
in the writings of St. Paul. Delitzsch's "Bib- 
lical Psychology" was a work much read in 
those days, as was also the smaller but not 
less penetrative book of Beck on the same sub- 
ject. A scholar of our own time, Mr. Fletcher, 
in a work recently published under the same 

1 Deut. vi. 5. 


title, has admirably reproduced the substance 
of these older treatises, besides noticing what- 
ever of importance has been contributed by more 
recent speculation. It is not pretended that 
there is anywhere in the Bible a doctrine on 
the constitution of the human mind carrying the 
same authority as attaches to what is there said 
on the method of human salvation. When 
speaking on this subject the writers of the Bible 
made use of the conceptions and the phraseology 
current in their own times ; and St. Paul especi- 
ally may have employed such ideas as were 
taught in the schools where he received his 
education ; but these ideas could not be used 
as extensively as they are in the sacred text 
without deriving a colouring from the context ; 
and an acquaintance with them forms a kind of 
grammar for the comprehension of not a little of 
the writing in which they occur. This must, in 
fact, always remain one of the keys for the inter- 
pretation of the Scriptures ; and we shall regard 
it as open to ourselves to revert to anything in 
Biblical Psychology which may help in the at- 
tainment of the object of which we are in pur- 

In times more recent, when psychology and 


religion have been connected, the object in view 
has been the Psychology of Keligion. This 
phrase might be supposed to mean an inquiry as 
to whether there exists a special faculty for 
religion and, if so, what is its nature an inquiry 
much needed to be raised and promising interest- 
ing results. But it has been limited to an inquiry 
into the phenomena of conversion. 

This study has been peculiarly congenial to 
America ; 1 and it may be traced back at least 
as far as Jonathan Edwards, who, in his great 
work on the Religious Affections, nobly led the 
way in the discussion of the subject, though 
I do not remember whether he himself made 

1 Wobbermin, who has played a conspicuous part in intro- 
ducing the study of the Psychology of Eeligion into Germany, 
frankly confesses the indebtedness of this new branch of 
theological science to America. Thus, in his recent work 
" Zum Streit um die Eeligionspsychologie," pp. 1, 2, he says ; 
" Auf diesem Gebiet ist unsere deutsche Theologie starker als 
auf irgend einem andern der Arbeit des Auslandes fur man- 
nigfache Anregung und Befruchtung zu aufrichtigstem Dank 
verpflichtet. Ganz insonderheit gilt dies letztere gegemiber 
der religionspsychologischen Arbeit Nordamerikas. Es ist 
das in dem Masze der Fall, dass bei uns vielfach die Ee- 
ligionspsychologie ausschliesslich und allein nach den Inten- 
tionen der amerikanischen Eeligionspsychologie beurteilt wird, 
und dass demgemass der Begriff amerikanische Eeligionspsy- 
chologie zur Bezeichnung des ganzen Forschungszweiges, um 
den es sich hier handelt, verwandt wird." 


use of the phrase, Psychology of Keligion. 
Being both a thoroughly trained metaphysician 
and an ardent revivalist, he submitted the cases 
coming within the range of his observation in the 
revivals at Northampton to searching scrutiny, 
for the practical purpose of discriminating be- 
tween those features of the movement which 
were healthy and those which were the reverse ; 
but, as a by-product, he supplied the most in- 
teresting psychological observations on what 
takes place in the mind under religious excite- 
ment and under the operation of the Spirit of 
God. The multitudes of cases which can be 
studied in a revival tempt the student to close 
observation ; and, as revivals have been very 
characteristic elements in American Christianity, 
the best American preaching has been strongly 
tinged with this kind of philosophy. Not only, 
for example, will there be found in Henry Ward 
Beecher's "Lectures on Preaching," the shrewd- 
est and most penetrating observations on re- 
vivals, but in his sermons there is a constant 
element which may be called psychological, and 
this of a massive and realistic order. However 
lofty and spiritual might be the religious pheno- 
mena encountered by Beecher, his first instinctive 
tendency was always to ask whether they might 


not have their origin in some mental or even 
physical peculiarity of the person who was their 
subject ; and he recognised that, in seeking spirit- 
ual results, a preacher must begin with bodily 
conditions, sometimes very remote from the ob- 
ject at which he is aiming. The same realism 
characterizes the work entitled " The Psychology 
of Religion," by E. D. Starbuck. The author 
published this book in a " Contemporary Science 
Series," and he accumulated the cases on which 
his conclusions were based by the issue of cir- 
culars, addressed to numbers of persons whom 
he requested to furnish carefully specified par- 
ticulars of their own conversion. His most 
interesting conclusion was, that conversion is 
essentially a phenomenon of adolescence, closely 
associated with the peculiarities of puberty ; and 
he believed he could demonstrate that the same 
tendencies which issued in conversion in persons 
having a religious turn might manifest themselves 
in corresponding ethical developments in per- 
sons otherwise brought up. 1 Professor James' 

1 There is a close resemblance between the Christian 
doctrine of conversion and the conviction to which Bucken 
so often gives expression it is, indeed, the ground-idea of all 
his thinking that the principle which separates between the 
sheep and the goats is a decisive and ever-repeated choice 
between ideal and material ends in life. 


work, entitled "The Varieties of Religious Ex- 
perience," with its intellectual brilliance and 
literary skill, carried the ideas of Starbuck to 
the ends of the earth. An English imitator, 
Mr. Harold Begbie, in a wonderful collection of 
conversions made in connexion with the work 
of the Salvation Army, 1 characterized his book 
as a footnote to the work of Professor James ; 
whereupon that scholar courteously rejoined, that 
his own work might as well be called a footnote 
to Mr. Harold Begbie's a remark which he 
might have made with far more truth in reference 
to Mr. Starbuck ; for, though he introduced this 
student of his own to the public, by writing a 
commendatory note to " The Psychology of Re- 
ligion," his own work follows so closely on the 
lines of Starbuck as to create the impression 
that the disciple had captured the master, con- 
vincing him of the vastness and attractiveness 
of the field of inquiry into which the celebrated 
psychologist entered in his Gifford Lectures. 

The most vital question touched upon by 
James is, how far religious experience guaran- 
tees the existence and reality of the supernatural 
world from which it is supposed to descend. 
But this question had been investigated with 

1 "Broken Earthenware." 


great acumen a generation earlier by Yon Frank, 
of Erlangen, in his epochmaking work on Re- 
ligious Certainty, wherein he strove to prove that 
religious experience does demand for its produc- 
tion all the great realities of the Gospel. If it 
be real and it is the most unmistakably real of all 
the things whereof human beings can be certain 
then God and Christ and salvation must be 
real too. In Germany the work of Yon Frank 
has been followed up by likeminded scholars, 
such as Koestlin and Ihmels ; and at least one 
scholar belonging to the Bitschlian School, 1 has 
proceeded on the same lines. In France the 
tendency has found an able representative in 
Professor Henri Bois, of Montauban, who mani- 
fested his zeal by visiting Wales during the recent 
revival and writing a large volume on the cases 
which he was able to observe on the spot. 2 The 
late Dr. Dale, in his later years, gave expression 
to his belief in the value of the argument from 
experience in his highly prized volume entitled 
" The Living Christ and the Four Gospels " ; and 
a Scottish scholar, Dr. George Steven, has as- 
sociated himself with all that is best in these 

1 HBEZOG, " Der Begriff der Bekehrung ". 

2 M. Bois' books are " Le K6veil an. Pays de Galles " and 
" Quelques Inflexions sur la Psychologie des K6veils ". 


American and Continental speculations both in 
his Cunningham Lectures, entitled "The Psy- 
chology of the Christian Soul," and in a thrilling 
narrative of conversion edited by him under the 
title, " Out of the Abyss ". 

From these observations it will be gathered 
how wide is the scope of Religious Psychology 
in the sense just indicated ; and we shall con- 
sider ourselves at liberty, wherever it may seem 
desirable, to advert to the facts included in such 
experience. 1 

It is not, however, in the sense above assigned 
to either Biblical Psychology or the Psychology 
of Religion that Christian Psychology will be used 

1 The most succinct and enlightening account I have any- 
where seen of the scope of Eeligious Psychology, when under- 
stood in the sense indicated above, is a brief sketch, from the 
pen of Professor Beckwith, published in the " Eegister of the 
Chicago Theological Seminary," to which he belongs. It is 
the wont of the members of the staff of this seminary to pub- 
lish from time to time in this Quarterly their several views 
on some topic of interest. In the number for January of 
the present year the subject was Evangelism, and each of the 
professors discussed it from the point of view of his own 
chair. Professor Beckwith's contribution was entitled 
"Psychology and Evangelism"; and it seems to me so 
masterly that, with the gracious permission of the author, I 
have reprinted it in its entirety ; and it will be found in Ap- 
pendix B, p. 269. 


in the following pages. Biblical Psychology is pre- . 
scientific ; the speakers and writers of the Bible 
found it necessary for their purpose to make use 
of the conceptions of a primitive knowledge of 
man ; and it is reasonable to infer that those 
whose business it is to follow up their work may 
with advantage make use of the more scientific 
ideas on the same subject current in modern 
times. As has been stated above, the Psycho- 
logy of Religion is at present restricted to the 
phenomena of conversion. But this is an arbi- 
trary limitation. There is no reason whatever 
why the experiences of the religious life following 
conversion should not be treated in the same 
way ; and there are religious impressions pre- 
paratory to conversion of which the same may be 
said ; so that we might have a Psychology of 
Sanctification or a Psychology of Evangelilation 
quite as well as a Psychology of Conversion. 
Besides, the spokesmen of the Psychology of Re- 
ligion expressly include experiences not specifi- 
cally Christian. It will be well, therefore, at 
this point to define more sharply what is in- 
tended by the use of the title Christian Psycho- 
First, we begin with a saying of our Lord : 

" What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole 


world and lose his own soul ? or what shall a 
man give in exchange for his soul " ? This is 
not only a .-saying of our Lord but, one might 
almost say, the saying ; so fundamental is it, and 
so numerous are the other sayings of His which 
cluster round it and expound its scope. 

It has been noted that the word " soul," found 
in the most commonly quoted version of this 
saying, is rendered in other Gospels, or in other 
nearly equivalent sayings, by the alternatives, 
" self " and " life V 

The " self " is what we should in modern lan- 
guage call the personality. 2 It is what a human 
being is capable of becoming, and what he is 
bound to grow to. The field of humanity is the 
garden of God, and the personalities it produces 

are the flowers in this Eden. They are of every 


1 See this more fully developed in the author's "Ethic of 
Jesus," eh. v. Of. Matthew svi. 25, 26 ; Luke ix. 25. 

2 On Personality there are three good and easily accessible 
books. MOMERIE'S "Personality" is a vigorous defence of 
the view of this subject taken by the Commonsense Phil- 
osophy, against Bain and Spencer. ILLINGWOKTH'S " Person- 
ality Human and Divine " shows how speculation concerning 
the personality of God and of Christ has widened and 
deepened the modes of conceiving the personality of man. 
TEMPLE'S " The Nature of Personality " contains an alert 
analysis of the elements entering into human personality. 


variety, for their Maker is no lover of monotony ; 
and the glory of each is to attain to the size and 
beauty which will satisfy the Owner's eye. To 
miss this development is to be " lost ". Even to 
miss it partially is a grave loss. Hence, on one 
occasion, when giving utterance to the great say- 
ing on which we are now commenting, Jesus 
gave warning not only against the loss but even 
the " damage " of the soul. 1 Anything which 
stunts the personality, preventing it from un- 
folding all the possibilities hidden in its germ, is 
a calamity of the first order. 2 

The second alternative translation, " life," 
suggests something different. Not only is there 
for every human being an individual develop- 
ment, of which the scope and law are hidden in 
the personality, but there is a world outside, with 
a sphere to fill and a work to do for God and 
man. The late Professor Drummond, in evan- 
gelizing young men, habitually substituted " life " 
in this sense for " soul " ; and, whatever may 
have been the reason, the substitution was 
singularly effective. He used to tell the students 
composing his audiences that they had only one 

1 Luke ix. 25. 

2 A work on Psychology, by Calkins, is significantly en- 
titled "The Science of Selves ". 


life to live, and that they must make the most of 
it. They must not waste it on sin or squander it 
on trifles, but devote it, whole and unbroken, to 
an object on the accomplishment of which they 
would be able to look back with satisfaction, when 
life was coming to an end. Jesus Christ de- 
manded their life ; He would prize the gift, if 
they yielded it to Him ; and He would make the 
very best of it. To make the best use of it 
by His aid was salvation. 

It may have been because the salvation of the 
soul was a phrase which had become hackneyed 
and overworked that Drummond was led, half 
unconsciously, to substitute "life" for it; and 
he had scriptural justification for doing so ; but 
" the soul " is a term too characteristic of Jesus 
to be long exchanged for anything else in the 
preaching of His Gospel. It recalls all the most 
noble and astonishing things said by Him about 
the dignity and the destiny of man ; and it re- 
calls the most characteristic of His parables, 
such as the three in the fifteenth chapter of St. 
Luke. It recalls all that He said about the 
Fatherhood of God ; because the reason why the 
soul of man is so precious is that it comes from 
God ; and it recalls all that He said about the 
world unseen and the life to come ; because the 


most characteristic thing about the soul is its 
immortality. 1 

Justice is not, however, done to the teaching 
of Jesus on this subject unless it be noted that 
the greatness attributed to the soul by Him con- 
sists not only in its own inherent qualities, but 
also in what it may grow to, when its destiny is 
linked with His own. His estimate of the worth 
of humanity was flushed with the foresight of 

1 In a work entitled " Essays Philosophical and Psycho- 
logical, in Honor of William James, Professor in Harvard 
University, by his Colleagues at Columbia University," there 
is a chapter by Wendell T. Bush on "A Factor in the 
Genesis of Idealism," in which the soul is discussed as if it 
were a relic of a system of ideas ready to vanish over the 
edge of the world into the inane "an animistic survival 
from primitive culture ". The author is able to dignify his 
attempt with a quotation from Professor James, which seems 
to favour his own contention and can be paralleled, it must 
be confessed, by a few rash utterances of the same kind here 
and there in the same quarter ; but it is quite opposed to 
James' views as a whole. This is not the only contemptuous 
reference to the soul which has become notorious in America 
in recent times. Such sneers do little credit to those who have 
originated them ; yefc they may do good, if they be taken as 
protests against a way of speaking of the soul as if our 
concern about it belonged exclusively to the future. But, 
if " the soul " be understood in the wide sense indicated 
above, as the growing personality and as the life -task on 
which the powers of the personality are to be expended, to 
sneer at it is not becoming in any responsible man. 


what the individual man might become in union 
with Himself. In the germ He, saw the perfect 
flower ; and He intended Himself to make the 
children of men perfect, if only they would accept 
Him in the rdle in which He offered Himself, as 
the gardener and husbandman of character. 1 

1 " The attitude of Christianity to the individual is essen- 
tially dynamical. It does not merely declare that he has in- 
trinsic value, as a new factor or aspect of truth may be 
declared. Still less does it make a sentimental assertion of the 
value of humanity and leave the assertion standing. Chris- 
tianity not only proclaims, but creates the fact. In other 
words its character is redemptive ; and it is in this light that 
its claim of the worth of the individual soul is to be judged. 
For the highest attestation of that claim is to be found in the 
fact that He who made it was willing to suffer even death for 
those whose value He proclaimed. The value of the souls of 
men depends on their relation to His work ; and hence that 
value is asserted less as an accomplished and unalterable fact 
than as a great possibility. The definiteness with which He 
distinguished between those who were on the side of the 
good and those who were its enemies wholly separates 
Jesus from those who apply the idea of the value of human- 
ity in an indiscriminate and merely sentimental way to 
all alike. For Him the human soul had real value only on 
certain conditions. When this point, is grasped, part of the 
difficulty of the Christian view disappears. It does not de- 
mand that we should, so far disregard the facts which are 
sternly forced upon us when we look out on the world as to 
attribute actual moral value to lives which are ranged on the 
side of evil rather than of good ; nor are we called upon to 
declare that moral beauty exists where only meanness and 
deformity can be seen. So far, the Christian doctrine is easier 


This idea of a development, which is the unfoldr 
ing towards beauty and perfection of the seed 
sown in natural endowment, enters deeply into 
both philosophical and Christian ethics. It is 
the central conception in Fichte's popular works ; 
and it passed from him to such English and 
,/ American writers as George Eliot, Matthew 
Arnold and Emerson, who preached it as a 
Gospel of Culture. The possibility of becoming 
far bigger and better than they at present are is 
immanent in all human beings ; and, if there be 
anything which is of absolute and infinite value, 
it is the attainment of this goal. But Christ is 
the author and finisher of this development ; He 
is the perfection to which others aspire ; it is in 
imitation of Him and in company with Him that 
the aspiring grow ; and, since He is the resurrec- 
tion and the life, the path along which He con- 
ducts is one of unending progress. 1 

to accept than any attribution of an actual developed value 
to every human soul ; for it recognises the fact of evil and the 
present degradation of many lives. But at the same time it 
asserts that evil may be conquered and that each life may be- 
come valuable, or, if we choose to put it so, that each life has 
value in virtue of its hidden possibilities of good." BARBOUR, 
"A Philosophical Study of Christian Ethics," pp. 98, 99. 
Some sentences omitted. 

1 The element of aspiration is prominent in the biblical 


There was published recently, in Transylvania, 
a little book with a title which attracted me 
" From Individuality to Personality ". l By In- 
dividuality the author meant what is given to 
everyone at his entrance into this world, and by 
Personality the image to which he may attain, 
through discipline and self-control, before the 
close of life. I am not quite sure about the no- 
menclature ; because individuality especially is 
hardly in our common usage limited to the sense 
here intended. But the conception is an inspir- 
ing one ; and it would be well to have definite 
names for both the starting-point and the goal. 
In another book, published recently in Germany, 
the same thing was expressed by a different title 

conception of man at all stages. The statement about man 
in Paradise, that he was created " in the image of God," must 
refer to a perfection not only already complete but also still 
to be achieved ; and to attain to the image of God is still the 
goal of man fallen, though now the path towards it is more 
prolonged and roundabout. There are some aspects of the 
image of God which man has not lost even by the Fall ; and 
even those which have .been lost are not in the same position 
as if they had never been possessed ; because the recovery of 
them is now the problem of human salvation. The chapter 
on the Divine Image and Man's primitive State in the late 
Dr. Laidlaw's " Bible Doctrine of Man " is the finest chapter 
in a fine book. 

1 By 0. Netoliczka. 



" From Person to Personality " 1 and I have 
seen Nature used as the name for the starting- 
point, in place of either individuality or person. 
Whatever may be the phraseology employed, 
it is a most suggestive truth, that we come into 
the world with a certain quantity and quality of 
being, received from the hands of Nature, but 
issue out of life, at the opposite end, with 
the same transmuted and transfigured. This 

1 NIBBEEGALL, " Person und Personliehkeit ". The drift 
of this work is summed up in the following sentences from 
the closing paragraph : " So haben wir auf alien durchwan- 
derfcen Gebieten des Lebens bestatigt gefunden, was der Sinn 
unserer Zusammenstellung der beiden Worter Person und 
Personlichkeit sein sollte. Zwei Stufen von Werten stellen 
sie dar: die Person mit Bigenart und Bigenrecht ist die 
eine, die Personlichkeit als eigenartiger Besitz der hoehsten 
geistigen "Werte ist die andere. Zwei verschiedene wie soil 
man sagen? Welten oder Gebiete der Welt stehen hinter 
den beiden Werten : die Welt der Natur oder der ersten 
Schopfung, und die Welt des Geistes oder die hoehste und 
eigentliche Welt Gottes. Wie diese beiden Welten aus einer 
Hand stammen, der Hand des Schopfers, der zugleich der 
Hort der Werte ist, so sind Person und Personlichkeit 
bestimmt, in die engste Beziehung zu einander zu treten: 
Die Person liefert das Eigene, ohne das eine Personlichkeit 
nicht sein kann, was sie ist ; aber die Personlichkeit nimmt 
dies Eigene als gewollt in sich auf und setzt sich in Verbin- 
dung mit den hoehsten Werten und Idealen des geistigen 
Lebens. So ist die Person die Grundlage der Personlichkeit, 
die Personlichkeit aber die Verklarung der Person." 


process is our true history, and its progress our 
true welfare. 

It has been objected, indeed, to the philosophy 
of culture, as expounded by Fichte or Matthew 
Arnold, that it tends to arrogance and self-ab- 
sorption. It is a dangerous thing to be too much 
bound up in self, even if moral attainment be the 
goal. This, however, is corrected by the con- 
sideration, that it is in conflict with the world 
and in performing the common work of mankind 
that the personality grows. As Goethe has said, 

A talent ripens best when hid 

Away from stir and strife ; 
A character must grow amid 

The rush and roar of life. 

But the best guarantee against too much absorp- 
tion in self is to pursue culture under the inspira- 
tion of Jesus ; for He will inevitably lead the 
aspiring soul forth into the service of both God 
and man, since His will is the coming of the 
Kingdom of God. 

The word psyche, from which psychology is 
formed, is the very Greek word used by Jesus in 
speaking about the soul. That is to say, the ob- 
ject to which He sought to draw the attention 
of mankind is the same to which psychology 
directs all its attention. No doubt His aim was 


different from that of this science. Yet what He 
said about the soul has, in all the Christian cen- 
turies, been lending assistance to Psychology, as, 
on the other hand, Psychology is capable of lend- 
ing significance to His words. 1 Those who have 
taken in the truth, that their glory and destiny 
lie in the soul and its salvation, cannot but be 
interested in knowing what the soul is ; and the 
science which reveals what are the different parts 
and functions of the soul, and especially the 

1 At this point the writer on Christian Psychology can ap- 
peal directly to the example of Christ Himself, of whom it is 
written, "He knew what was in man" (John n. 25). 
The science of " what is in man " would be an excellent de- 
finition of Psychology; and it would be easy, by going 
through the Gospels, to prove how often this statement might 
have been repeated about the Son of Man. In this passage 
the remark is a severe reflection on human nature ; but in 
others the implication is of an opposite character. How well, 
for example, did He know St. Peter, when He first gave him 
this name, forecasting all his future, overlooking his weak- 
nesses, and predicting that he who was unstable as water 
would yet become a man of rock. On my shelves there is a 
small book, recently published in Germany, with the title, 
" Jesus as Philosopher " ; and my esteemed and beloved friend 
of Kirkcaldy days, the Eev. Dr. McHardy, in a choice book 
entitled " The Higher Powers of the Soul," when interpreting 
the verse just quoted from the second chapter of St. John, 
speaks of Jesus as seeing all men with the eye not only of 
the Philosopher, but of the Poet, of the Prophet, and of the 


development of which each of these is capable, 
may, it is evident, be a handmaid to Christianity. 
I believe myself, that it is possible to interest 
people of a very humble degree of education in 
knowledge about the inner man, when once the 
intellect has experienced a religious awakening ; 
and those whose vocation it is to kindle aspira- 
tion in the multitude may find the motives of 
which they are in search very close at hand. It 
was a saying of Vinet, that the soul of man and 
the Gospel of Christ answer to each other like 
lock and key ; and this maxim might almost be 
taken as the keynote of all that follows in this 

The Scottish School of philosophy has been 
honourably connected with the science of psycho- 
logy, the conclusions of which have penetrated 
far into the knowledge of the common people of 
Scotland, begetting in them a taste and facility 
for such ideas. It is highly characteristic that 
the lectures on Metaphysics of Sir William 
Hamilton are nothing but a treatise on Psycho- 
logy. He is the greatest member of the Scottish 
School ; l his writings combining in a singular 

1 See SETH : " English Philosophers and Schools of Philo- 
sophy " ; also McGosH : " The Scottish Philosophy, Biographi- 
cal, Expository, Critical". President McCosh carried the 


degree knowledge brought from ancient times, 
and foreign parts with a shrewdness and com- 
mon sense native to his own country. His 
mantle may perhaps be said to have passed from 
Scotland to America, where it has been worn 
by President McCosh and Professor James, as 
well as by psychologists of eminence still alive. 
These have, however, extended Hamilton's 
methods of inquiry by experimental and physio- 
logical research, carried on with extraordinary 
expenditure of acumen and patience ; and these 
new methods have been successfully cultivated 
also in England, France and Germany. By some, 
indeed, they have been employed in such a way 
as to destroy the very foundations of preceding 
attainment, for these writers would deprive the 
human subject of all the attributes which give 
him dignity, and they pretend to construct the 
science of the soul without- a soul. Nietzsche 
and his disciples, in their passion for the revalu- 
ation of all values, would like to banish from the 

Scottish methods to the United States, and exercised a wide 
influence for many years. I happened to be staying under 
his hospitable roof at Princeton on his eighty-first birthday, 
when he received a gift of silver-plate from a large number 
of professors, who had not only profited from his instruc- 
tions, but had, largely through his influence, been placed in 
professorial chairs all over the American Continent. , 


mind of man the soul and its salvation and to put 
in their place the body and its health. 

This may be a reaction against certain mistakes 
of the past ; for it cannot be denied that the soul 
has often been treated as if it were a ghost, not 
connected in any way with the conditions or the 
fortunes of its companion, the body. Nothing of 
the kind can, however, be alleged against Jesus, 
who, though He spake about the soul as never 
man spake, yet treated the body with considera- 
tion and sympathy, throughout His entire minis- 
try combining the vocation of healer with that of 
preacher. This example will always recall His 
followers from the excesses of an overweening 
spirituality, however these may be indulged for a 
time ; and it will justify Christian thinkers in 
taking the whole man into account when they 
speak of Christian Psychology. 

The above may suffice to prove that there is a 
close connexion between religion and psychology, 
and that it may be to the advantage of both to 
cultivate this connexion. If, on his bodily side, 
man be nothing but an infinitesimal portion of 
the physical universe, yet is this speck or atom 
more interesting than all the rest put together ; 
and it is, in itself, fearfully and wonderfully 
made. Therefore, anatomy, the science of the 


parts of which the body is composed, and physio- 
logy, the science of the functions performed by 
these several parts, must always hold a place of 
honour among the physical sciences. But, if 
there be a part of man which links him up with 
God, and makes him the child and heir of eter- 
nity, then to know this must be of all studies 
the one most worthy of attention. It is not, 
however, only a speculative but also a practical 
study. The more the soul is studied, the more, 
it may be presumed, will its value be realised, 
and the more exact will the knowledge become 
of the means appropriate for its cultivation and 
development. 1 

1 In a sprightly little work on Psychology, intended for 
teachers and entitled " Know your Own Mind," Mr. William 
Glover compares a person who has no acquaintance with the 
mechanism of his own mind to the driver of a motor-car 
totally ignorant of the structure of the machine he has to 
handle. " Bach of us is in possession of a bit of mechanism 
very much more complex than a motor ; and we have to drive 
it whether we understand it or not. Happily it is largely 
self-acting, and gets along somehow, with very little con- 
scious attention from its owner-and-driver, but, left so much 
to its own devices, it acts capriciously. Sometimes it runs 
away with us. Sometimes it jibs, as it were, in a crowded 
thoroughfare. And, perhaps, it would be no exaggeration to 
say, that it carries us in a wrong direction oftener than "in 
the right. 

"Knowing nothing then, or next to nothing, of their own 


Nothing has been commoner, in the books on 
psychology written in recent times, than the 
warning not to break up the unity of the soul in 
studying it or to speak of it as if it were merely 
a compound of many different faculties. The 
soul is a unit, the different functions of which 
are going on together all the time ; it is a stream 
of consciousness, which is moving forward, every 
moment, over the entire surface between bank 
and bank. This may have been forgotten ; al- 
though, I fancy, warnings to the same effect can 
be found in philosophical literature ever since 
the human race began to meditate on this sub- 
ject. And, indeed, the warning may be repeated 
too often ; because it may be allowed to play into 
the hands of those who ignore the personal ele- 
ment in mind and convert the whole inner life 
into a mere succession of sensations and associa- 
tions. Even the student of the body may require 
to be warned that the body is a unit, every part 

inner nature, the coming generation grow up ; and failing to 
make good this deficiency in after-life, they fall into many 
consequent blunders. They blunder about choosing a profes- 
sion or trade, a hobby, companions, a husband or wife ; about 
the regulation and control of the intellect, the emotions, the 
will ; about dealings with themselves and 'dealings with their 
fellows. Every day they make mistakes which even a little 
knowledge of psychology might have prevented." 


of which is affected by every other part ; yet this 
does not prevent him from availing himself of the 
utility to be derived from the separate study of 
the various members and functions. So, in psy- 
chology, while the unity of the whole is never to 
be forgotten, we must not deny ourselves the ad- 
vantage of the separate study of the parts. It 
would be to blow out the candle of knowledge 
for the sake of a whim to cease to recognise the 
broad distinction between thinking, feeling and 
willing ; and it would be equally pusillanimous to 
refrain from speaking, for example, about memory 
and imagination as separate faculties. 

For the purpose which we have at present in 
view, it must be made easy for the hearer in the 
pew to identify the part of his own experience 
about which the voice in the pulpit is speaking ; 
and the preacher must wield a language distinct 
and concrete, as far removed as possible from the 
vagueness and featurelessness into which the 
jargon of philosophy has of late been falling. 
We have to show not only that the soul is one, 
but also that it is manifold, and that its progress 
must be carried forward along various lines of 
development. The spirit which ought to char- 
acterize our attempt is that of the Eighth 


What is man, that Thou art mindful of him ? 
And the son of man, that Thou visitest him ? 
For Thou hast made him but little lower than God, 
And crownest him with glory and honour 

or of the words, almost biblical in their grand- 
eur : " What a piece of work is a man ! how noble 
in reason ! how infinite in faculty ! in form and 
moving how express and admirable! in action 
how like an angel ! in apprehension like a god ! " 





IN the introductory chapter it has been mentioned 
that by Christian Psychology we do not mean the 
same thing as Biblical Psychology. Yet in Bib- 
lical Psychology a great deal of work has been 
done that is very relevant to our plan ; and of 
this we must not fail to take advantage. Indeed, 
it will be worth our while to linger a little longer 
at this introductory stage ; because from Biblical 
Psychology we can obtain a good preliminary 
glance at the whole subject, and express it in 
terms familiar to all readers of the Bible. 

If any person of ordinary intelligence were 
asked to say of what elements a human being is 
composed, the likelihood is that he would reply, 
Body and soul ; for such is the modern and 
popular view of human nature. The Bible, how- 
ever, takes a different view : it speaks of man as 

composed of body, soul and spirit. That is to 



say, while the modern division of human nature 
is twofold, the biblical is threefold ; or, in learned 
language, the one is a dichotomy and the other a 

A still more important point in the biblical 
view is that, in the individual man, any one of 
these three factors of which his nature is com- 
posed may be the predominant one, and that in 
different human beings these different factors do 
predominate. Thus, in one man the body may 
be predominant, in another the soul, in a third 
the spirit ; and the human race might be divided 
into different sections on this principle. For the 
different kinds of human beings so characterized 
the Greek language has adjectives. Thus, the 
man in whom the body is predominant would be 
called avdpanros (rcy/xart/co?, from craijua, the body ; 
the man in whom the soul is predominant would 
be called avOpMTros ^V^KOS, from i/n^??, the soul ; 
and the man in whom the spirit is predominant 
avOpcairos nvev/jLCLTLKos, from TTvevfLCL, the spirit. 
Unfortunately in the English language we do not 
possess three equivalent adjectives. For avOpa>iro<s 
ovwfumKo? we might, indeed, say a " bodily or 
sensual man," and for avOpamos Tn/ev/mriKos a 
" spiritual man," but we have no corresponding 
adjective derived from the word "soul" ; and the 


Latin equivalent, "animal," will not serve, because 
it has been degraded to designate the man in whom 
the body predominates. We must resort, there- 
fore, to circumlocution and speak of " a man after 
the body," "a man after the soul," "a man after 
the spirit," or " a man who minds the things of the 
body/' " a man who minds the things of the soul," 
" a man who minds the things of the spirit 'V 

Let us now take a very slight glance from. this 
point of view at the elements into which the 
Scripture divides human nature. 


The body is the lowest section of our nature. 
It not only connects us directly with the 
animals beneath us, but even with the brute 
earth on which we tread ; for man was formed 
out of the dust of the ground, and he is destined 

1 Another term similar to these three is avOpwTros o-a/m/cos, 
from <rap, flesh. The noun "flesh" and especially 
the adjective " fleshly " would suggest a base meaning ; but 
it may be stated roughly that, in biblical language, flesh is 
equivalent to body plus soul ; that is to say, it denotes the 
whole man except the spirit. That it does not necessarily 
suggest anything evil is most conclusively proven by the 
statement of Scripture : " The Word was made flesh ". Still, 
it is perhaps the most difficult of all the psychological terms 
occurring in the Bible. "Wendt, in German, and Dickson, in 
English, have written copiously on " Flesh and Spirit ". 



to return to the dust from which he has 

Man's body is, indeed, a noble piece of work. 
It is of the earth earthy, yet it is the beauty of 
the world. Man is an animal, but he is the para- 
gon of animals. In the symmetrical outlines and 
graceful movements of an athletic youth, or in 
the rounded contours and delicate colouring of 
feminine loveliness, it charms and melts the 
beholder. The anatomist, acquainted with its 
every part, examines with awe the structure of its 
tissues ; and the skill with which its hundreds of 
minute portions are built up into a perfect whole, 
adapted to the performance of its varied functions, 
such as the formation and circulation of the 
blood, fills with similar emotion the reverent 

The glory, however, of the body lies not in its 
beauty or strength, but in its connexion with the 
invisible part of man. It is as the servant of a 
higher nature that the body attains its true des- 
tiny. It is the medium through which communica- 
tion is maintained between it and the outer world, 
transmitting to the mind through the senses the 
impressions of external things and carrying into 
effect in the outer world, through its organs of 
activity, the purposes of the mind. 


In such service the body fulfils the intention 
of its creation and rises to its true honour. But 
the servant may become the master. This lowest 
part of the human constitution may become the 
ruling part. In this case the higher powers, over 
which it tyrannizes, are degraded ; the soul, with 
its strong and noble powers, becoming a shorn 
Samson in the lap of Delilah, and the spirit that 
pure dove, with wings of silver and feathers of 
yellow gold, which ought to be soaring in the 
sunshine, near the gate of heaven being com- 
pelled to "lie among the pots" and steep her 
plumage in the muddy stream of sensuality. 
Even the body itself, displaced from its natural 
position and deprived of its proper work, be- 
comes degraded and verges towards brutality. 

There are many forms which the predomin- 
ance of the body over the higher elements of 
human nature may assume, and they change from 
age to age ; but there have been three master- 
forms in which it has historically manifested it- 
self. These correspond to the three principal 
bodily appetites ; and they are gluttony, drunken- 
ness and lust. 

Gluttony is a sin which at certain epochs of 
history, such as the Decline of the Konian Em- 
pire, has assumed astounding dimensions ; there 


being few passages in literature more nauseous 
than the pages of the ancient satirists who de- 
scribe this form of debauchery. In our day the 
sin calls for less remark, yet it is not unknown. 
There are persons to whom the great hour of the 
day is not the hour of work or the hour devoted 
to mental cultivation or the hour of prayer, but 
the hour of dining. 

Drunkenness has in the present age attained 
^to a portentous diffusion, and Great Britain has, 
in connexion with it, an unenviable notoriety. 
This vice has an astonishing capability of sub- 
duing to itself the whole being. Examples are 
known to all of persons whose entire powers of 
mind and body it has absorbed, drink being what 
they work for, what they are always thinking 
about, what they scheme for with inexhaustible 
ingenuity. This is a vice which soon stamps on 
manhood, and still more quickly on womanhood, 
its own vile mark ; and it is constantly picking 
out its victims from every section of society. 

But perhaps it is the third of this miserable 
trio lust which, both on account of its own 
native character and the part it has played in 
history, deserves the bad eminence of being 
looked upon as the representative of the des- 
potism of the body over the rest of the human 


constitution. Its power of drenching the whole 
being with pollution is supreme. It can so 
people the imagination with its hideous pictures 
that the mind is unable to think of anything 
else ; it can override every motive of prudence, 
as well as every feeling of virtue or benevolence ; 
till at last, having wrecked body, mind and spirit 
together, it closes up its victim's miserable career 
in terror and dishonour. 

These sins of the body abound in every part 
of the globe, and the history of the world is, to 
a not inconsiderable extent, a history of them. 
They abound even in Protestant countries, and 
they form the problem of the city. Rare are the 
homes into which the foul wash of one or other 
of them has never penetrated. Merely because 
men are men, having bodies with the appetites 
on which these vices engraft themselves, all have 
need to be on their guard, lest the animal nature 
obtain the mastery. "Watch and pray, that ye 
enter not into temptation." "And let him that 
thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." 


The soul is the intermediate element in man's 
nature, between the body at the bottom and the 
spirit at the top. Let it be repeated, that this 


is not modern but scriptural language. Even in 
the Scripture it is not used scientifically, but 
popularly ; as is clearly proved by the fact that 
the Bible does not use it consistently, but some- 
times speaks of the soul, as we do, as a name for 
the whole of the inner man, and only now and 
then speaks of soul and spirit as distinct from 
each other. Some eminent biblical scholars 
would, indeed, object to this as too definite a 
distinction, and would prefer to say that the 
soul is the whole inner man dealing with the 
world and time, and the spirit the same entity 
dealing with God and eternity. On the whole, 
however, the Bible splits the entity which we 
call the soul into two parts soul and spirit 
though it is the reverse of easy to say which of 
the powers recognised by modern psychology as 
constituting the soul are to be identified with 
the one division and which with the other. Evi- 
dently, however, those of the soul are lower and 
those of the spirit higher. 

Take it either way either that the soul con- 
sists of the powers of the inner man which deal 
with this world and with time or that it signifies 
the whole inner man in so far as it occupies itself 
with the world and time and it is clear that 
the man in whom the soul is predominant must 


be the same whom we call a " man of the world ". 
And what he is like is known to all. 

The man of the world is not completely the 
slave of the body, like the drunkard ; but the 
reason why he does not yield to the bodily ap- 
petites is not because to do so would be a sin 
and a shame, but because it would be imprudent. 
He indulges in occasional excess and enjoys it, 
but he does not allow it to interfere with busi- 
ness or with his social standing. He has no 
tingling sense of self-abasement at the presence 
in his mind of sensual thoughts ; for what he 
fears is not sin, but being found out. The man 
of the world goes to Church, because this is 
expected of him ; and he gives an occasional 
subscription for the same reason ; but he has 
no faith in very earnest religion or in extra- 
ordinary liberality. He never hears of an ex- 
ceptionally noble or disinterested action without 
suspecting that, if only everything were known, 
it would be found, after all, that selfishness lay 
at the root of it. It is a keen pleasure to him 
when anyone who has made a great profession 
of religion comes to grief and is proved to have 
been no more a saint than his neighbours. By 
a sort of instinct the man of the world takes 
to money-making as the be-all and end-all of 


existence ; and towards this aim he pursues his 
way by all sorts of underground and circuitous 
paths, not infrequently missing his object through 
the over-eagerness of his pursuit. Parallel to 
this pursuit of gain by the typical worldly man is 
the pursuit of social advancement by the thor- 
oughly worldly woman. With tooth and claw 
she fights for her position. How servile she is 
to superiors, how jealous of equals, how con- 
temptuous of inferiors ! 

I am, however, drawing this portrait too 
grossly ; for, if it be painted so harshly, none 
will recognise themselves in it, though some may 
identify their neighbours. But it would be a 
mistake to suppose that the man in whom the 
soul is predominant cannot rise higher than this. 
A man may be suppressing his spirit and living 
wholly for this world, and yet he may be aiming 
at objects far above money or social ambition. 
Such objects as industry, family affection, mental 
culture and philanthropy belong to this world 
and to time ; but the pursuit of such objects will 
form a character very different from the one just 
sketched ; and it is only fair to sketch this 
character also. 

Figure, then, a man who delights in his daily 
work, doing it not as a drudge or merely for the 


sake of the wages it brings, but for pure love of 
it and on account of the moral discipline it sup- 
plies, because industry keeps the mind clear of 
those birds of evil that are constantly alighting 
on the field of the indolent ; a man who, when his 
day's work is over, hurries home to his domestic 
circle, and is happier there than even at his work, 
finding a still better moral discipline in the streams 
of affection which pour over his heart fresh and 
limpid as the brooks on a hillside ; a man who, as 
far as his leisure and opportunities permit, keeps 
up with the movements of the time in literature 
and art, in science and politics, and dearly enjoys 
a quiet hour spent over a poem in which there is 
the true pulse of song or a speech in which there 
is the true ring of eloquence, or one of those books 
full of thoughts that breathe and words that 
burn, which are the most precious intellectual 
heritage of the race ; a man who takes an in- 
terest in his fellowmen, in the affairs of the 
Church and the affairs of the State, and is always 
willing to lend a helping hand to a brother pull- 
ing hard against the stream ; and yet a man who 
never kneels in secret to pray to his Maker and 
is well aware that, though he may have lingered 
in the porch, he has never entered the temple of 


Such a man would feel it an infinite degrada- 
tion to be enslaved to any lust of the body ; yet 
his spirit, the godward side of his nature, has 
never been wakened into activity ; and, in short, 
he is " a man after the soul ". His life is a 
beautiful one, and a wise Christian teacher would 
not lay a hand on any of its fine features. Yet 
there is a deeper secret. The Deity he worships 
is an unknown God. He requires to let Jesus 
Christ, with all the influence of His example and 
companionship and with all the virtue of His 
life and death, into his life. In short, his spirit, 
the noblest part of his manhood, needs to be 
awakened, and the centre of his life transferred 
into this section of his constitution. 


The third element in the human constitution 
is the spirit. If the soul be the side of man 
which turns towards the earth, the spirit is the 
side which turns towards heaven. It is the 
throne of God in human nature. 

In the spirit there are three master-powers, 
with each of which God can be apprehended in a 
peculiar way. These are reason, love and con- 
science. By means of the first we know Him, 
by means of the second we unite ourselves with 


Him, and by means of the third we obey Him. 
Of course, these powers may also be exercised 
about other things and persons ; but God is their 
supreme object. Humanity can have no higher 
honour than this-^to possess powers on which, as 
on the outspread wings of the cherubim above 
the mercy-seat, the presence of God may rest. 
The spirit, being by nature the highest element 
in man, is intended by the Creator to rule in the 
human constitution. It is not, indeed, intended 
to abolish or overbear the inferior powers. It is 
not intended, for example, to interfere with such 
tendencies of the soul, though these are earth- 
ward, as industry, family affection, culture and 
philanthropy : on the contrary, it takes these and 
all similar tendencies under its protection. It 
does not even destroy the appetites of the body ; 
for these have essential functions to perform in 
the human economy. But the spirit takes con- 
trol of the inferior powers and regulates their 
action. It imparts dignity to human nature, and 
it introduces harmony into its activities. 1 

1 The body, when surrendered to the control of the spirit, 
rises into signal honour and has before it a glorious destiny. 
In this world it becomes a " temple of the Holy Ghost," this 
dignity binding those who enjoy it to glorify God in their 
body. Its members, though in time past they may have 
served as instruments of unrighteousness, can be presented unto 


It is an ancient notion that human nature 
ought to be like a chariot : the body is the ma- 
God as " instruments of righteousness ". But the most distinc- 
tive doctrine of Scripture regarding the body is that it will 
rise again. This is hinted even in the Old Testament, and it 
is everywhere clearly intimated in the New. This is to be 
the crowning act of the redemption of the whole man. It is 
involved in the work of Christ, and it is to be effected by the 
same power which raised Jesus from the dead : " If the Spirit 
of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that 
raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal 
body by His Spirit that dwelleth in you ". At the same time, 
however, it is a victory of man's own spirit over the rebellious 
flesh ; and St. Paul describes his own pursuit of holiness, as 
well as his service to God and man, as a ceaseless effort to " at- 
tain unto the resurrection of the dead ". To such an extent will 
the victorious spirit ultimately penetrate the body with its 
own nature that the latter will itself become spiritual ; for, " if 
there is a natural body, there is alsoia spiritual body ". Com- 
pare LAIDLAW, " The Bible Doctrine of Man," pp. 250 ff. On 
the resurrection of the body this author says (p. 256) : " Science 
at the present day stands in a very different and more friendly 
attitude towards this belief of man's reappearance in the future 
world than did the science of one or two generations ago. 
We are now assured that our present bodies are the same, 
yet not the same, that we have had from our birth. That 
there is in the body some principle, law, or specific form, 
which remains ever the same amid the flux of particles, is 
now an axiom of knowledge. We may say, in an almost 
literal sense, that we pass through the process of resurrec- 
tion constantly ; that we are always dying,in the flesh, always 
rising anew by virtue > of the law of organic identity. Behind 


terial framework ; the powers of the soul are the 
steeds by which this is wheeled along ; but the 
spirit is the charioteer by whose keen eye the 
course is determined and in whose hands the 
reins are held. Other thinkers have compared 
human nature, as it ought to be, with the Hebrew 
temple : the body is the outer court, the soul the 
holy place, the spirit the holy of holies. But it 
is the presence of God in the spirit, kept there 
by active faith and love, which lends dignity and 
meaning to the whole. Without God human 
nature is as meaningless as a temple out of which 
the Deity has departed and in which the altar-fire 
has been extinguished. 

The supremacy of the spirit, then, in human 
nature is the destiny of man. Yet it is not the 


work of man. In actual men the spirit has been 
dethroned, and its place has been usurped by the 
soul or the body. To restore the spirit to its 
lawful position, there is necessary an agency 
stronger than itself, and this is the Spirit of God. 
It is a significant fact that the name in Scripture 

this, again, lies the greater law of personal identity that there 
is a being which thinks, feels, and wills, maintains a con- 
nected growth from infancy to age in knowledge and moral 
character. This does not cease 'at death. The bearing of 
suoh ideas on the identity of the future body with the present 
is obvious." 


for the highest element in human nature is the 
same as that for one of the divisions in the divine 
nature : the Third Person of the Trinity is the 
Spirit, and the highest part of man is the spirit. 
This is not a chance coincidence. These are akin 
to each other, and it is only when the Spirit 
of God enters into the spirit of man and abides 
in it, purifying, potentiating and sustaining, that 
the latter is able to recover its lost dignity and 
exercise over the other elements of human nature 
its legitimate and benignant authority. 

Every human being, then, has these three 
elements body, soul, spirit in his own person, 
and the centre of his being may lie in any of the 
three, rendering him " a man after the body," a a 

v man after the soul," or " a man after the spirit ". 
But there is a further truth, and perhaps a more 
solemn one that this centre is never at rest, but 
is constantly moving upwards or downwards 
upwards in the direction of spirit or downwards 

v in the direction of body. The reason of this is 
because it is being constantly acted on by two 
attractions, the one below and the other above, 
the one being the attraction of temptation and 
the other that of the Spirit of God, The most 
solemn question which any man can ask about 
himself is, whether he is getting better or worse 


whether he is leaving behind him the inno- 
cence of childhood and the aspiration of youth, and 
hardening into worldliness or being besotted with 
indulgence, or whether, on the contrary, he is 
leaving behind him the errors of youth and the 
besetting sins of his disposition, and rising into 
communion with God and likeness to Christ ; but 
the answer to this question is decided by the 
answer that must be given to the other question, 
whether he is obeying the attraction from be- 
neath or the attraction from above. To break 
away from the attraction of temptation and yield 
to that of the Spirit of God may require a great 
decision and a prolonged effort ; but there are 
few motives by which men can be induced to 
make this choice and maintain this exertion so 
potent as the consideration of the high destiny to 
which, by the very constitution of their manhood, 
they have been obviously called. "When a man 
has read on the fleshy tablets of his own inner- 
most being the prophecy, inscribed there by the 
divine finger, of what he is to become, it is not 
difficult to forget the things which are behind 
and to press towards the mark. 

Dr. A. B. D. Alexander, in his work on the 
Ethics of St. Paul, gives an excellent sum- 


mary of Pauline psychology under seven heads 
Flesh, Body, Spirit, Soul, Heart, Mind, Con- 
science and all of these terms, at least, would 
require to be examined in an exhaustive sketch 
of Biblical Psychology. The quotations in Dr. 
Alexander's pages impress the reader with the 
uncertainty and looseness with which some of 
these terms are employed by St. Paul ; and the 
same is doubtless true of the other Biblical 
writers, who observed no more rigour in the use 
of such words than would a popular preacher in 
our own time. Of all these terms the one which, 
in Dr. Alexander's view, is employed most con- 
sistently, and with something like scientific 
strictness, is Conscience ; this being accounted 
for, he suggests, by the use of this term by the 
Stoics, who had succeeded not only in impress- 
ing on it a definite meaning but in putting it 
into general circulation throughout the ancient 
world. More in need of attention are such of the 
terms as have changed their meaning. " Heart," 
as now used among ourselves, would have 
tolerably the same connotation as " soul " in the 
foregoing sketch ; but in the Bible it has a much 
more general signification, denoting the focus of 
the inner man, the centre from which the whole 
of conduct proceeds. " Out of the heart proceed 


evil thoughts," said our Lord ; but out of the 
heart proceed all good things likewise ; hence 
the supreme promise of both Old and New Testa- 
ments is a " new " heart. But it is not necessary 
in this place to expound all the terms belonging 
to Biblical Psychology. The outline given above 
is sufficient to show how impressive is the con- 
ception of man's composition and destiny implied 
in the hints of the Bible. There are suggested 
abysses of degradation and condemnation to which 
he may sink and heights of inconceivable altitude 
to which he may rise, according as he succumbs 
to the " old man " in himself or develops the 
" new," and admits or excludes from his person- 
ality the Spirit and the grace of God. Thus is 
the destiny of everyone being determined daily 
on the arena of his own personality. 





IN the foregoing chapter we obtained a prelimin- 
ary glance of the whole field of psychology from 
a biblical point of view. Now we proceed to in- 
dicate how the same field is viewed from the 
modern and scientific standpoint. 

While the five senses and their uses are mani- 
fest to all, it is not so well known that with these 
is connected a system of nerves which, like the 
wires of a telegraph-system, carry to the brain the 
impressions made on them by the objects of the 
external world. The brain forms the head- 
quarters to which all the information derived in 
any way from the outside world is transmitted. 
Here the self resides ; and all the rest of the 
organism may be compared to the rooms, passages, 
gardens and walls surrounding the spot in which 
this subject has his home. But it is still less 
generally known that, besides this system of tele- 
graphy from the senses to the brain, there is in 



the human body a system of nerves incessantly 
carrying messages in the opposite direction 
namely, from the brain to the muscles and the 
organs of motion, such as the hands and the feet. 
And, as by the nerves going inwards from the 
senses to the brain all our knowledge is obtained, 
so by the nerves proceeding from the brain to 
the muscles all our actions are performed. 

These two, knowing and acting, make up two- 
thirds of life. But there is a third division, which 
is feeling ; and this has its location at the junc- 
tion of the nerves which go inwards and those 
which come outwards. The three are intimately 
connected ; for it is by the information coming 
along the pathways of knowledge from the out- 
side that feeling is excited ; and it is excited 
feeling which, in its turn, gives rise to action. 

The nerves proceeding to the brain and those 
proceeding from it are called respectively the 
sensory and the motor systems, and they form the 
physical basis upon which the whole of life is 
from day to day carried on. If we conceive the 
double system as an arc, stretching from where 
impressions are received by the bodily senses to 
where action issues from the person of the human 
subject at the organs of motion, all the topics with 
which Psychology has to deal lie along this arc. 


On the left are, first, the powers of know- 
ing, including such faculties as sensation and 
perception, memory and imagination, judgment 
and reasoning. Then, in the middle of the arc, 
are the feelings, representing such varieties as 
impulses, emotions, sentiments. Lastly, on the 
right of the arc are the powers directly con- 
cerned with action, such as desire, conscience 
and will. 

It will be well to bear this image of an arc in 
mind. It emphasizes the unity of the soul's 
life, because all parts of it are in motion all the 
time. Yet it reminds us, also, that there are 
large obvious divisions of the soul's activity ; be- 
cause knowledge, feeling and volition, as well as 
the subdivisions of these, can be clearly dis- 
tinguished from one another. And, finally, it 
represents the whole life as a connected system 
knowledge giving rise to feeling, and feeling, 
in its turn, originating action. Thus is life seen 
as a whole ; and Psychology lets us know what 
our life consists of, as it goes on from morning 
to night and from year to year, till our span is 
ended, and our contribution has been made to 
the larger life of the world. 

To anyone familiar, to any extent, with the de- 
velopment of human knowledge it must have 


often been occasion of surprise to note the sub- 
jects which the ancients knew and those of which 
they were ignorant how .frequently they had 
studied deeply that which was far away, while 
neglecting that which was at hand ; knowing not 
a little, for example, about astronomy but noth- 
ing whatever of geology. Of this, however, there 
is no illustration so. striking as the extent of their 
knowledge of the mind and its operations, con- 
trasted with their ignorance of the brain and the 
nervous system, without the assistance of which 
mental work cannot be performed. The notions 
of the ancients about the invisible parts of human 
physiology were of the most fantastic descrip- 
tion ; and it is only in very recent times that 
accurate knowledge has been obtained. There 
can be little doubt, however, that the double 
system of nerves above described furnishes the 
simplest key to the mysteries of human life, or 
that it will be by the door which this key opens 
that the generations of the future will incline to 
enter this region of knowledge. So promising, 
indeed, is this mode of approach that some of 
those making use of it are inclined to ignore or 
despise any other. But the wiser heads among 
those employing the experimental method do 
not forget that there is another door that of 


introspection which was used for many cen- 
turies, admitting many of the greatest thinkers 
of the race, who did work that is immortal 
and can never be superseded. This is the at- 
titude, for example, of Professor Hanna Thom- 
son, of New York, a scholar of distinction in 
medical science who, in a book much read on his 
own side of the Atlantic, entitled "Brain and 
Personality," furnishes a succinct history both 
of the notions entertained on this subject in the 
past and of the freshest discoveries of recent 
times. Much of his argument has an appear- 
ance of drifting towards materialism, but his 
book is, on the contrary, from beginning to end, 
a skilful exposition of a spiritual view of human 
nature ; and, in the true spirit of science, the 
author never loses sight of the debt due to the 
great thinkers of the past, or imagines that, 
though a certain method of inquiry may be the 
most congenial to the present age, this forbids 
the belief that other seekers after truth, follow- 
ing the only path known to them, may have taken 
ample possession of the common field. This is 
also the attitude of the sanest thinkers on our 
own side of the water ; and it may be held as 
certain that none can undervalue such stupend- 
ous structures of human thought as the Ancient 


Logic or the Modern Idealism except those who 
do so in ignorance. 

All that follows in this book will be an ex- 
pansion of what has now been stated. Mean- 
time, we return to consider the five gateways of 
knowledge, as the senses have been called, for it 
is with these that the process of knowing com- 
mences. On his physical side, man is nothing more 
than a few pounds of the clay of which all things 
are composed, enabled by the action of certain 
forces to stand upright for a certain time and to 
move about. But, both internally and externally, 
this little mass of the matter composing the earth 
is very singularly constituted, so as to serve im- 
portant purposes. Every soul has under its con- 
trol a small mass of material called a body, 
through means of which it obtains a hold on the 
whole material universe. 

Inside the body, as has been indicated above, 
there is an immense system of delicate wires, 
called nerves, extending from the outside surface 
to the brain ; and outside, in connexion with 
these, there are the five senses, constantly forag- 
ing for a supply of knowledge. The senses are 
peculiar modifications of the external surface of 
the body, by which different sides of the external 


world are discerned. The ear discerns sounds, 
the eye sights, the touch forms, and so on. Every- 
one has had the dream that, if we had more 
senses than the five, we might perceive other 
sides of nature which are at present a blank to 
us ; and no doubt it would be rash to assert dog- 
matically that the qualities of things are limited 
to our powers of perception. There are indica- 
tions that other animals possess senses by which 
they discern some things not perceived by us. For 
instance, changes of weather appear to be antici- 
pated by certain animals considerably before they 
dawn upon the human faculties ; and the marvel- 
lous power exhibited by carrier-pigeons and lost 
cats and dogs, to find their way home, suggest 
something of the same kind. Of course, on the 
other hand, many animals lack organs which we 
possess ; and man far surpasses other animals, if 
not in the keenness of particular senses, at least 
in the range of objects which the senses bring 
within his ken. 

The most general and typical of the senses is 
that of touch. Indeed, all the other senses may 
be called modifications of this one. When we 
hear the sound of a distant waterfall, the object 
really touches the ear ; because it generates in 
the atmosphere waves, by the impact of which 


on the organ of hearing we are made aware of its 
proximity. Even the star which we see in the 
far-away heavens must touch us in order to be 
seen ; that is to say, it must propagate in our 
direction waves of light, and only when these 
reach their destination and come in contact with 
the organ of vision does sight take place. Touch 
proper belongs, in varying degrees, to the whole 
surface of the body ; for the contact of almost 
any part of our skin with external substances 
will inform us whether these are cold or hot, 
rough or smooth, hard or soft ; but the sensation 
is intensified in certain parts of the body, such as 
the lips, the tip of the tongue, and the finger-tips. 1 
The division of the hand into five long and separ- 
able fingers, with this peculiar sensitiveness in the 
tip of each, and the position of the hand, at the 
extremity of the long and jointed arm, give the 
sense of touch a wide range ; so that the amount 
of information conveyed to the mind by the use 
of this sense is extensive and varied. 

The senses of taste and smell are usually 

1 In any surface-area e.g., the -wrist it may be shown 
that there are spots, some of which register heat and cold, 
some pain, etc. These are the temperature-spots, the 
pressure- spots, etc. And it is possible to cover the wrist 
with dots, in differently coloured inks, showing where the 
respective spots are. 


spoken of as inferior to the rest in importance, 
the impressions conveyed through them being 
less distinct and less easily remembered than 
those of the other senses. Yet they are the 
channels of a very considerable amount of plea- 
sure ; and they ward off a great variety of 
dangers a service not perhaps inferior. Located 
at the entrance of the two passages opening into 
the body, they may be regarded as sentinels, 
placed there to give warning lest the citadel of 
life should receive any detriment. In certain 
cases, especially where there is defect in other 
senses, they may attain to abnormal develop- 

Hearing and seeing are, however, the two im- 
perial senses ; and it is difficult to say which of 
them is the more important, or whether the loss 
of hearing or of sight be the graver calamity. 
The organs, also, by which they are served are 
almost equally wonderful products of creative 

Everyone, while walking by the seashore, has 
lifted a shell to his ear ; but not everyone may, 
in so doing, have noticed how like each other are 
the two things which he has brought into con- 
tact. The external ear, with its curious irregular 
convolutions, bears a remarkable resemblance fco 


a shallow, open shell ; and there is an internal 
ear, which bears a considerable resemblance to 
one of those elongated, spiral shells, terminating 
in a point, which may also be picked up on the 
seashore. The internal ear is sunk in the head ; 
one of the Psalms speaks of the ear being 
"planted," and this is an expressive phrase ; for 
it is somewhat like a tapering root thrust into 
the earth. When the sound is gathered in. the 
outside shell, it passes inwards, till it comes to a 
membrane stretched across the passage, when 
this membrane vibrates, as does the top of a 
drum, when it is struck ; hence its familiar name 
the " drum " of the ear. On the inner side of 
this drum the sound is carried forward by means 
of three tiny bones, called respectively, from 
their shapes, the hammer, the anvil and the 
stirrup. The innermost of the three, the stirrup, 
when thus agitated, knocks or kicks at a kind of 
window, where the message is taken in. Beyond 
the window, the new carrier is a tiny pool of 
water. It is well known how water aids the 
transmission of sound ; and of this facility ad- 
vantage is taken in the ear. Still further in, 
there is the most marvellous of all the parts of 
the ear literally, a musical instrument of a 
hundred strings. The strings are nerves, so 


slender that a microscope is required to see 
them ; and the fingers by which this fairy piano 
is played are the waves of the lakelet just re- 
ferred to. Finally, the nerves, throbbing with 
the messages received from the outside, stretch 
inwards to the brain. 

Still more marvellous is the structure of the 
eye ; but the attempt can hardly be made here 
to describe its wonders its fourfold protection 
from external injury by means of the eyebrows, 
the eyelids, the eyelashes and the stream of 
liquid pouring every moment, as we wink, over 
the eyeball ; the eyesocket, so perfectly formed, 
and the system of pulleys by which the eye is 
made to move easily and incessantly in it, so 
that, instead of seeing only in one direction, it 
sees in every direction ; the rainbow-curtain of 
the iris, which is constantly being opened or 
closed, to regulate the quantity of light admitted ; 
the lens, set, like the jewel-stone of a ring, in a 
sphere of crystal ; and lastly, the retina, on which, 
as on the screen of a magic-lantern, the picture 
of the outside world is always being cast, though 
in reality the pictures are changing every moment, 
the displaced photographs being transmitted 
along the optic nerve to the brain. 

Long and friendly discussion might be carried 


on over the question, whether ear or eye yields 
the greater pleasure and profit. The champions 
of the ear would expatiate on the delights of music 
the music of instruments of all kinds, the 
music of the human voice, the music of the 
songsters of the woods on the sublimity of the 
voice of the thunder, of the stormy wind, of the 
ocean ; on the infinite variety of the voices of 
nature ; on the charming sounds of love, friend- 
ship and human intercourse ; and, above all, on 
the boundless utility of language, by which to 
our own stores may be added the experiences of 
our fellow-creatures. The champions of the eye, 
on the other hand, would place over against the 
musical scale the spectrum of colours ; over 
against the arts of song and eloquence the arts 
of painting, sculpture and architecture ; over 
against the profit of conversation the utility of 
the printed page ; over against the sound of 
nature its infinitely varied forms ; over against 
the voice of love the face of the beloved ; and 
they would specially insist on the vast range of 
this sense ; for, whereas the loudest sound can 
only be heard at the distance of a few miles, the 
eye can obtain distinct impressions from as far 
away as the fixed stars. It is not necessary to 
decide this controversy; it is enough to feel 


gratitude to the Creator for endowing us with 
faculties so noble and surrounding us with so 
brave a world, in which every sense has abund- 
ance of work to do and abundance of gratifica- 
tion to drink in. 1 

Up to this point all has been plain sailing ; 
but from this point onwards the course becomes 
much more difficult. 

The five senses are, as we have seen, gateways 
or avenues by which impressions of different 
sorts are constantly being conveyed from the ex- 
ternal world to the interior of man's person ; and 
it is from the accumulation of such impressions 
that knowledge or experience is made up. The 
avenues all converge in the brain. There all the 
nerves along which the impressions travel from 
the eye, the ear, and the other organs reach their 
termination ; and the inner termination of the 
nerve-track, in the substance of the brain, seems 
to be as original a formation of the brain-sub- 
stance as is the organ at the external surface of 

1 Excellent observations on the senses will be found in 
SULLY, " Outlines of Psychology," or LADD, " Psychology Des- 
criptive and Explanatory ". See also the charming popular 
account of them in WILSON, "The Five Gateways of Know- 
ledge". Experiments are said to prove that the average 
educated person relies more on the eye than the ear. 


the skin and other tissues. At all events each 
kind of information goes along its own track ; 
and the part of the brain can be located where 
each is discharged. The same nerve-tracks do 
not serve indifferently eye and ear, for example ; 
and at the end of the eye-track there seems to 
be a receiver of peculiar configuration, and the 
like at the termination of the ear-track. As has 
been hinted above, it is in the brain that every 
sensation is felt, 1 though it seems to be felt at 
the surface of the body. When I grasp anything 
with my hand, it seems to be the hand that feels 
it. In fact, the feeling may even appear to lie 
outside the body altogether, as, when I touch the 
ground with a stick in walking, I seem to feel 
the sensation at the end of the stick. But that 
the sensation is really felt in the brain is proved 
by the fact that, if the nerve be touched mid- 
way to the brain, the sensation is still felt in 
the accustomed place. In a long day's walking 
in Switzerland, a companion of my own, who 
had had the misfortune, in boyhood, to have a 
foot amputated, had unwittingly overtaxed his 

1 But see what is said on p. 218 of reactions without the 
co-operation of the brain. If such be possible, we may have 
to alter our conception of mind as associated with the brain, 
and extend this association to the whole spinal cord. 


strength ; and he woke up the following morning 
with a violent pain in the foot which was not 

The great mystery, however, is what takes 
place when the terminus in the brain is reached 
by the impressions from the outside. For ex- 
ample, on the retina of ' the eye a photograph of 
a face is taken, and this is transmitted along the 
optic nerve to the brain ; but who or what is it 
that perceives it and recognises it as a face, and 
as somebody's face ? This act of turning round, 
so to speak, on the impression and recognising 
it to be what it is seems to be something totally 
different from the conveyance of the impression. 
To receive the impression and to convey it so 
accurately as is done by the eye and the optic 
nerve must be considered a great thing ; yet it is 
no more than can be done by the manufactured 
apparatus of the photographer. The camera, 
however, does not see the face it has produced ; 
and just as little is it in the power of matter to 
recognise the face mirrored in the brain. This 
can only be an act of mind of an invisible, 
spiritual something, which we cannot locate but 
which we naturally speak of as having its seat in 
the brain. 

An eminent psychologist has drawn attention 


to the fact, that, while the various senses and the 
other parts of the body sending impressions 
along the sensory nerves have their terminal 
organs in the brain, there has been discovered in 
the brain no organ which is the general receiving- 
house for all the senses. Yet there must be 
some such point of junction, if not material, then 
spiritual and invisible ; because the mind has the 
power of combining, in one united act, the impres- 
sions received from the different senses. Thus, 
it may, at the same moment, discern an object to 
be large, red and hot. These three kinds of in- 
formation it receives from three different senses, 
yet it perceives them all united in a single 
object. 1 

1 " It has seemed, and still seems to many thinkers, neces- 
sary to assume that the different sensory nervous processes 
must become fused in a unitary physical or physiological pro- 
cess in some part of the substance of the nervous system. 
Hence they have sought for a sensorium commune, some cen- 
tral nervous substance to which the various sensory nerves 
shall communicate their specific modes of activity (commonly 
conceived by these authors as forms of molecular vibration), 
so producing in that central substance a unitary physical 
process, a complex form of vibration, the resultant of all the 
specific kinds of processes in the sensory paths simultaneously 
active. Many different parts of the brain have been in turn 
regarded as this hypothetical central organ, but the progress 
of our knowledge of the structure and functions of the nervous 


This transition from the material to the spirit- 
ual is the most important point in the whole 
field of psychology ; and it is of the utmost im- 
portance to perceive its necessity. The student 
ought to follow again and again in his own mind 
the process by which knowledge becomes ours 
the external object transmitting the waves of 
light which fall on the eyeball ; the formation of 
the image on the retina ; then its transmission 
along the nerves to the brain and consider 
whether he can conceive that the act of receiving 
the impressions and recognising the object from 
which these proceed can also be thought of as 
an act of matter ; or whether it is not a totally 

system has proved that no such organ is to be found. We 
are compelled to admit, or so it seems to the writer as to 
many others, that the so-called psychical elements are not 
independent entities, but are partial affections of a single sub- 
stance or being ; and since, as we have seen, this is not any 
part of the brain, is not a material substance, but differs from 
all material substance in that, while it is unitary, it is yet 
present, or can act or be acted upon at many points in space 
simultaneously (namely, the various parts of the brain in 
which psycho-physical processes are at any moment occur- 
ring), we must regard it as an immaterial substance or being, 
And this being, thus necessarily postulated as the ground of 
the unity of individual consciousness, we may call the soul of 
the individual." MoDouGALL, "Physiological Psychology," 
pp. 76-9 ; some sentences omitted. 


different kind of act from all that has preceded 
separated from it, in fact, by an immeasurable 
diameter. 1 The stream of impressions from the 

1 " Even the vaguest of evolutionary enthusiasts, when de- 
liberately comparing material with mental facts, have been as 
forward as anyone else to emphasise the chasm between the 
inner and the outer worlds. ' Can the oscillations of a 
molecule,' says Mr. Spencer, ' be represented side by side with 
a nervous shock (he means a mental shock), and the two be 
recognised as one ? No effort enables us to assimilate them. 
That a unit of feeling has nothing in common with a unit of 
motion becomes more than ever manifest when we bring the 
two into juxtaposition.' And again : ' Suppose it to have be- 
come quite clear that a shock in consciousness and a mole- 
cular motion are the subjective and objective phases of the 
same thing ; we continue utterly incapable of uniting the two, 
so as to conceive that reality of which they are the opposite 
faces.' In other words, incapable of perceiving in them any 
common character. So Tyndall, in that lucky paragraph 
which has been quoted so often that every one knows it by 
heart : ' The passage from the physics of the brain to the 
corresponding facts of consciousness is unthinkable. Granted 
that a definite thought and a definite molecular action in the 
brain occur simultaneously ; we do not possess the intellectual 
organ, nor apparently any rudiment of the organ, which would 
enable us to pass, by a process of reasoning, from one to the 
other.' Or in this other passage : ' We can trace the develop- 
ment of a nervous system and correlate with it the parallel 
phenomena of sensation and thought. We see with undoubt- 
ing certainty that they go hand in hand. But we try to soar 
in a vacuum the moment we seek to comprehend the connexion 
between them. There is no fusion possible between the two 


external world is pouring incessantly along the 
channels of the senses ; but the power of turning 
round upon them, separating them and identify- 
ing them is that which really creates knowledge. 
The mere impact of the impressions on the brain, 
however often repeated, would leave no mark, 
unless there were at the centre an intelligent 
agent, to capture and detain them. English 
philosophers have generally inclined to the view 
that the mind derives its knowledge wholly from 
the senses, and that it is a blank sheet of paper 
until experience writes on it its communications ; 
but in more deeply thinking regions the widely 
different view has prevailed that, if the mind re- 
ceives much from the outside, it also brings much 
into the world with it. At least it brings recep- 
tacles, so to speak, in which the impressions 
coming from the outside arrange themselves, in- 
stead of being piled up in confusion. Take, for 
instance, the scale in music, with its fixed inter- 
vals, as these are embodied in the framework of 
the pianoforte : must there not be something 
originally in the mind corresponding with these 
intervals, so as to produce the harmonies which 

classes of facts no motor energy in the intellect of man to 
carry it without logical rupture from the one to the other. ' " 
JAMES, " Psychology," I. 147. 


afford such exquisite delight 1 In the same way, 
it is by something native to the mind that the 
contours and colours of external objects are ren- 
dered agreeable or the reverse. It is as if the 
mind were born with an image of the world al- 
ready in it, which the material objects gradually 
fill up ; and perhaps this may be the meaning of 
the deep saying in the Book of Ecclesiastes : 
" He hath set the world in their heart." 1 

Not a few thinkers have gone so far as to hold 
that all the order and beauty of the world are 
contributed by the mind of man : it is only our 
way of seeing it which makes a line symmetrical or 
a colour beautiful, 2 But this is an exaggeration. 

1 ni. 11. 

2 The most striking evidence of the necessity for a reaction 
from within on the materials supplied from without through 
sensation is furnished by discoveries recently made concern- 
ing the localisation of functions in the brain ; for these seem 
to show that, through accident, the power of comprehending 
words may be lost, though these are still sensed as sounds, or 
of music, though it is still sensed as noise ; and so with the 
other senses. Thus, Sir William MacEwen of Glasgow, 
whose name has become famous in connexion with such in- 
vestigations, gave, in an Address before the British Medical 
Association, the. particulars of the case of a mechanic, among 
his patients, who had received a severe injury to his head. 
Immediately after the accident he . was in a peculiar mental 
condition. Physically he could see, but what he saw conveyed 


The order and the beauty are in the world as 
well as in the mind. But how did they get into 
the world? It must have been out of another 
mind the divine mind. Thus is nature a system 
of signs by which mind speaks to mind the 
divine mind to the human mind. The deepest 
question of all, however, is whether the human 

no impression to his mind. Thus an object presented itself 
before him which he could not make out, but, when this ob- 
ject emitted sounds of the human voice, he at once recognised 
it to be a man who was one of his fellow- workers. He was 
equally unable to recognise his wife and children. By eye- 
sight he could not tell how many fingers he held up, when he 
placed his own hand before his face, till he became cognisant 
of the number by the sense of touch. These symptoms gave 
the key to the hidden lesion in his brain and, therefore, where 
to trephine his skull. On operation it was found that a por- 
tion of the inner table of the skull had been detached from 
the outer and had become imbedded in the grey matter of 
that locality. The bone was removed from the brain and re- 
implanted in proper position, upon which he recovered and 
returned to his work. " It is evident," comments Professor 
W. Hanna Thomson, in " Brain and Personality," who re- 
ports this case, " that that fragment of bone interfered with 
an important mental function located in the brain- spot which 
it penetrated, because, so soon as it was removed from that 
place, the mental function returned. What was that mental 
function ? It was not sight, for the man saw his wife and 
friends as well as before, but he did not know what he saw. 
Hence, seeing and knowing what is seen are not the same 


.mind has a native and inalienable perception of 


this Speaker behind nature. Some of the deepest 
thinkers have held that the voice of God is heard 
in every impression from the outside world, even 
the faintest ; because the finite always implies 
the Infinite. However this may be, it can at 
least be heard in nature by a trained ear ; and 
this training of ourselves to discern the Eternal 
behind the transitory is our highest attainment. 
It is the deepest in ourselves awaking to discern 
the Great Being from whom come all things, 
ourselves included, and who is the prop and soul 
of the universe. 

But we are hastening too fast ; and we must 
now return to the position, that in the formation 
of even the simplest forms of knowledge there 
are at work two elements on the one hand, 
the stream of impressions entering from with- 
out and, on the other, the mind itself, appre- 
hending these and making them its own. At a 
certain point the objective becomes subjective ; 
or, to express it in the technical language of 
philosophy, sensation passes into perception, the 
one of these being a passive .and the other an 
active state of mind. 

We have no experience of pure sensation ; 


because our mental states are all complex, and 
it is only by an artificial effort that we can 
separate one element and study it by itself. 
The nearest approach we can make to an ex- 
perience of pure sensation is perhaps when we 
try to realise what has been happening to us 
whilst asleep. During sound sleep the distant 
hum of the city, the shouts of passing revellers, 
the striking of the clock must be entering through 
the organs of hearing, but, because the self is 
not available to mark them, they are not per- 
ceived. Perhaps, if they were all suddenly to 
stop, the mind would awaken to observe the 
change ; and this would seem to prove that, in 
a dim sort of way, it has been noticing them all 
the time. At all events what happens in 
ordinary awaking is familiar to all, and may be 
illustrated as follows : The sleeper becomes 
aware of a clock striking, and he counts one, 
two, three, four. But he is not certain whether 
he has heard the first of the strokes, until an- 
other clock begins to strike one, two, three, 
four. Then he is satisfied ; and he recognises 
that the first sounds have come from a clock 
at the top of the stair and the others from one 
at the bottom. Had he still been asleep when 
the clock struck, the sounds would have passed 


unobserved through the portals of the ears ; but 
now he connects them with the points in space 
from which they come, and he observes their 
succession in time. This is what is called Per- 
ception ; but it is obvious that it presupposes 
the activity of other powers likewise, such as 
memory and reason, to the discussion of which 
we shall come by and by. 1 

1 In philosophy an immense amount of labour has been 
bestowed on a question which can never have much reality 
for the popular mind namely, what it is that is perceived 
when, through the senses, we are made acquainted with the 
external world. Is it the thing itself? or is it only a repre- 
sentation of it mirrored in the mind? Many philosophers 
hold that things themselves can have no direct access to the 
mind : we are all like the Lady of Shalott, in Tennyson's 
poem, who is under a spell by which she is prevented from 
turning round, and only in her mirror sees the knights and the 
beggars passing along the highway outside the room in which 
she is confined. This, too, is what Plato meant by his famous 
image of the Gave : we are all like creatures sitting inside a 
cave, with their backs to the cave-mouth, who see not the 
beings of flesh and blood passing in front of the entrance, but 
only the shadows of these cast by the sunshine from without 
on the opposite wall, to which their eyes are directed. Per- 
haps also this is what St. Paul intended when he said, " Now 
we see through a glass darkly"; for the "glass "is a mirror, 
and " darkly" is, literally, "in an enigma ". It is a comfort 
to know that even philosophers believe that we are directly 
conscious of ourselves ; we know at first hand all the motions 
of our own mind ; and it is generally held that this conscious- 


Another way of expressing the same thing 
would be to attribute the change from sensation 
to perception to the power of Attention. The 
supplementary powers required for perception, 
as above described, namely memory and reason, 
are intellectual ; but attention suggests rather a 
faculty of a different kind, namely the will. As 
we shall see further on, the will gets its turn 
pretty late in the discussion of the various facul- 
ties ; but there is no great part of the mind 
that is not in motion all the time ; and psycho- 
logists have had to introduce the will, in so far 
as it is involved in attention, at a very early 
stage. Thus, Ladd 1 has a chapter headed 
Primary Attention, before dealing in detail with 

ness of ourselves is a constituent of all knowledge : we cannot 
know anything else without knowing it as different from our- 
selves. The knowledge of other persons has puzzled philoso- 
phers. Is our knowledge of men and women, who think, feel 
and act like ourselves, of the same indirect kind as our know- 
ledge of things ? or is it more akin to the direct knowledge 
which we have of ourselves ? Perhaps it would be said that 
the most direct knowledge is of ourselves ; that very close to 
this is our knowledge of other persons ; but that the know- 
ledge of things is more remote. Not all thinkers would, 
however, agree in this, some holding that of the three classes 
our knowledge is the same ; and this is the naive judgment 
also of the common mind. 

1 In " Psychology Descriptive and Explanatory ". 


any of what he calls the Elements of Mental 
Life; Sully 1 introduces Attention before either 
sensation or perception ; and Ward 2 is inclined 
to allow to attention a very wide range indeed, 
as a kind of intensification of any faculty. It is, 
indeed, less a distinct faculty than a concentra- 
tion of any of the faculties on its work. Yet 
certainly the will is conspicuous in it. 

The power of the impressions transmitted 
through the senses to influence the mind is due 
partly to the force of the stimulus in every case 
and partly to the mind's own preparedness to 
attend to them. Suppose, for example, that 
one were gazing forth from a hilltop on a far 
extended landscape, when fire suddenly burst 
forth from a cottage in the foreground : the 
whole power of vision would instantly become 
concentrated on this particular spot. Perhaps 
the rest of the landscape might still continue to 
be dimly seen by what is called the tail of the 
eye, but, on the whole, the eyes would be with- 
drawn from everything else and fixed on the 
blazing object. In the same way, a scream in 
church during the service would divert the at- 

1 In " Outlines of Psychology ". 

2 In article on Psychology in "The Encyclopaedia Brit- 

annica ". 


tention of the congregation from the proceedings 
and fix it on the quarter from which the inter- 
ruption came ; and still more absolute would be 
the absorption of a crowd in the market-place in 
the roar of an escaped lion, should this be sud- 
denly heard. There is sometimes an urgency 
that is compelling in the objects themselves, and 
the harvest for everyone from the employment 
of the senses depends, in some degree, on the 
variety and novelty of the scenes through which 
it is his lot to pass. There are those who ex- 
tend the scope of their experience by visiting 
other lands, and others do so by living succes- 
sively in different ranks of society. It is a 
privilege to be frequented by interesting people ; 
and, through the medium of books, it is possible 
to be in constant contact with the richest minds 
of many countries and many generations. The 
success of a teacher or preacher depends, in part, 
on the number and variety of the things h 
knows, and on the power of presenting these in 
a commanding fashion. 

But of at least equal importance is the mind's 
own preparedness to attend to the impressions 
reaching it from the outside. The mind does 
not receive the whole of these equally : it has 


the power of selecting and rejecting. As the 
various streams of impression are passing in, 
along the channels of the senses, the attention 
can be focussed on any one of the streams or on 
any object in any of them ; and, in point of fact, 
this concentration is shifting from point to point 
continually. But an object in the stream may 
be detained, as it passes, or brought back again 
and again for examination. In short, attention 
is of all degrees of intensity, duration and re- 
petition ; and the grasp on life of everyone de- 
pends on his power of controlling this activity 
and keeping it fixed wherever he pleases and as 
long as he pleases. 1 This infuses meaning into 

1 Compare ARNOLD, " Attention and Interest," New York, 
1910. "Interest," says STOUT, "Analytic Psychology," 
p. 225, "is nothing but attention itself, considered in its 
hedonic aspect." 

In books on Psychology intended for the use of teachers, 
of which the name is legion, those of Professor Adams being 
easily the best, great prominence is given to Attention and to 
Interest, which is a comprehensive term for the means of 
winning the attention. Much is said both about heightening 
the stimulus in the presentation of the object and about culti- 
vating in the mind habits of attention through exercise. The 
great secret of the teacher's art, however, and the essence of 
all that has been written on Method is contained in our Lord's 
counsel to " the scribe instructed unto the Kingdom of God " 


such a text of Scripture as, " He that hath ears 
to hear let him hear," or, " Turn away mine eyes 
from viewing vanity ". There is a hearing of the 
Gospel which is not hearing, the sound, as we 
say, going in at the one ear and out at the other ; 
but there is also a hearing of another sort, in 
which every word is drunk in, to the exclusion 
of all other objects. Similarly, we can turn 
away our eyes from viewing any object, or we 
can withdraw any sense from that which is en- 
grossing it. In the last resort we can disengage 
our attention by removing the body itself beyond 
the range of the object to be avoided ; and there 
may be forms of temptation with which this is 
the only safe mode of coping. 

Among psychologists there has been much dis- 
cussion as to the number of objects to which the 
mind is capable of attending at once, some hold- 
ing that only one can receive distinct attention 
at a time, while others have extended the number 
to six or seven. It would seem that at least 
two can be thus thought together ; otherwise 

(an excellent title for a religious teacher), to bring forth out 
of his treasure " things new and old " a phrase which does 
not mean sometimes things new and at other times things 
old, but old and new at the same time, the old or well-known 
being made the stepping-stone .to the new or not-yet-known. 



how could comparison be made ? But all are 
agreed that the amount of attention is in inverse 
ratio to the number perceived. That is to say, 
the more the attention is distributed over a 
number of objects, the less of it can be given to 
each ; and for the full concentration of attention 
the field must be limited to one. From this law 
a powerful lesson can be learned in the moral 
and spiritual sphere. In the Gospels, from the 
lips of Christ Himself, there are many hints 
about the necessity of concentrating on the one 
thing needful, as well as about the danger of 
dispersing one's pursuit over too many objects ; 
and St. Paul exclaims, in the same tone, " This 
one thing I do". It is by minds most apt 
towards religion and ready for every good work 
that such restraint is most required. And let 
him who administers it to others begin by taking 
his own advice ; for there is no commoner source 
of ministerial failure than the diffusion of atten- 
tion over too many objects. The first time the 
writer met the late Dr. W. M. Taylor of New 
York, the veteran said to the novice, " As soon 
as the Devil sees a young minister likely to be of 
use in the Kingdom of God, he gets on his back 
and rides him to death with engagements ". 
But, besides the attention which is compelled, 


there is a more genial kind, which is either 
nature or second nature. Thus, the hunter in 
the high Alps perceives a chamois among the 
rocks where the tourist sees nothing ; the North 
American Indian hears a distant footstep before 
the ordinary man has made any such observation ; 
and, in the street, the shoemaker notices the 
shoes of the passers-by and the tailor the condi- 
tion of their clothes almost without looking. 
Whatever we have an interest in or warmly de- 
sire we notice without effort ; and each man sees 
in every scene that to which he brings the power 
of seeing. No two persons standing in the same 
landscape would perceive exactly the same 
things ; for, though the streams of impression, 
pouring from the outside along the passages to 
the brain, might be approximately identical, yet 
each selects those to which he will give attention 
in accordance with his own history and in- 
terests. The optician would have his attention 
drawn to sights, the musician to sounds, and 
other persons to other aspects of nature accord- 
ing to their tastes and occupations. There are 
probably differences due to heredity in the power 
of using the different senses ; and there are 
certainly great differences acquired by practice, 
as when a man unawares cultivates a sense 



which lie has to employ in his daily vocation. 1 
But in the world as a whole, as well as in his 
own limited sphere, that which everyone sees de- 
pends on his own ruling impulses. If his heart is 
vain, then he will see vanity ; if not, his eyes 
will pass it by. If he love God, he will see His 
footprints everywhere and hear on every hand 
the rustle of His robes ; and, if Christ be his 
Saviour and heaven his home, then he will listen 
with avidity to every authentic voice testifying 
of Christ or delivering news of heaven. Thus 
we perceive, that such precautionary sentiments 
as have been quoted above from the Word of 
God "Turn away mine eyes from viewing 
vanity," and "He that hath ears to hear let him 
hear" though they go deep, do not go deep 
enough : we require to make our own a prayer 
which goes far deeper : " Create in me a clean 
heart, O Lord, and renew in me a right spirit ". 

1 STOUT, "Analytic Psychology," p. 88, says: "I am 
somewhat deaf, and when conversation is going on among a 
considerable number of persons, I am usually unable to hear 
anything which is not directly addressed to myself with a 
distinct utterance by my immediate neighbour ; all the rest 
of what is being said around me is a confused murmur. I 
sometimes find, however, that if anyone, even at a distance 
from me, happens to refer to philosophy or any other subject 
in which I have a keen interest, his words disengage them- 
selves from the chaos of sounds and fix my attention." 





THROUGH the gateways of the five senses streams 
of impressions from the external world are con- 
stantly pouring into the mind ; and it is from 
these accumulations that knowledge or experience 
is gradually built up. But there could be no 
building-up of knowledge unless the images, thus 
transmitted to the mind, were retained in it ; and 
the power by which they are retained is what we 
call Memory. If, when I see a thing to-day 
which I have often seen before, I were unable to 
identify it as the same thing which I had seen 
yesterday, and the day before, and a score of 
times before that, I could never know it. At 
least there are many things which can only be 
known by piecing together all we have learned 
about them through many successive observa- 
tions. Without memory we should not even 
know ourselves : it is only because I, who am 
perceiving things at the present moment, re- 
member perceiving things yesterday, and all the 



yesterdays of my past life, that I know myself to 
be the person I am. 

By the term memory two powers are popularly 
designated, which differ considerably from each 
other. For example, I may be asked the Latin 
for "door," and I say Janua; that is, I bring 
the Latin word janua into my mind at this 
moment. This is called remembering it ; but, 
if I be a Latin scholar, there are thousands of 
other Latin words in my mind somewhere, though 
they are not so in the sense of being at the mo- 
ment present to thought ; and these also I am 
said to remember. All the Latin I am thinking 
of at the moment may be this word janua ; yet, 
if it were required, I could bring any of the other 
words in the same way into consciousness. Thus, 
both the power of bringing past experiences into 
present consciousness and the power of retaining 
things in the mind out of consciousness are called 
by the same name. Perhaps the two ought to be 
distinguished by different words : the summoning 
of images into present consciousness might be 
called Recollection, while the term Memory might 
be restricted to the retention in the mind of 
images out of present consciousness. 1 

1 " All highly psychological languages have recognised the 
distinction between active and merely passive reproduction. 


In some respects the power of retaining in the 
mind things of which we are not at the moment 
thinking is the most remarkable phenomenon of 
psychology. It is tolerably easy to understand 
how the mind holds an object of which it is at the 
moment thinking ; but how does it keep hold of 
things about which it has not thought for years ? 
Consider the memory of a cultivated man well 
advanced in age what enormous quantities of 
things it contains ! There are the events of his 
own life ; the lives of his family and his friends ; 
the history of his country and of the world, as 
far as it has come within the range of his observa- 
tion or reading ; the languages he may have 
mastered ; the sciences with which he may be 
familiar ; and a thousand other things far too 
varied to mention. Now, where are all these 
possessions treasured up ? By what kind of action 
does the mind retain its hold on them ? It is as 
if in every mind, receding backwards from the 
sphere of present consciousness, there stretched 
a magazine, in which the acquisitions of the past 

For example, we find in Plato, and still more in Aristotle, the 
distinction between dvct/Avqo-is and /AV^/AT;, in Latin be- 
tween reminiscor and memini, in modern German between 
Brinnerung and Gedachtniss, in French between souvenir 
and me'moire." LADD, "Psychology Descriptive and Ex- 
planatory," p. 394. 


are stored and kept in silence and unconscious- 
ness. In some persons this depositary is smaller, 
in others larger ; in some it may be well in others 
ill arranged. Scott compares the mind of 
Dominie Sampson, the voracious bookworm, to a 
pawnshop, in which nearly everything can be 
found somewhere, but nothing is in a place of its 
own, so as to be found immediately. I am told, 
however, that a modern pawnshop, in a great city, 
is the very reverse of this a place in which order 
reigns, and every article can be found the moment 
it is wanted. There are some memories, then, 
like a pawnshop as Scott supposed it to be, and 
there are others like what it really is ; unless this 
be too humble an illustration for so dignified a 
subject. But, again one asks, where is this 
treasure-house ? has it any local habitation ? is it 
in the brain ? or where is it ? 

Nothing else perhaps is so baffling to any ma- 
terialistic theory of the mind. Materialism 
makes thought to be merely a modification of the 
matter in the brain. But, if so, in what shape do 
the modifications survive, so as to be remem- 
bered ? Any additions to the matter of the brain 
would soon utterly exceed the holding capacity of 
the skull. Any marks, like footprints or tracks, 
would soon be so buried beneath others as to be 


quite undiscoverable. Everyone can recollect 
such an experience as the following : a gentleman 
not seen or heard-of for a score of years en- 
counters you on the street ; you and he pull 
suddenly up, and he asks, " Do you know me " ? 
you have the luck to be able to answer instantly 
that you do ; whereupon you pour forth numerous 
details about himself and his family. Now, is it 
conceivable that the image of this man, presented 
thus before your eyes, could so instantaneously 
have found the former impressions of him, left in 
the material of the brain, as it must have done, if 
thought be material ? It may be replied, But 
what explanation do you offer yourself ? con- 
fessedly the materialistic theory of mind stands 
here before a formidable difficulty, but does the 
spiritual theory make it any more intelligible ? 
Perhaps it does not ; but at least it refrains from 
offering as an explanation that which is palpably 
none. Spirit is itself a mystery ; and, when we, 
refer memory to it, we are referring it to a 
mysterious domain. This is obviously where it 
belongs. While it cannot be denied, that, in re- 
membering, as in every other mental act, the 
spirit makes use of the brain as an organ, yet the 
brain is no more to be identified with the think- 
ing subject than a musical instrument is to be 


identified with the performer. " Great," says St. 
Augustine, in his " Confessions," " is this power 
of memory, exceeding great, O my God an inner 
chamber large and boundless. Who has plumbed 
the depths thereof ? Men go forth to wonder at 
the heights of mountains, the huge waves of the 
sea, the broad flow of the rivers, the extent of 
the ocean and the courses of the stars, and omit to 
wonder at themselves." l 

The other power which goes by the name of 
Memory is the bringing of past experiences into 
present consciousness ; and, in comparison with 

1 This retention of past experience out of consciousness is 
the most important and the most easily comprehended in- 
stance of what has of late been much in the mouth of the 
public under the name of the Subconscious or the Subliminal 
Self. Below the threshold of consciousness certain activities 
of the self must be assumed as taking place in unconscious- 
ness, in order to account for other phenomena which enter into 
full consciousness. A good deal that has been ^written on 
this subject has been rather obscure ; but everybody can 
understand that memory out of consciousness is an essential 
presupposition of memory in consciousness ; though whether 
this hold upon past experiences can be properly described as 
a form of mental activity may be called in question. In reply 
to Sanday and others, who perhaps make too much of the 
Subconscious, it has been said, by my colleague, Principal 
Iverach, that memory is not the workshop but the warehouse 
of the mind. 


the almost boundless dimensions of memory in 
the other sense, this action of the mind takes 
place on a very limited stage. It is as if, at the 
entrance to the magazine or treasury already 
described, there were erected a platform, to which 
the objects within can be summoned forth, as 
they are wanted. 

Sometimes the summons is very slight : a 
thought has only to be passing, when at once a 
former thought comes forth and joins it. Per- 
haps, indeed, a whole bevy of these may come. 
Suppose, for instance, during the holiday-season, 
you are back in your native village and chance to 
visit some scene of natural beauty, which was a 
favourite walk in the days of the past. At every 
step images will, unasked, come pouring out of 
the storehouse of memory the faces and forms 
of old companions and their tender or witty re- 
marks. You will say, " On this bench I sat on 
such-and-such a day with So-and-so by my side ; 
at this turn of the road I was meditating on such- 
and-such a subject; across the ravine I heard 
So-and-so calling and, on looking in that direc- 
tion, saw his smiling face ..". The whole of the 
past comes pouring on you in a tumult of images ; 
and you are astonished at the minuteness and 
life-likeness of the reproduction. 


At other times the summons must be louder 
and more urgent. You seek an image of the 
past, but it does not come. At your summons 
other images come ; but they are not the right 
ones, and you have to order them back to 
their places. Perhaps you have to wait long, to 
see whether the right one will appear ; or you 
have to enter the magazine and turn things over 
and rummage in remote corners. Ah, there it is 
at last ! and you exclaim with delight, " Now I 
remember " ! Or perhaps you cannot find it not- 
withstanding all your searching, and you exclaim, 
baffled, "It has escaped me ; I cannot re- 
member ". 

The question has often been raised by philoso- 
phers, whether there is any absolute and final 
f orgetfulness, or whether the memory retains all 
the images which have ever entered it. It is no 
answer to this to say, that at any moment we 
may utterly fail to recall something ; because 
everyone has observed that, while at one time 
you search in vain in the memory for a forgotten 
fact say, someone's name at another time this 
very fact will come sauntering into your recollec- 
tion, when you are not thinking about it. Sir 
William Hamilton tells of a woman who, in a 
fever, was heard to pour forth words which to 


those living in the house were unintelligible ; but 
a learned man, having gone, on hearing of the 
circumstance, to listen to her ravings, testi- 
fied that the sounds were words and sentences in 
foreign languages. It seemed an inexplicable mys- 
tery, until it was discovered that, in youth, she 
had been servant in the house of a man of science, 
who indulged in the practice of reciting aloud, 
as he walked up and down a passage contiguous 
to the kitchen. The girl had heard the words 
so often that she had been in the habit of re- 
peating them. No doubt she had subsequently 
forgotten them ; but, in the excitement of fever, 
they were revived. In other abnormal conditions 
people have often shown that they remembered 
things which even they themselves believed they 
had entirely forgotten ; and owing to such inci- 
dents the belief has been suggested and it has 
been warmly espoused by certain thinkers that 
we really forget nothing absolutely ; but that, when 
our consciousness is abnormally intensified, as it 
may be, for example, in a future state, our own 
entire past may stand out before our vision in 
unabridged completeness, as invisible writing is 
brought into distinctness by the proximity of 
However this may be, it is certain that, for the 


uses of the present world, innumerable experi- 
ences of the past are forgotten ; they may still 
exist in us in some form, but meantime they have 
gone out of reach and cannot be recovered. Per- 
haps, indeed, this is a necessity : if the mind re- 
tained all the images of the ; past, it would be 
embarrassed with its own riches, and it has to 
forget some things in order that it may the better 
remember others. As a rule, older impressions 
are displaced by newer ones ; although in old age 
this law is reversed, and although in all minds 
there are some memories which can never be 
dimmed : 

Time but the impression deeper makes, 
As streams their channels deeper wear. 

The rate at which impressions grow dim or 
sink out of sight and beyond recovery varies ex- 
tremely in different persons ; and one of the ex- 
cellences of what is called a " good " memory is 
the area of reminiscence it can permanently com- 
mand. All persons of outstanding ability hold 
sway thus over a wide domain of acquisition or 

Another excellence of memory is rapidity in 
committing things to heart. This also varies ex- 
ceedingly in different persons. In some it is 


almost miraculous. Thus, the famous scholar 
Scaliger is said to have learned the Iliad by heart 
in three weeks and the entire corpus of the Greek 
poets in two years ; and feats even more astonish- 
ing have been related of persons not gifted ex- 
cept in this one direction. Some have the power 
of permanently retaining what is thus rapidly 
acquired ; but, as a rule, what comes quickly 
goes quickly;r"*Thus, the advocate who has got up 
the details of a case, and perhaps, along with 
these, the facts of a science, for a particular 
occasion, forgets the whole as soon as his speech 
is delivered ; and the student who is crammed 
for an examination with similar rapidity gener- 
ally exhibits a like facility in getting rid of his 

The most enviable excellence of memory is the 
prompt and easy delivery of its contents as oc- 
casion requires. This enables the historian, as 
he writes, to illustrate events by parallel incidents ; 
it pours into the mind of a speaker, as he stands 
before an audience, facts and principles, from 
which he can select whatever is most profitable 
or acceptable to his hearers ; it makes the fortune 
of the copious and brilliant conversationalist, 
whereas the talker who lacks this quality of 

memory makes the best remark of the evening 



to himself on the way home, after the opportun- 
ity of shining is past. 

There exist numerous systems for the improve- 
ment of the memory ; and everyone knows what 
it is to make use of such an artificial aid to 
memory as tying a knot on a handkerchief ; but 
the conditions on which memory depends are far 
from difficult to enumerate. It depends on the 
amount of attention bestowed on objects as they 
enter the mind : the more we attend to them at 
this stage the better shall we remember them 
afterwards. It depends on frequency of observa- 
tion: the frequent repetition of the act of ob- 
servation deepens the impression on the memory. 
It depends, also, on the recency of impressions. 
It depends most of all on emotion. All are aware 
how the shock of a great bereavement stands out 
in the memory so clearly that, at the distance of 
years, the mourner will, on the slightest encour- 
agement, describe the incidents from hour to 
hour and minute to minute ; and there are many 
other experiences which make the same inefface- 
able impression. In all such cases it will, on close 
investigation, be found that there has been strong 
emotion, painful or pleasurable ; and, in general, 
it may be laid down as a rule, that anything will 
be remembered in proportion to the number and 


the strength of its connexions with different parts 
of the inner man. 

Mnemosyne, or Memory, was called by the 
ancients the mother of the Muses ; because all 
the arts and the sciences depend on memory for 
their existence and progress. If human beings 
could not retain their impressions and accumulate 
these in the internal treasure-house, they would 
never be able to stir from the bit. As was re- 
marked above, even the consciousness of self de- 
pends on this : it is because I remember what I 
have been doing ever since consciousness began 
that I am aware of myself as the centre of all my 
experiences. This is personality, which would 
dissolve if the power of recollection were 
lost. 1 

There is one religious sentiment of a very 
peculiar kind which is the offspring of memory. 
This is the sense of guilt. Guilt is the identifica- 
tion of an evil action in the past as the property 
of the author, who is still responsible. The sin 
may be very old, and it may have been long for- 
gotten, but the reappearance of an accomplice, 
or some incident of similar character, may bring 

1 As early as Plotinus memory is adduced as proof of the 
continuity of personality. 


it up again with perfect vividness, and he by 
whom it has been committed cannot deny that it 
is his own. In every life there are certain past 
actions which can never be remembered without 
awakening this shameful and disquieting feeling. 
Others, however, may require to be sought for 
among the records of the past, because at the 
time of commission they made little impression, 
the conscience not having been sensitive at the 
time. Sins of omission require specially to be 
thus sought for, because they are easily over- 
looked. Our fathers used to appoint days of 
fasting for the purpose of thus looking back- 
wards and recalling the evil past ; and it might 
be salutary to have stated private occasions for 
realising how little we have made of opportunities, 
how little we have grown spiritually, how little 
good we have done, how seldom we have prayed. 
It is no pleasant exercise, indeed, thus to revive 
the memory of our sins and shortcomings ; but 
it is better to remember these now than to re- 
member them when it is too late. To the rich 
man in the parable the first word of Abraham 
i was, "Son, remember". Memory is the worm 
that dieth not. 

Another religious sentiment closely connected 
with the sense of guilt and, therefore, with 


memory is the sense of forgiveness. Forgiveness 
refers entirely to sin past ; sin present that is, 
the power of sin as a corruption of the nature 
is a different problem ; but past sins can be in- 
stantaneously and permanently forgiven. He 
who forgives is God, who has been offended, and v 
who cannot but condemn and hold liable to 
punishment. There may be such a thing as 
human beings forgiving themselves ; but to sub- 
stitute this for the divine forgiveness is a mere 
trick of the fancy and a confusion of ideas. It 
was the merit of the Reformers to appreciate 
the greatness of this gift of God and to separate 
it, on this account, from all the other acts of 
salvation. The theologians of the Council of 
Trent, on the contrary, hopelessly mixed together 
justification and sanctification ; and not a few 
Protestant theologians in our day, by doing the 
same thing consciously or unconsciously, are 
losing the ethical impulse which springs from 

It is out of the sense of forgiveness that the 
sense of gratitude springs ; and this is the mother x 
of praise, which holds so prominent a place in 
Christian worship, producing psalmody and 
hymnody, as well as inspiring the music of the 
human voice and the grave sweet harmonies of 


instrumental accompaniments. Forgiveness is 
not, indeed, the only inspiration from which 
thanksgiving proceeds. There are hundreds of 
other subjects, belonging to the region over which 
memory holds sway, which enter into praise. But 
in the one-hundred-and-third Psalm that grand- 
est utterance of gratitude in the entire repertory 
of praise the very first thing said of God is, ' ' Who 
forgiveth all thine iniquities " ; and, further down, 
occur the tender words, into which the saints of 
all the ages have poured their penitence, "As 
far as the East is from the West, so far hath He 
removed our transgressions from us ". A piety 
which does not know what penitence is, and 
which has not felt the impulse to gratitude and 
to duty derived from pardon, maybe said to have 
missed the secret altogether. 

While it is with the memory we remember, it 
is also with the memory we forget ; and this, 
also, is of no small consequence in religion. In 
Holy Scripture, God often complains of being for- 
gotten. And to be forgotten may sometimes 
afford the justest ground for complaint. Were 
a husband, away from home, to become sensible 
that, for days on end, he had not once remem- 
bered his wife or children, would he not have the 
best cause to feel ashamed ? If days can pass 


without our thoughts once turning to God, we 
may be certain that we do not love Him ; for 
emotion quickens memory, and the heart that 
loves much will remember often. Jesus also, in 
the miracle of the Ten Lepers, when He asked, 
" Where are the nine " ? indicated both how He 
felt ingratitude and what value He placed on I/ 
gratitude. There could be no more convincing 
evidence of the function of memory in religion 
than that sacrament at the institution of 
which He said, " This do in remembrance of 
Me ". 

The question has been sometimes raised, 
whether in the other world the redeemed will 
remember their sins. There have been teachers 
who have thought it so impossible to be happy 
while seeing the sins of a lifetime in the light of 
eternity that they have taught that a sponge of 
oblivion will pass over this part of the tablets of 
memory and blot out its records forever. But 
the truth is far greater and grander than this : 
such is the depth of the riches of the wisdom and 
the mercy of God that the memory of their own 
sins will not perish in the redeemed, yet it will be 
allowed to yield to them not the poison of re- 
morse but only the honey of gratitude ; and to 
all eternity it will infuse an inimitable sweetness 


into the songs they sing to Him who hath loved 
them and washed them from their sins in His 
own blood. 

In the great chapter on Memory in the " Con- 
fessions" of St. Augustine the profoundest 
thought is, that memory is not entirely of the 
facts of past terrestrial experience, but embraces 
movements and suggestions coming from a 
greater distance. This is an idea much older 
than even St. Augustine; for Plato sometimes 
spoke of knowledge as being reminiscence, 
eternity being filled with types of which human 
beings are reminded by the actual experiences of 
time. In all lives there are hints of the same 
truth ; for we encounter sometimes a face, of 
rare loveliness or peace, which makes on us the 
impression that we have often seen it before, 
though in fact we have not; and a few minutes 
spent with a kindred spirit may awaken the sense 
of having known him for a lifetime. That on which 
St. Augustine fixes as haunting the mind with some 
antenatal vision is the conception of happiness. 
This is found in the minds of all, even in those 
of the most miserable. None have ever enjoyed 
happiness in perfection, and yet all are aware of 
it as a perfect thing, for the comfort and sun- 


shine of which they are craving at every moment. 
By St. Augustine this is interpreted as a craving 
for a happiness once enjoyed but now lost. It 
is, in short, the sense of God, in whom alone 
resides our blessedness. 




IN the preceding chapter the remark was made, 
that perhaps the most astonishing of all the 
phenomena of human psychology is the power 
possessed by the mind of retaining past experi- 
ence out of consciousness. When we are recol- 
lecting, as we call it, we are holding in present 
consciousness some bit of past experience ; but 
the most of which we can thus be immediately 
conscious is only an infinitesimal fraction of our 
entire knowledge. For example, it may be a 
single word in a foreign language well known to 
us ; but where are all the other words of that 
language ? At present I am not thinking of 
these ; they are not before my mind ; yet they 
are in me somewhere and somehow ; because, if it 
were necessary, I could summon them, one after 
another, into consciousness. All we have ever 
seen or heard, all we have experienced or learned, 
all we have done or suffered must somehow be 



kept hold of by the mind. As was remarked in 
last chapter, behind the stage on which our pre- 
sent conscious experience is enacted there 
stretches a vast, silent region of unconsciousness, 
in which past experience is preserved. This part 
of the mind has been compared to a treasure- 
house, divided into many rooms and fitted with 
shelves and drawers, in which different kinds of 
knowledge are stowed away ; and the size and 
spaciousness of this internal magazine differ in 
different persons according to the length of life, 
the intensity of thought, the variety of experience 
of each individual. 

In front of this storehouse stands the stage 
or theatre of present conscious experience ; and 
recollection can summon to the platform, for 
present service, any of the materials within. 
But there is another mental power which likewise 
comes to the door of the storehouse and sum- 
mons forth the forms of past experience, to make 
use of them for its own purposes. This is the 
Imagination ; and in the present chapter we have 
to investigate what are its peculiar functions. 

The most palpable difference between memory 
and imagination is, that, while recollection, when 
raising out of the memory the forms of past ex- 
perience, revives these exactly as they were when 


put into the memory, and, indeed, displays its 
excellence in the truthfulness with which it can 
reproduce the past exactly as it was experienced, 
the imagination, on the contrary, transmutes into 
shapes of its own the materials with which it is 
supplied from memory's storehouse. Hence the 
epithet frequently applied to it the " creative " 
imagination. To a very large extent the imagina- 
tion is dependent on memory; for it has to 
borrow all its materials from the stores which 
memory has accumulated ; but, for its own pur- 
poses, it alters these in a hundred ways, adding 
or subtracting, separating or combining, subdu- 
ing or heightening. A blind man, who has had 
no experience of light, cannot, by the force of 
the imagination, conceive what colour is, nor can 
a person born deaf conceive what sound is ; but 
a seeing man can imagine thousands of pageants 
which he has never witnessed, and a hearing man 
can imagine hundreds of conversations to which 
he has not listened. The mind, being acquainted 
with human beings of the ordinary size and at- 
tributes, can diminish these to Lilliputians or 
enlarge them to Brobdingnagians ; it can com- 
bine the body of a man with the limbs of a goat 
and so make a satyr; or the head of the woman 
with the body of a fish and so make a mermaid ; 


it can put the brains, the passions and the lan- 
guage of human beings into other animals and so 
produce fables like those of ^Esop; or it can 
combine all the scattered excellences it has ever 
seen or heard of and, magnifying and intensify- 
ing these, create a glorious city, peopled with ten 
thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of 
thousands, and so make a heaven. All this is 
the work of the imagination ; and from what has 
been said it is easy to define what the peculiarity 
of this faculty is : it takes out of the storehouse 
of memory the materials of experience and, under 
impulses still to be explained, alters them and 
fashions them into novel shapes of its own. 

The simplest form of imagination is Dream- 
ing ; and in this familiar experience, it is easy to 
test the truth of what has just been said. Dream- 
ing is dependent on memory. Unless we could 
remember having seen men, women and children, 
houses and streets, earth and sky, and having 
heard words, music, laughter, we could not have 
the dreams in which such objects figure. But in 
what altered shapes do these appear in dreams ! 
Dreams are like life, and yet how unlike ! All 
our bygone experiences of seeing, hearing, read- 
ing, meditating, rejoicing, sorrowing are there, 


yet in forms the most fantastical. These phantas- 
magories, which succeed one another with such 
amazing rapidity, dissolving and rearranging 
themselves with kaleidoscopic suddenness, are 
the work of the imagination ; but in this case it 
is extremely difficult to say on what impulse or 
on what principle it acts. Everyone knows what 
it is, on awaking from a dream, of unusually sur- 
prising character, to ask, Was it I who had these 
thoughts ? or was it some breath from heaven or 
blast from hell which, with the arbitrariness of 
the wind, was compelling the contents of memory 
into such grotesque shapes ? 

A kindred form of imagination is Reverie or 
Day-dreaming. Children are said to see faces in 
the fire, and youth to build castles in the air ; 
but, in truth, these practices belong to all ages. 
In hours of leisure, and especially in the watches 
of the night, when we are lying awake, images 
and scenes rise out of the dark background of 
the mind and present themselves to the inner 
eye. These may be images of fear, such as a 
child sees when it awakes in the dark, or they 
may be scenes of radiant beauty and glowing 
hope, such as haunt the mind of youth. Much 
of reverie is, indeed, mere recollection, the mind 
living over and over again remembered experi- 


ences ; yet even in such cases there is always an 
element of pure imagination ; for, by omitting 
the disagreeable element in past realities, we 
make our experiences better than they actually 
were. In even the sweetest recollections of by- 
gone experience the choicest morsel is that which 
did not take place, and the brightest scene is 
always the one after the last. 

So unlike ourselves are our dreams sometimes 
that we wonder by whose mind they were 
created; but the reverse is the case with our 
day-dreams : these are the very picture of our- 
selves. When the restraints imposed by business 
and society are removed, the mind springs back 
to its native shape, and from the subjects to 
which it then betakes itself, it may be learned 
whether it be fair or foul. If it could be known 
what anyone is habitually brooding upon when 
he is lying awake, an infallible index would be 
found to . his character ; and by the same test 
everyone is able to know himself. 

It is common to warn the young against re- 
verie ; but this advice requires qualification. 
Certainly reverie may be indulged in to such ex- 
cess as to make the whole life dreamy and pur- 
poseless ; some people, instead of dreaming in 
the pauses of their work, may rather be said to 


work in the pauses of their dreams. But, on the 
other hand, there can be no depth of thought or 
character without the meditative habit. The 
finest thoughts come to us not when we are pur- 
suing a subject, as the saying is, but when the 
mind is lying still and the subject is acting on it 
of its own accord. 1 What does require vigilance 
is the nature of the subjects on which the mind 
in such moods ruminates. If themes foul and 
forbidden are permitted then to take possession of 
the mind, they destroy the very power of thinking. 

When lust 

Lets in defilement to the inward parts, 
The soul grows clotted by contagion, 
Imbodies and imbrutes, till she quite lose 
The divine property of her first being. 

1 Amiel characteristically comes to its defence : " Eeverie, 
like the rain of night, restores colour and force to thoughts 
which have been blanched and wearied by the heat of the day. 
With gentle, fertilising power it awakens within us a thousand 
sleeping germs, and, as though in play, gathers round us 
materials for the future, and images for the use of talent. 
Eeverie is the Sunday of thought ; and who knows which is 
the more important and fruitful for man, the laborious tension 
of the week or the life-giving repose of the Sabbath ? It is 
like a bath, which gives vigour and suppleness to the whole 
being, to the mind as to the body. It is the sign and festival 
of liberty, a joyous and wholesome banquet, the banquet of 
the butterfly wandering from flower to flower over the hills 
and in the fields. And remember, the soul, too, is a butter- 
fly." " Journal," I, pp. 42, 43. 


Such imaginings must be fought at the threshold 
and kept rigorously out, or the inner man will 
grow leprous from head to foot. Happy he 
whose imagination, when the strain of reality is 
relaxed, springs spontaneously into a region of 
pure and wholesome fancies ; but happiest he 
who can say, " In the night His song shall be 
with me, and my prayer to the God of my life ". 

From what has been said it will have been 
gathered that the principal function of imagina- 
tion is to improve on reality. It creates a world 
brighter and more perfect than that in which we 
live. In children we see this power marvellously 
displayed. Give them a few bits of wood, 
roughly cut and brightly painted, a few clip- 
pings of cloth, a few bricks, a little sand or mud, 
and out of these they will form for themselves 
a world in which there are kings and queens, the 
tinker and the tailor, the soldier and the sailor, 
and these figures perform all the movements 
and activities of real life, as far as these are 
known to a child. 

Why is it that children, aye, and children also 
of an older growth, delight in stories? It is 
because in these life is seen heightened and 
perfected. In ordinary life there is little scope 
for adventure, and our achievements lag far be- 


hind our desires ; but in a story, whether it be 
historical or only invented, we see a rare and 
glorious moment, a heroic resolution, a perfect 
action. This is what we should like life to be ; 
it is the ideal, undiminished and undimmed by 
the obstacles and qualifications of reality. 

Herein lies the explanation of the pleasure 
derived from works of art. A song or a piece 
of music is a combination of sounds more ex- 
quisite than those which ordinary experience 
affords; a picture is the essence distilled from 
the beauty presented in ordinary scenes. Especi- 
ally is the enjoyment due to works of imaginative 
literature to be thus explained. When we open 
a book of poetry or romance, the ordinary work, 
in which we have been toiling and moiling, 
fretted with fatigue and failure, fades away, and 
we enter a world where all is ampler and more 
serene. Ordinary existence is slow of move- 
ment and grey of hue ; but here a year is com- 
pressed into an hour, the colours are bright, the 
crisis exciting, the end satisfying. In the epic 
one stirring episode succeeds another, in the 
drama some great principle receives perfect il- 
lustration, in the novel love is crowned and 
justice vindicated. 

Is it good thus to live in a world so different 


from reality ? That depends on circumstances. 
Such reading may easily be carried to excess. 
If, instead of being an occasional treat, it is made 
the daily bread of the mind, it cannot but en- 
feeble. We may dwell so much among the 
bright creations of the imagination that the 
duties of ordinary life appear dull and irksome. 
We may so exhaust our sympathies on imaginary 
heroes and heroines as to have none left for 
actual human beings. It is possible to shed 
floods of tears over women who suffer and child- 
ren who die on paper and yet not have a tear 
to shed or a penny to spare for real distress. 
Fiction not infrequently conveys entirely mis- 
taken notions of what life is, and leads readers 
to expect success not in the paths of steady 
diligence and perseverance, in which alone the 
majority must find it, but through some effort 
of genius or stroke of chance, which cannot fall 
to the lot of one in a million. But imaginative 
literature may pursue a better path. There is 
poetry which reveals the depth and mystery of 
which the actual world everywhere is full, and 
there is fiction which helps us to divine a secret 
deep and tender in every heart we meet. Of 
such works of imagination the influence may be 
beneficial ; for the wisdom of life consists in 


appreciating the romance of ordinary existence 
and enjoying the poetry of common things. 

But, if the office of imagination is, as we have 
seen, to improve upon reality, only a little reflec- 
tion is needed to perceive that it may fulfil a 
purpose far more practical than the creation of 
an imaginary world, to serve as a retreat from 
the constant insistence of reality ; for it may 
apply itself to the improvement of the actual 
world. The imagination creates many worlds 
which never have any existence except in fancy ; 
but every conception which anyone has of a 
better state of things in the actual world is also 
a work of the imagination. The world would 
never rise one step above its present condition 
unless there were continually presenting them- 
selves to human minds visions of possible im- 
provement and perfection. Humanity is lighted 
along the path of progress by the torch of ima- 

Every time a workman is fashioning anything 
on the bench or the anvil, he sees in his mind's 
eye the perfect article ; this determines every 
stroke and touch he gives to the unformed ma- 


terials in his hands ; and, the more perfect and 
beautiful is the conception of the finished article 


in his imagination, the more difficult will he be 
to please with rough and bungling workmanship. 
When a mechanic, in attending at his post, sees 
some part of the. machine where the action might 
be simplified or where a mechanical arrangement 
might take the place of human labour, the con- 
ception which forms itself in his mind of the 
machine, thus improved, is a work of imagina- 
tion. When Edison sits in his laboratory and 
thinks out the undiscovered qualities which may 
reside in this material and that, or what kind of 
arrangement of materials would fill up the gap 
between invention and a desired effect, it is 
largely with the imagination that he is working. 
It was because Columbus had a stronger ima- 
gination than the rest of Europe that he believed 
in a new world on the other side of the globe. 
It was for a similar reason that David Living- 
stone could not settle down to ordinary mis- 
sionary work on the outskirts of heathenism, but 
was forever dreaming of the secrets hidden in 
the depths of the desert, till at last the desire to 
go and see became overpowering and made him 
the greatest discoverer of modern times. 1 

1 See a fine section on "Imagination in the Grand Gall- 
ings" in JOHNSON: "The Eeligious Use of the Imagination". 
It was Tyndall, in his famous Belfast Address, who first 


The vision of an improved world in the ima- 
gination may be a dream and nothing more ; in 
millions of cases it is so ; but, on the other hand, 
the world is never improved without a preceding 
dream in someone's imagination. Youth is full 
of visions ; the great majority of these subse- 
quently dissolve and leave not a rack behind ; 
but woe to him who in his youth has no visions 
no vision of his own future, no vision of the 
future of the world no passionate sense of the 
wrongs and imperfections of society, no plan 
for improving the land of his nativity or the 
place of his abode, no enthusiasm for the re- 
demption and perfection of humanity. I like 
beyond measure that saying of Burns, that when 
he was "beardless, young and blate," he had a 

Even then a wish I mind its power 
A wish that to my latest hour 

Shall strongly heave my breast- 
That I for puir auld Scotia's sake 
Some usefu' plan or beuk could make, 

Or sing a sang at least. 

This is very near religion. What is religion ? 
It could hardly be better defined than it has 

brought home to the general understanding the part played 
by the imagination in scientific investigation. 


been by St. Peter in these words : " We, ac- 
cording to His promise, look for new heavens 
and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteous- 
ness ". Who is a Christian ? I answer, The 
man, who, taught by Christ, looks forward not 
only to heaven, but to a new earth, in which 
righteousness shall reign and from which all the 
unrighteousness of every kind with which the 
earth is at present disfigured shall be banished, 
and who, trusting to the grace of Christ, is doing 
his part to make that good time come. He is a 
Christian who cannot look on a fellow-creature, 
however degraded, without having a vision of 
imprisoned possibilities, the release and develop- 
ment of which will lead to glory, honour and 
immortality, and who, in the spirit of human 
brotherhood, seeks to save the lost. 

But no man can thus feel and work for others 
who has not first had a vision of himself. Pro- 
fessor Drummond used to say, that, in our day, 
many are made Christians not by conviction of 
sin, but by the conviction of righteousness. Like 
some other sayings from the same quarter, this 
has an air of paradox ; yet there is in it an un- 
doubted truth. The impulse which carries a 
man to Christ may be not the thought of a 
horrible pit beneath him, into which he is falling, 


but of an ideal above him, which he is struggling 
in vain to reach. Only I should say, that such 
a sense of an unattained purity and nobility 
would naturally create at the same time, in any 
man who has felt it, a horror of his actual self 
and a passionate desire to be separated from the 
evil past. The imagination, at all events, can 
do us no better service than when it gives us 
such a view of the possibilities of our own life 
that the desire to realise these becomes our ab- 
sorbing passion. Or rather, its highest service 
is when it furnishes us with such an enchanting 
image of the Man Christ Jesus that we follow 
Him by an irresistible impulse, and our whole 
existence becomes a ceaseless prayer to be like 
Him in mind and heart, in speech and behaviour. 

The imagination, as thus interpreted, is almost 
identical with the Christian conception of hope ; 
and the Scripture says that we are " saved " by 
hope. Protestantism says, indeed, that we are 
saved by faith, and to this Romanism has retorted 
by affirming that we are saved by love. Not a 
few who can understand either of these latter 
statements could hardly attach any meaning to 
the statement that we are saved by hope. Yet 
it is the truth ; and, though faith and love have 


got before it in the race, the turn of hope will 
come, to be realised and prized as an instrument 
of salvation. The most vivid picture of the com- 
mencement of salvation in the Scriptures is the 
Parable of the Prodigal Son ; and it is manifest 
that the Prodigal was saved by hope. The actual 
sight of his wretchedness among the swine, though 
an essential element in his redemption, would 
never have taken him home, had he not, by the 
force of imagination, seen the possibility of a 
position totally different from that which he .was 
occupying in the far country. No less is the con- 
tinuation of salvation, which we call sanctifica- 
tion, due to the same faculty. The habit of 
brooding over our own imperfections or mourn- 
ing over our own shortcomings will never do 
much good, unless accompanied with the vision 
of something better to draw us up and on. We 
must have the faculty of seeing, in contrast with 
the actual self, a self more worthy and Christ- 
like ; and then this hope makes contentment 
with our imperfections impossible, because it fills 
us with a divine hunger for a more developed 
and harmonious character. The most redeeming 
quality of hope, however, is the identification of 
our desires with Christ's redemptive purpose for 
the world. By Himself this was designated the 


Kingdom of God ; and, under the same title, it is 
captivating in our own day the imagination of 
His followers. The Kingdom of God is a dream ; 
and yet it is more than a dream. The poet 
creates an ideal world, but he knows that the 
light by which it is illuminated will never be seen 
on sea or land ; the philosopher creates an ideal 
state his Republic or Utopia but he knows that 
it will never exist except on paper, and he acqui- 
esces in the actual arrangements of the very im- 
perfect terrestrial country of which he is a citizen. 
But the Christian expects his dream to come true. 
Indeed, he is sure of it, because he is sure of 
God and His promises, of Christ and His destiny. 
He goes further : he works for the coming of the 
Kingdom. There may be a weak Christianity 
which talks of the battle of Armageddon and the 
glories of the millennium, yet folds its hands 
and does nothing ; but, where genuine hope has 
been generated, it counts the cost and looks for 
long results ; it begins at once and does not de- 
spise the day of small things ; it lays hold of the 
wheels of things and lifts them out of the ruts of 
evil custom ; and in every triumph, however im- 
perfect, it sees a prpfiguration of the coming 
The great modern form of hope is missionary 


activity ; and the revival in our day of this func- 
tion of true Christianity is the most cheering of 
all signs of the times. From the point of view 
of the natural man the conversion of the world 
is a chimera ; but to many minds, destitute of 
neither sense nor knowledge, it is a certainty ; and 
they are even speaking of its accomplishment 
within a single generation. Not only, however, 
are they speaking : they are planning, studying, 
praying, sacrificing. They are estimating the 
obstacles and the encouragements, and they are 
of opinion that greater is He who is for us than 
all they that can be against us. 

Christian hope, however, does not exhaust 
itself in picturing either the spiritual develop- 
ment in the individual or the missionary conquest 
of the world in these earthly years and on this 
terrestrial sphere : it has always occupied itself, 
besides, with picturing a life to be entered on 
after the completion of man's present career. So 
it was at the beginning ; even a scoffer like 
Gibbon acknowledging that the expectation of 
immortality was one of the explanations of the 
early diffusion of Christianity. The more gloomy 
and desperate the situation of the martyrs was 
on earth, the more distinctly did they see the 
crown of life awaiting their arrival in another 


world. The two greatest works of the imagina- 
tion in literature are the " Vision " of Dante and 
the " Paradise Lost" of Milton; and both are 
efforts of the imagination to make the unseen 
world palpable in both its attractions and its 
terrors. Some allege that visions like Dante's 
and Milton's no longer affect the modern mind, 
so as either to attract or to warn. If so, the 
sooner new imaginative forms are invented to 
bring home the eternal realities the better will 
it be. The testimony of the Son of God to the 
existence of an eternal world, out of which He 
had come and to which He was returning, has 
lost none of its impressiveness ; the human spirit 
is not so dead that it cannot feel the glory of its 
own immortality ; and, therefore, it ought not to 
be beyond the power of Christian genius to body 
forth the hopes and fears of eternity in such 
shapes as to draw the soul with passionate desire 
on the one hand and affect it with wholesome 
terrors on the other. Someone has said that the 
lever by which this world is moved must have its 
fulcrum outside of the world ; and the Scripture 
itself, speaking of the hope of heaven, asserts : 
" Everyone that hath this hope in him purifieth 
himself even as He is pure ". 






WHEN, in a vacant hour, we are indulging in 
reverie, and out of the magazine of memory the 
images of past experience are rising at their own 
sweet will, how arbitrary seems the succession of 
the thoughts that come into the mind ! From 
century to century and from continent to continent 
the busy brain ranges with the speed of lightning. 
One moment the thinker may be in Norway, the 

1 Although this chapter was not included in the course 
delivered in America, the first part of it especially, on the 
Association of Ideas, seems to be required, to link-up the pre- 
ceding chapters with that on the Eeason, which follows. In 
the second part, on Habit, the author is sensible of being more 
than usually indebted to Professor James, whose chapter on 
this subject is the most brilliant portion of a work which is 
throughout a wonderful melange of wit and wisdom I mean 
" The Principles of Psychology," in two volumes, in the j. 
American Science Series. Few are the preachers who can, as 
James does here, bring home the power of sin to paralyze the 
whole man or the consequent necessity for resisting its be- 



next in Australia, the next in the Holy Land, the 
next in China. 

Although, however, this succession of ideas ap- 
pears to an untrained observer to be absolutely 
arbitrary, it is not so in reality. On the contrary, 
thought is linked to thought, and for even the 
most wild leaps and wayward turns of fancy there 
is in every case a sufficient reason. It is one of 
the merits of the English school of Psychology to 
have detected this connexion among our ideas 
and investigated the laws by which it is regulated. 1 
Let us indicate some of these. 

Things which have been observed by the mind 
in the same place are apt to recall one another. 
Thus, if I happen to think of a man whom I noticed 
in the street yesterday, I immediately think of an- 
other citizen, who chanced to be walking by his 
side. Likewise, things which have happened at 
the same time or in immediate succession are likely 
to recall one another. Thus, if the first of July 
last year were mentioned, your mind might be an 

1 The first hints of the doctrine of the Association of Ideas 
go back, however, as far as Plato and Aristotle. But it was 
in Hume first that " association came to be recognised as the 
one principle of mental change and movement, somewhat as 
attraction was found to be in the domain of the physical ". 
BALDWIN, " History of Psychology," Vol. II, p. 7. 

HABIT 149 

absolute blank, as you could remember nothing 
which had happened on that day ; but, if it oc- 
curred to you that the first of July was the day 
when your annual holiday commenced and when 
you started for a fortnight's tour on the Contin- 
ent, immediately the events of the thirteen days 
which followed would pour through your mind in 
a stream, the one bringing the other in its train. 
Again, things which are like one another bring 
one another to mind. Thus, a portrait makes 
you think of the person whom it represents ; a 
torrent of rain reminds you of the rainiest day you 
have ever experienced ; and so on. Contrast acts 
in the same way as likeness ; and so, indeed, does 
any relation between one object and another ; as, 
for instance, that one is a part of the other. Thus, 
if York Minster be mentioned in your hearing, 
you see at once, in the mind's eye, the Five Sisters, 
a window generally considered to be the loveliest 
part of that cathedral ; or, if St. Paul's be men- 
tioned, you remember the Whispering Gallery 
that is, a part of the whole and so on. Kecur 
for a moment to the illustration with which this 
lecture began when I said that, one moment, the 
mind may be in Norway, the next in Australia, 
the next in Palestine, the next in China. These 
leaps from continent to continent seem unaccount- 


able ; but, if you analyze your thinking, you will 
perceive that for each of them there is the simplest 
reason in the world. You were thinking of Nor- 
way, when naturally you recalled a friend, in 
whose company you visited that picturesque 
country but who is now in Australia; and so 
your thought flew away to the Southern Hemi- 
sphere. And thereupon you thought of the 
Southern Cross, because you had recently read a 
poem in which that constellation was described 
as the most prominent feature of the nightly 
heavens in that part of the globe. The name of 
the Cross sent your thought flying back over cen- 
turies to Calvary ; and so you found your- 
self in Palestine. Finally Christ's Cross made 
you think of the sufferings of Christians ; and, 
accordingly, your thoughts flew to China, where 
the professors of Christianity were, not long ago, 
suffering martyrdom. 

Thus, beneath phenomena apparently arbitrary 
there are fixed laws, and for even the slightest 
movement of the thinking mind there is a sufficient 
reason. The comprehensive term applied by philo- 
sophers to the laws by which thought thus pro- 
duces thought is the Association of Ideas ; and 
some have found in this the key to the whole 

HABIT 151 

miracle of thinking. 1 Without at present going 
into that large question, I may say, that at all 
events it is the key to that feature of mental life 
to which attention is to be directed in this chapter. 

Habit may be considered as arising in this 
way : when, in the revolution of time that is, 
of the day, or the week, or the month, or the 
year a point is reached at which we have done 
anything before, we, by the law of the association 
of ideas, think of it again and do it again. Thus, 
when day dawns, we awake and rise out of bed, 
because we have done so before ; when a later 
hour strikes, we take breakfast and walk off 
to business ; and so we act from hour to hour 
throughout the day. On the first day of the week, 
for a similar reason, our thoughts turn to sacred 
things, and we make ready to go to church. As 
the New Year comes round, our thoughts turn 
to friendliness, and we consider by what kindly 
turn we can inform those who are far away that 
they are borne in our remembrance. Of course 
some other juncture of circumstances, different 

1 As early as Plato the laws of association due to resem- 
blance and contiguity were formulated, and Aristotle added that 
of contrast. There is a disposition at present to reduce all 
these laws to one that of succession. 


from the revolution of time, may be that which 
recalls the past experience ; but, on the whole, the 
cycles of time, narrower or wider, have an im- 
mense deal to do with the formation of habit. 

If a thing has been done merely once at a certain 
time, there will be a tendency, when that point 
of time recurs, to think of the thing and to do it 
again ; but this tendency is very much increased 
if it has been done often at the same time ; and 
this frequency of repetition enters largely into the 
formation of habit. The reason why on Sunday 
morning we think instinctively of the house of 
prayer is not because we have been there once 
before, but because we have been going there 
regularly every Sunday of our lives. The more 
frequent the repetition the stronger the habit. 
Frequent repetition, further, confirms habit by 
producing facility in the doing of anything. Ac- 
tions apparently the most impossible are able not 
only to be done, but to be performed with perfect 
ease, if only they are done often enough. Thus, 
a celebrated character tells that in a month he 
learned to keep up in the air four balls at once 
and to read a book whilst he was performing this 
feat. Multitudes of women can read whilst they 
are knitting, although at one time knitting was 
to everyone of them a slow and laborious pro- 

HABIT 158 

cess, demanding every particle of their attention. 
Everyone who has learned to play the piano re- 
members the difficulties of commencing the pain 
in the wrists, the counting of the intervals, the 
touching of the keys with one finger but practice 
produces the astonishing rapidity of the virtuoso. 
Practice can convert even disagreeable tasks into 
pleasures ; and what has been done at first with 
groans and tears may become in the end a source 
of triumph. 

It is not the mind alone that is involved in 
habit : even the body is brought into its service. 
The soldier is known by his gait, the scholar by 
his stoop, the merchant by his swing. Still more 
is habit woven into the very texture of those 
parts of the bodily structure which are unseen, 
such as the muscles and the nerves. Hence the 
advice given by a philosopher : " Make your nerv- 
ous system your ally, instead of your enemy, in 
the battle of life ". The mind itself, however, is 
the great seat of habit ; and, were it a substance 
capable of being seen, we should find that it was 
all worn into channels, some shallower and some 
deeper, according to the amount of repetition in 
our mental actions ; and along these channels the 
energies of life pour themselves. 

Man has been declared to be a bundle of ^ 


habits ; and this definition is not unfitting. As 
time goes on, life falls more and more into 
grooves, and there is many a man of middle age 
about whom it might be predicted, with almost 
infallible certainty, what he will be doing at 
every hour of the day and on every day of the 
year. When the maxim was repeated in the 
hearing of the Duke of Wellington, that habit is 
second nature, " Second nature ? " he exclaimed, 
"habit is ten times nature". Such was likely 
to be the sentiment of a disciplinarian, whose life 
was spent in training men to act at the word of 
command and to face the enemy and death, instead 
of obeying the instinct of nature by fleeing away. 
The discipline of home and of school is largely 
directed to the end of training the volatile spirits 
of the young to flow in certain fixed channels. 
Up to the age of ten, it is said, we are acquiring 
those habits which are called manners ; between 
ten and twenty the habits which belong to per- 
sonal character ; and between twenty and thirty 
those which belong to professional character. 
After thirty a human being may be said to be 
formed, and thereafter it is difficult to alter him. 
Still, the formation of character never entirely 
ceases. In some cases, indeed, the pliancy of 
the formative period lasts to the very end of life. 

HABIT 155 

If we have been in any degree mismade and who 
has not ? we ought never to consider it too late 
to mend. The aspiring soul struggles after per- 
fection ; and how is this to be obtained but 
through the modification of habit ? I have heard 
the venerable Principal Whyte, of Edinburgh, 
from the Moderator's chair of the Church of 
which he is an ornament, preach to his brethren, 
with great persuasiveness and power, on the 
maxim, that it is never too late either to unlearn 
an evil habit or to learn a good one ; and even 
the elderly men who were listening felt this to be 
one of the truest as well as most encouraging 
gospels they had ever listened to. 

Habit, even if it be good, may be excessive : 
it may become hidebound and tyrannical. There 
is a Pharisaical adherence to opinions once 
formed and customs once adopted which is the 
greatest obstacle in the path of progress. Yet, 
on the whole, there is no more valuable posses- 
sion than a few good habits. 1 Such a possession 
means that not only is the mind pledged and 

1 "In the conduct of life, habits count for more than 
maxims, because habit is a living maxim, become flesh and 
instinct. To reform one's maxims is nothing: it is but to 
change the title of the bodk. To learn new habits is every- 
thing, for it is to reach the substance of life." AMIEL, 
" Journal," I, 9. 


covenanted to what is good, but that even the 
muscles are suppled and the very bones bent to 
the same end. This is what a good home and a 
good education should impart. The child grown 
to youth should come out upon the world with a 
sweet and natural disposition, acquired from long 
practice, to do the right thing at the common 
junctures of life to be courteous, punctual, 
truthful and obedient. This is what schoolboys 
of a superior class mean by "honour" and by 
" playing the game " ; and such a bent in the 
right direction may for years be no bad substi- 
tute for principles and convictions. Those who 
have gone before have tried the alternatives and 
discovered which are the ways of wisdom, and 
the newcomer ought to be able so far to profit 
from their experience. No doubt he may, 
through inward perverseness, in spite of all that 
his elders can do, choose the path of folly ; but 
his parents and teachers can at least communi- 
cate to him a bias towards the better part. 
Nothing could be more miserable than if at every 
moment of life we had to stop and deliberate, 
handling every weapon as if it had never been 
used before. In that case, life would be inex- 
pressibly slow ; we should always be merely 
screwing up the instrument and never playing the 

HABIT 157 

tune. But habit makes us experts in conduct ; 
it saves our time and enables us to forge ahead. 

What the good habits are which everyone 
should seek to acquire at an early stage, it would 
be difficult to say. Every adviser would give his 
own list ; and even a very full list would easily 
be capable of extension. Still, there are some 
which the wise would be unanimous in recom- 
mending, and there may be advantages in speci- 
fying a few of these. 

No habit is more essential to character than 
self-control. This is the power of getting oneself 
to do promptly and resolutely whatever one is 
aware one ought to do and to refuse to do what 
would offend conscience and honour. At first, 
this habit may be extremely difficult to acquire 
because of the volatility of one's own spirits or 
a disposition to yield to the desires of others ; 
but there is an enormous exhilaration in it. To 
be able to do what one knows one ought to do 
is moral strength ; it breeds self-respect ; and it 
is sure to command the respect of others. 

Another habit of incalculable value is concen- 
tration of thought. This is the power of calling ** 
the mind in from other objects and fixing it for a 
long time on the point in hand. To all perhaps 


this is difficult at first, the mind, when one 
tries to confine it, leaping away to a hundred irre- 
levant subjects. But, if one only perseveres, it 
will at last obey ; and then one is on the way to 
be a real thinker. The secrets and the joys of 
truth belong only to those who can think in this 

There is no more desirable habit than that of 
really working when we are at work. I do not 
care what anyone's work may be whether of the 
brain or of the hand ; whether well-paid or ill- 
paid what I say is, do it for its own sake and 
for your own sake, as well as it can be done ; do 
it so well that you can be proud of it. There is 
no happiness like that of daily work honestly 
v/ and thoroughly done. Your employer may cheat 
you of your pay, but he cannot cheat you of this 
satisfaction. I never meet a young man a 
young minister or a student, a tradesman or a 
mechanic who is doing his work with all his 
heart but I feel as if I could embrace him. 

This is the Gospel of Labour which, when 
preached by Carlyle a generation ago, put iron 
into the blood of the thoughtful members of the 
middle class and a stoical joy into their conflict 
with difficulties ; and well would it be for the 
world if in our day there arose another apostle to 

HABIT 159 

bring home the same wholesome doctrine to a 
wider audience and a lower stratum of society. 
We are hearing at present too much of wages and fc-x 
too little of work. They are not true prophets 
who preach to the multitude their right to wages, 
if they do not, in something like fair proportion, 
preach to them also the duty of work ; for, while 
work for insufficient wages is a great curse, 
wages for insufficient work would be a greater. 
For the sake of the workers themselves there is 
at present no message more urgent than this ; for 
it is only when men can take a pride in their 
labour and hold up their face to their own handi- 
work in view of the keenest inspection that they 
can be really independent and free. 

One more good habit only let me mention 
that of prayer. To work is to pray, many say at 
the present day ; but I am not satisfied with this 
dictum. No man prizes genuine work more than 
I do ; but we require prayer besides. And happy 
is he who, at a certain time or times of the day 
which experience has taught him to be the best 
for him, bends the knee and prays to his Maker. 
Happy, I say, is that man; for his heavenly Father, 
who seeth in secret, w,ill reward him openly. 

Evil habits may be contracted by merely failing J 


,. to acquire good ones ; for, like weeds, they grow 
spontaneously wherever the ground is not culti- 
vated and preoccupied with good seed. The man 
who does not work becomes a dissipated loafer. 
When anyone fails to acquire the habit of going 
to church on Sunday, he loses, as a rule, the 
spiritual instinct and has no taste for either 
Christian truth or Christian fellowship or Chris- 
tian work ; and on Sunday he becomes a prey to 
habits of slothfulness. Leisure-time is in many 
lives the Devil's opportunity. This is because, 
when people have nothing in particular to do, and 
no way of spending the sacred day is obligatory, 
time is not only wasted, but modes of killing it are 
invented which are demoralising to the character 
and difficult, when once indulged in, to abandon. 
The tyranny of evil habit is proverbial. Habit 
is like a thread to begin with ; but, as thread is 

f twisted with thread, it grows to be a cable, 
which it is impossible to snap. At first it is like 
a twig which can be bent at pleasure ; but by 
degrees it becomes like the stem of a tree, cori- 

/taining an evil twist, which it is hardly possible 
to undo. Nothing is more appalling than to ob- 
serve how little even the strongest motives avail 
to overcome habit after it has reached a certain 
stage of maturity. 

HABIT 161 

The rules for breaking off evil habits supplied 
by the moralists are such as the following : 
"Launch yourself on the new course with as 
strong an initiative as possible " ; " Never suffer 
an exception to occur till the new habit is rooted 
in your life " ; " Seize the very first possible. oppor- 
tunity to act on every resolution you make, and 
on every emotional prompting you may experi- 
ence in the direction of habits you aspire to 
gain " ; " Keep the faculty of effort alive in you ; 
by a little gratuitous exercise every day ". These 
rules are taken from James' " Psychology " ; and 
the author enforces them with the shrewdness of 
a man of the world and the earnestness of a- 
teacher who, beneath the gaiety of his language, 
conceals a moral purpose. 

I do not disparage such rules : on the contrary, 
I should be happy to enforce them ; for we must 
work out our own salvation with fear and 
trembling. But the rest of this Scriptural adage 
is of equal value " for it is God who worketh in 
you both to will and to do for His good pleasure ". 
The problem of Christianity might quite well be 
stated in this form : Is there available for man, 
when he is trying to uproot evil habit, a power 
outside of himself, which, when his own resources 

do not suffice, may come to the rescue, not, in- 



deed, by suspending the action of his own powers, 
but by working through these and raising them to 
the potency required in every time of need 1 
What answer to this question is given in the 
Scriptures it is unnecessary to say. But experi- 
ence confirms Scripture the experience of 
thousands who, having tried in vain to reform 
themselves, have found in the Gospel the power 
J of God unto salvation the experience of men in 
whom evil habit had grown to be so strong that 
it seemed as hopeless to overcome it as to reverse 
the course of Niagara, yet who by the grace of 
God were converted into humble and consistent 
saints. There is no sin, however inveterate, the 
power of which Christ is unable to break ; publi- 
can and sinner, Pharisee and Sadducee experience 
in contact with Him deliverance from their be- 
setting sins ; for He is able to save to the utter- 

v most all who come unto God through Him. 

The word " habit " originally means a garment ; 

f indeed, in French it is the word for dress ; and in 
English we speak of "a riding-habit" in this 
literal sense. Habits are the dress of the spirit, 
by which it is known for the very thing it is. 
And the Scripture compares the whole of the 
habits of an unregenerate man to an old and filthy 
garment, but the Christian character to clothing 

HABIT 163 

new and dignified. " Put off," it says, " the old 
man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful 
lusts ; put on the new man, which after God is 
created in righteousness and true holiness." 
" Put ye on," it says elsewhere, in a still bolder 
figure of speech, " the Lord Jesus Christ " that 
is, the perfect character of Christ, so that who- 
ever looks upon anyone thus arrayed may imme- 
diately be compelled to think of Christ. 

The phenomena connected with the association 
of ideas have been used to support a doctrine of 
determinism ; the assumption being that one idea 
creates another, and that ideas form a continuum 
as little liable to interruption or creative change 
as are the facts of the physical world. But it 
must not be forgotten that an idea may have 
many associated ideas, one lying in one direction 
and another in another, and that in this there is 
scope for choice, by the mind itself, of the next 
step it will take. Besides, against the alleged 
assumption there is the consciousness of all that 
their habits might have been very different from 
what they are, and that character is a develop- 
ment for which everyone is responsible. From 
our point of view it certainly is not necessary to 
deny the tyranny of habit or to ignore the 


influence of the past on the making of the 

Our deeds still travel with us from afar, 

And what we have been makes us what we are. 

But it is essential to keep open the access of the 
divine presence and power to human nature ; be- 
cause from that quarter there conies an im- 
measurable redemptive force. Habit may be so 
hardened that the individual may appear both to 
himself and others no more able to alter it than is 
the Ethopian to change his skin or the leopard its 
spots ; but this is the very situation which gives 
to God's grace its opportunity : " A new heart 
also will I give you, and a right spirit will I put 
within you ; and I will take away the hard and 
stony heart out of your flesh, and will give you 
an heart of flesh ". And it is the situation out 
of which springs the initiative of faith ; because, 
the more desperate anyone's sense is of his lost 
condition, the more absolutely will he cast him- 
self upon the power which is able to lift him out 
of sin and misery. 





IN the panegyric on the greatness of man, in 
" Hamlet," already quoted, the dramatist ex- 
claims first, " How noble in reason ! " and reason 
is man's prime dignity. It is the mark by which 
he is specially distinguished from the inferior 
animals. It is the means by which he rules over 
the other creatures and subdues the earth to his 
will and purposes. It is by the development of 
the reason, or intellect, or mind for these are 
all names for the same faculty that one race of 
mankind outstrips another in the path of pro- 
gress ; and the degree in which this faculty is 
possessed is the accepted measure of greatness 
between man and man. The cultivation of the 
reason must, therefore, be an object of sacred 
ambition for all who covet a lofty or well de- 
veloped humanity. 

What is the work of the reason ? 

The reason may, in its highest form of activity, 



be described as the faculty by which from things 
already known we advance to conclusions which 
these imply but which, till the act of reasoning 
is performed, are unknown. Thus there resides 
in the reason, as well as in the imagination, a 
kind of creative power ; for out of the facts 
lodged in the mind through the faculties of 
observation it educes thoughts which are new 
and of its own invention. Of this an inkling 
may be discerned in the exaltation with which 
a successful piece of reasoning is completed 
by one's own mental faculties or even listened 
to from another's lips. A touch of this self- 
satisfaction is felt even by the schoolboy as 
he sees that the sum at which he is working is 
coming right ; and by every housewife, at her 
accounts, when the two sides exactly balance. 
At the close of the evidence submitted during a 
prolonged trial in a court-of-law the facts to 
which the jury have listened may form a con- 
fused mass of isolated statements, apparently 
pointing in no particular direction ; but an able 
advocate, rising, takes hold of them and, separat- 
ing part from part and laying this thing and that 
together, compels the jury to recognise that in 
the facts to which they have been listening there 
is a certain conclusion involved, which emerges 


as clearly as a point of light. The entire science 
of mathematics is deduced from a few axioms, 
with which it begins ; to these an uninstructed 
mind would assent without perceiving anything 
which they imply ; but the educated reason can 
trace out the conclusions, one after another, 
until there arises, out of little or nothing, a vast 
and noble structure of demonstrative truth. 
Thus, the reason, bringing its force to bear on 
the raw materials of knowledge supplied by the 
lower faculties, infers from them a more ad- 
vanced and lofty knowledge of its own. 

A humbler way of describing the reason is to 
call it the faculty of comparison or of relation. 
By the lower faculties the materials of thought 
are brought into the mind singly and apart ; but 
the reason combines them ; it observes those 
which are like one another and gathers these 
into groups, while it separates the unlike. So 
multitudinous are the objects presented to ob- 
servation in nature and in history that, if the 
mind had to deal with them one by one, it would 
be hopelessly confused, and movement would be 
impossible ; but the reason enables it to reduce 
this multiplicity to manageable proportions by 
gathering them into bundles. Thus, for example, 
nature presents to the mind numerous objects, 


no two of which are in all respects alike, but 
the reason, comparing them, perceives that in 
certain respects they are all alike, and accord- 
ingly it puts them in one bundle which it labels 
" flowers " ; and then, instead of attending to 
each of these objects by itself, it can, when it 
finds it desirable, think of millions of them under 
this one conception. The mind is constantly 
forming such groups by comparing and contrast- 
ing the objects brought under its notice. Some- 
times it includes a group under a wider one, 
as when Europeans are known to be Aryans ; 
sometimes it breaks up a group into smaller 
ones, as when a boy learns to distinguish his 
books into poetry and prose ; and constantly has 
the mind to be deciding to which group every 
new object coming within its ken has to be re- 
ferred. As a rule this is easy ; yet it may be 
the reverse ; and not seldom may mistakes be 
made. Thus, many a person is astonished to 
learn that a whale is not a fish, or that a sponge 
is not a plant. When a prisoner is at the bar, 
it has to be determined whether he is to be 
placed in the group of Guilty or that of Not-guilty ; 
but everyone is aware that to do so may be far 
from easy : it may require the leading of much 
evidence and the presentation of a lengthy argu- 


ment ; and, when all is done, the conclusion 
may be less clear than could be desired. 

The relations between one thing and another 
by which such classification is regulated may be 
of many different kinds ; but it is the function 
of the reason to detect these, whatever they 
may be. 

Thus, some things are related to one another 
as means and ends. Something requires to be 
done ; but how 1 To find this out is the province 
of reason. It has to calculate and to experi- 
ment, until it has discovered the means for 
accomplishing the end contemplated. Thus, the 
general sent to reduce a territory or to capture 
a fortress has to pick the requisite number of 
troops, to provide these with arms and ammuni- 
tion, to accumulate stores of every description, 
to determine the routes, to devise the mode of 
attack, and to do a hundred other things, all of 
which are the work of the reason. The engineer 
to whom is submitted the problem of propelling 
a ship of a certain size and weight at a certain 
rate has, in like manner, to calculate the type of 
engine requisite, to test the strength of materials, 
and forecast the effects of lines and curves ; and 
in this adaptation of the means to the end it is 
the reason which is at work from point to point. 


The statesman lias the welfare of the country 
committed to his charge, but he will fail of his 
task, and it will not be long before his place 
must be taken by someone else, unless his in- 
tellect be continually exercised in devising new 
improvements and removing old hindrances. In 
short, a very large proportion of the work of 
human beings, from the highest paths of activity 
down to the humblest, may be described as the 
exercise of the reason in the way of adapting 
means to ends. 

Another kind of connexion between objects 
with which the reason has to do is that of cause 
and effect. Not infrequently the problems 
offered to the reason from this quarter are 
closely related to those just described. For 
example, when a doctor is called in, because a 
patient is suffering pain, he has first to set his 
brain to work to discover what is the origin of 
the disturbance this is a question of cause and 
effect and then he has to apply his mind to 
determine by what specifics the disorder can be 
removed this is a question of means and ends. 
This world, as soon as we open our eyes upon it, 
is seen to be full of phenomena into the causes 
of which the mind is impelled to inquire. Why 
do day and night succeed each other so regu- 


larly ? why do the four seasons divide the year 
amongst them ? why does it rain ? why does the 
wind blow ? why does the tide rise and fall ? 
" Why " is a great word of the reason ; and its 
twin-word is " Because " : whenever either of 
these is made use of, the reason is at work. 
There have been parts of the world, indeed, and 
there have been epochs of history, in which little 
use of such words has been made ; but, in the 
present century and in the countries of civilisa- 
tion, there is awake in the minds of men an in- 
satiable curiosity ; things that had for centuries 
been taken for granted have been called in ques- 
tion ; every feature of nature has given rise to 
inquiry, and the answers have been made the 
occasion for deeper investigations. The result 
of all this mental travail is the fabric of modern sci- 
ence, which is the answer, as far as it has yet been 
possible to give it, to the queries of the intellect. 
Not only, however, can the mind thus reason 
from the phenomena which it sees back to the 
causes by which these have been produced, but 
it can also turn the problem the other way and 
ask, " Such-and-such conditions being given, 
what will be the consequences " ? If gunpowder 
and fire were brought into contact, we know 
what would ensue; if a living animal were 


thrown into the water and could not swim, we 
know that it would be drowned. But, though the 
answers to such simple questions are notorious, 
there are problems arising every day to which 
the answers cannot yet be given even by the 
wisest ; and there are others for the solution of 
which the widest survey is requisite of which the 
human faculties are capable. But this is one of 
the most important functions of reason to fore- 
cast what the results will be of certain modes of 

Such are some of the relations of which the 
reason has to take cognisance. But it can 
hardlv be much engaged in this work without the 

*/ c? o 

question arising, how these connexions between 
things have been formed. When, for example, 
certain of the objects perceived in nature are 
separated from the rest and called flowers, is this 
a division only formed by the human mind for its 
own convenience, or does it exist in nature it- 
self ? and, if so, how did it come there t One of 
the greatest triumphs of the reason has been the 
discovery of what are called the laws of nature. 
There is, for example, the law of gravitation. 
First formulated, in the mind of Newton, to ex- 
plain very simple phenomena, it was subsequently 
applied by him and by others to explain the en- 


tire system of the physical universe and the 
motions of the bodies with which space is 
peopled. But how do the motions of all physical 
things in heaven and earth happen to be regu- 
lated by this law ? As the human mind arranges 
the objects of its knowledge, it finds that it is 
not proceeding arbitrarily : the order is there 
already in the very framework of nature, and all 
that the human mind has to do is to find it out. 
Thus, the path of thought goes along deep lines 
which have been fixed in the constitution of the 
world before man arrived. The universe, in 
short, is a creation of intelligence. It is moral 
also ; for, in reasoning from antecedent to conse- 
quent, the mind discovers that certain kinds of ac- 
tion lead to happiness, while others lead to misery. 
The stars in their courses fight on the side of 
righteousness and against iniquity. At the back 
of nature, therefore, there is a somewhat must 
it not be a Someone ? who has impressed on it 
the order which it is the glory of the human mind 
to trace out and who, therefore, must be wise. 
And not only is all orderly, but all is ordered 
with a view to righteousness ; and, therefore, its 
Author must be good. 1 

1 Of all the achievements of modern philosophy perhaps 
the most remarkable is that of Kant, who, in his doctrine of 


The above is a faint outline of the functions 

the Categories, proved that in the mind, as ,it comes into the 
world, there is a system of pigeonholes, by which the process 
of classifying the objects presented in sense is facilitated, and 
so the multitudinous and confused presentations of sense are 
worked up into experience. Just as in the body, at its birth, 
there are orifices and receptacles of various kinds, through 
which the impressions of external things are conveyed to the 
mind from the outside, so in the mind itself there is machin- 
ery provided for dealing with these masses of sensation, 
separating them into like and unlike and thus enabling them 
to be unified into knowledge ; for the mere reception of sen- 
sations is not knowledge : knowledge is a manufactured 
article, consisting of the sensations after they have passed 
through this internal machine. Time and space, Kant 
early saw, form part of this mental apparatus ; but < he subse- 
quently discovered that the means of working out the entire 
structure of which he was in search had been provided, many 
hundreds of years before his own thinking began, in the Logic 
of the Greek philosophy. The ancient logicians had arrived 
at the doctrine that all judgments are of four species those 
of quantity, quality, relation and modality and Kant, laying 
hold of this suggestion, worked out twelve categories, by 
means of which the mind is always performing the separat- 
ing and unifying operations in which it is engaged. These 
categories are not themselves, properly speaking, knowledge ; 
knowledge comes through the senses ; but they are the indis- 
pensable forms through which the sensations must pass before 
they are worked up into knowledge. It is one of the wonders 
of history that the doctrines of logic were so early perfected ; 
it fills one with the same astonishment at the power of the 
human mind as is produced by the early perfection of mathe- 
matics ; and this use by Kant of the labours of his ancient 


of reason. A word may now be said i$>put its 

This valuable faculty is distributed among the 
members of the human species in very varying 
degrees. Those fitted by nature to take the 
foremost places among their fellow-creatures are 
all generously endowed with it, while, at the op- 
posite extreme, there are multitudes whose ideas 
are habitually vague and feeble. Even among 
those who have received the gift in a liberal 
degree, however, reason exists in different forms, 
some of which are more and some less conscious. 
In the less conscious forms it obtains such names 
as Tact and Commonsense. In women of the 
abler class there is frequently little capacity for 
formal argument, but there is an insight by which 
motive is penetrated and character judged with al- 
most infallible accuracy, and in practical matters 
there is a power of choosing the proper instru- 
ment and going straight to the mark which the 
formal thinker toils after in vain. In the same 

predecessors is so convincing that it is difficult for anyone 
who has really grasped the significance of the Categories ever 
to be satisfied with a view of mental science which attributes 
everything to matter and sense, without recognising the 
marvellous structure of the mind itself. Matter and sense, 
indeed, contribute the material, and mind only the form ; but 
form makes all the difference between chaos and cosmos. 



way persons of the opposite sex strongly endowed 
with eommonsense reach just judgments in diffi- 
cult cases by shortcuts, which they would them- 
selves be unable to explain ; and they have 
frequently the power of compressing into brief 
and luminous sayings the results of a lifetime of 
experience. When the Forth Bridge was in pro- 
cess of construction, I once had the privilege of 
spending an afternoon in the company of one of 
the principal engineers, who told me that, in the 
carrying out of that gigantic undertaking, many 
new and surprising difficulties had to be sur- 
mounted. On the solution of these the highest 
trained skill which money could purchase was 
brought to bear ; yet most of them were solved 
by one man, who had had no College training 
and possessed little mathematical knowledge, but 
was full of a kind of genius which, without con- 
scious rules, could always find some way out of 
a difficulty. " Set him down," said my inform- 
ant, " before any difficulty whatever, and he will 
come out of it somehow at the other side." The 
man was Sir William Arrol, whose earthly career 
has since terminated, and whose memoir has re- 
cently been given to the world. 

Commonsense is generally considered to be a 
gift which, unless it has been bestowed by 


nature, cannot be acquired at all. What amount 
of truth there may be in this popular impression 
need not be discussed here ; but at all events, in 
certain of its forms, the reason is a faculty ex- 
tremely susceptible of education ; and it may be 
worth while to mention some of the ways in 
which it may be cultivated. 

The science of logic has for its aim to put 
into forms visible to the eye all the processes 
through which reasoning passes, whether the 
mind be conscious of its own operations or not ; 
it also exhibits all kinds of fallacious arguments 
in such a way as to demonstrate their absurdity ; 
and there can be no question that the study of 
this science has a practical value in enabling the 
mind to reason correctly. 1 Mathematical science 

1 The science of logic has to do with three processes 
conception, judgment and reasoning and an attempt has 
been made in the text to give some general notion of what 
these are. But perhaps more space should have been taken 
to explain at least the third reasoning, both inductive and 
deductive. Only, if such technicalities were admitted at all, 
it would be difficult to know where to stop. The ordinary man 
is not aware that the workings of his own mind can all be re- 
duced to the simple forms of logic, or that the most stupend- 
ous structures of thought put together by the mind of man, 
such as the abstract sciences, can all be taken asunder and ex- 
hibited as illustrations of the same processes. Hence, where 
real mental curiosity exists, a slight acquaintance with the 
laws of thought may be found anything but dry. 


being from beginning to end a pure effort of the 
reason, its pursuit is an excellent discipline for 
this faculty. The same tonic influence is exerted 
by grammar one of the most valuable elements 
in elementary education. He who wishes to 
strengthen this faculty in himself ought to ac- 
custom himself to sequestered and prolonged 
meditation on important themes ; for practice 
here, as elsewhere, makes perfect ; and he ought 
to accustom himself to such reading and study 
as will put a strain on the attention. At the 
present time many even of those possessed of 
intellectual tastes are spoiling their minds by the 
scrappiness and discursiveness of their reading. 
In an autobiographical work the Duke of Argyll 
before the last, who deserved well of his country 
by the perseverance with which for a lifetime he 
moved, in the eyes of the public, on the higher 
levels of thought, mentioned the influence exerted 
on his own faculties' by the practice of certain 
mechanical arts, which his father had him taught. 
Love, he remarked, of accurate workmanship of 
absolutely smooth surfaces made by the plane and 
of joinings where the edges absolutely met with 
a dislike and disdain of slovenliness in such re- 
spects, strengthened the mental powers. There 
can be no doubt that this observation is just. 


To habits of accuracy and perfection in doing 
whatever the hand finds to do the habit of 
making one's job as clean and complete as it can 
be made belongs the virtue of exerting a most 
invigorating influence on the intellect ; and here 
mental culture and moral culture are one. 

The religious use of the reason has already 
been hinted at. God might almost be said to be 
a product of the reason ; at all events He is its 
discovery. In what way the reason apprehends 
Him is, indeed, a subject of hot controversy ; 
but that, in some way, we rise from " things 
which do appear " to the Author from whom 
these proceed is certain ; and this is by far the 
sublimest flight of this faculty. On the objects 
of the creation the marks of the Deity are im- 
printed, and similar marks of Him are repro- 
duced day after day before the eyes of men in the 
evolution of history. From these the reasoning 
mind infers God's various attributes" His 
eternal power and godhead "-and there can be 
no nobler occupation for the reason than to piece 
together such indications into a consistent and 
impressive view of what God is, and so vindicate 
the divine existence and character against the 
objections of unbelief. 


In a well known passage of the Old Testament, 
Jehovah says to His people, " Come now and let 
us reason together " ; and, all through the writ- 
ings of the prophets, one of the commonest com- 
plaints is, that those who have had the best 
opportunities of apprehending the Divine Being 
do not make use of their reasoning powers " My 
people do not know, Israel doth not consider ". 
Everywhere in the Scripture it is taken for granted 
that, if human beings would only think, they 
would worship and obey. One of the commonest 
names for sin, on the contrary, is " folly " or 
" unreason ". In the Wisdom Literature of the 
Old Testament, in which not only wisdom but 
folly also is discussed, the fundamental idea is, 
that He who has created this world and appointed 
man to inhabit it has laid down, in the very sub- 
stance of things, the rails on which human lives 
must move forward, if they are to reach happi- 
ness here and blessedness hereafter. Therefore, 
to find out what these lines are and to keep life 
running forward on them is the predestined work 
of reason. But, if, when God says, " You must 
move in this direction if you wish to be happy," 
anyone is moving in the opposite direction and 
yet expecting to be happy, then this person 
is a fool ; for the end of these things is death. 


It has often occurred to me that, if even a person 
of abandoned character could be got to sit down 
and consider what the issues of his present con- 
duct must be, and what would be the results of 
turning round to God, he could not fail to come 
to a right religious decision, so loudly would his 
own rational nature cry out to him to repent and 

God has not, however, left us to the light of 
reason alone : He has given to us a revelation of 
Himself in the Word and in Christ, by which we 
may far more clearly and fully learn both what 
He is and what is our own duty. This supple- 
mentary revelation is not, however, contradictory 
to that of nature ; and the exercise of reason is 
requisite to comprehend its message and to incor- 
porate this with the rest of knowledge. God's 
Word is not given as a substitute for thought, 
but is fitted to widen and elevate our own think- 
ing. There is in it, indeed, a marvellous simpli- 
city, so that it can be comprehended and loved 
by the humblest ; yet the most gifted are carried 
by it, if they will accept its aid, far above them- 
selves, till they are able< to apprehend things 
which eye hath not seen nor ear heard. 

At the present day there is need to plead for 
an intelligent and reasonable faith ; because re- 


ligion is tending to sink into sentimentalism and 
sensationalism ; and the majority of earnest 
people are so busy with practical undertakings 
that they have too little leisure to think. A 
generation ago it was different : one of the 
features of the religion of our fathers and grand- 
fathers was grasp of principle combined with 
strength of conviction. They may have had less 
learning than we enjoy ; but they knew the Bible, 
and its profound truths and overawing mysteries 
made thinkers of them. Facts are pouring in 
upon us from every quarter in bewildering 
numbers, and we read voraciously ; but the ac- 
cumulation of miscellaneous fragments of informa- 
tion is not thought : there is requisite a principle 
of unity, to combine our scattered knowledge 
into a whole ; and this we shall seek most hope- 
fully where our fathers found it in the Word of 
God. With such a principle in hand, not only 
shall we comprehend this wonderful world in 
which we exist, but we shall see our own path- 
way clearly through it, to the better world to 
which we are travelling ; for the growth of 
Christian intelligence has far more to do than it 
is usual at present to recognise with both depth 
of character and consistency of conduct. 

The Reformation of the sixteenth century was, 


on one of its sides, a revival of reason. Before 
it arrived, the clergy had practically discontinued 
the function of preaching, the worship of the 
house of God being limited to a ceaseless round 
of forms and ceremonies. But, as soon as the 
dry bones had been moved, the awakened people 
began to cry out for the sustenance of the mind ; 
and this was supplied to them in ample measure 
through the earnest and systematic preaching of 
the reformed clergy, while, in addition, the Bible 
was put into the hands of the common man, who 
proceeded to acquire for himself the power of 
reading, in order that he might learn, at first 
hand, the truth about the way of salvation. Yery 
soon he had learned this so well that he was able 
to say whether or not the message delivered from 
the pulpit was in accordance with the sacred 
oracles. Ever since, preaching has been the dis- 
tinctive feature of Protestant worship ; and this 
involves the cultivation of the reason in both 
pulpit and pew. As a regular churchgoer listens 
from Sabbath to Sabbath to the lectures and ser- 
mons of a conscientious preacher, there gradually 
forms itself in his mind a view of the world 
what the Germans call a Weltanschauung inside 
of which all the most important objects coming 
within the scope of his experience are arranged 


into unity, and by which the conduct and the 
motives of both others and himself are judged. 
This view of his may be limited, and it may in 
some respects be mistaken ; but there is no 
reason, but the reverse, why it should not be 
constantly expanding and constantly in process of 
correction. " Canst thou by searching find out 
God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto 
perfection ? " But to possess such a Weltan- 
schauung at all is a mark of distinction : it means 
that he who possesses it has passed out of the 
herd and joined the ranks of the thinkers of 
those who not only live but know what they are 
living for. No occupation can be more honour- 
able than to preach to minds of such calibre, 
however limited may be their education and 
however lowly their lot in life ; and, if a preacher 
takes such hearers where he finds them and 
handles them with respect and sympathy, there 
is no intellectual height accessible to himself to 
which he will not find them able and willing to 
rise with him. 

God Himself is the reason of the universe ; 
and, by His stupendous works in nature and by 
the mystery of His providence, He has evoked 
from the mind of man in all ages its profoundest 
thoughts, There is every reason to believe that 


this will continue and increase, the better man- 
kind becomes acquainted with the objects of 
creation in the distant heavens and with the pro- 
cesses of nature on the earth. In the Old Testa- 
ment a David and an Isaiah touch the highest 
notes of sublimity when describing Him who sits 
on the circle of the heavens and counts the 
number of the stars. But a St. Paul in the New 
Testament finds so much deeper a wisdom in the 
process by which a righteous God is able to make 
sinners righteous that, when he contemplates it, 
he breaks out into the rhapsody, " O the depth 
of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge 
of God ! how unsearchable are His judgments, 
and His ways past tracing out ! " and a St. John, 
in similar fashion, finds the flight of his soaring 
mind at once stimulated and baffled by the 
mystery of how the Word was made flesh. 
However fast or far other knowledge may ad- 
vance, the fact of redemption will always sur- 
pass for the individual every other earthly ex- 
perience, and the hope of finding out how much 
it may mean for other beings in the distant 
places of creation is one of the reasons for which 
enlightened Christians covet immortality. 





AT the point now reached we make the transi- 
tion from one great part of Psychology to another 
from what used to be called the Intellectual or 
Cognitive Powers to what used to be called the 
Active and Moral Powers. 1 The distinction will 
be remembered, which was drawn in an earlier 
lecture, between knowing and doing. Know- 
ledge and conduct have often been spoken of as 
between them exhausting human life; but, it 
was pointed out, there is a third kind of human 
consciousness in which these two meet namely, 
feeling. And on this meeting depend great 
issues ; because, on the one hand, it is knowledge 
which excites feeling, and, on the other hand, it is 
feeling which produces action. Feeling used to be 
reckoned among the active powers ; but it differs 

1 1 l The distinction between the Cognitive and Motive Powers 
goes back as far as Aristotle. 



widely not only from knowledge but from con- 
duct. 1 

There will be remembered also what was said, 
in the same lecture, about the two systems of 
nerves the sensory, conveying messages from 
the outside world to the brain, and the motor, 
conveying messages from the brain to the ex- 
ternal world. These two systems of nerves may 
be compared to a double set of telegraph-wires ; 
but, in order to make the comparison adequate, 
you would require to have a telegraph-wire of a 
pattern never seen a wire aware of the purport 
of the messages it is conveying and, therefore, 
swelling and glowing when conveying a message 
of joy and becoming solid and rigid when con- 
veying a message of sorrow ; though, strictly 
speaking, it is not the substance of the nerve it- 
self that is thus affected, but the surrounding 
tissues, and that by forces coming in the op- 
posite direction. When messages are being 
flashed along the wires of the nerves, not only 

1 How vast are the fields of human experience covered by 
the Cognitive Powers will be realised if a remark of Bacon be 
recalled, that memory produces history, imagination poetry, 
and reason philosophy. But the scope of the Active Powers 
may be brought home to the intelligence if, in the same way, 
we connect with the heart religion, with the will jurisprudence, 
and with the conscience ethics. 


is information supplied at head-quarters, but 
there is created along the course of the message, 
and especially in the brain, a tumult or excite- 
ment corresponding with the character of the 
message transmitted. Thus, suppose one were 
unfortunate enough to be the witness of a bar- 
barous murder, not only would the nerve-wires 
convey to the brain the facts of the crime, but at 
the same moment there would arise within the 
frame a tumultuous sense of horror and indigna- 
tion, which, it is easy to perceive, would be some- 
thing additional to mere knowledge. Or suppose 
an orator, in the presence of a multitude, is char- 
acterizing a tyrannical government ; he conveys, 
by the motions of his lungs and throat and by 
the use of language, certain details of infor- 
mation ; but the effect which he produces is not 
entirely due to this : it is by the passion visible 
in his eyes and by the pathos trembling in his 
voice that the multitude is moved ; and here 
again, it will be perceived, there is something 
additional to the mere facts. 

It is, however, when the effects of the same 
information on the hearts of different persons are 
considered that the difference between knowing 
and feeling is most manifest. Suppose, for in- 
stance, that in the morning papers there were an- 



nounced the sudden death of a well-known man 
in a foreign land : while the mere fact made 
known to every reader would be the same, the 
impression produced on the woman who thereby 
was made aware that she was a widow might be 
in violent contrast with that made on someone 
who had never had any intercourse with the 
deceased but knew himself to be the dead 
man's heir ; and there might be other readers 
for other reasons nearly as differently affected by 
the news. 

This extra thing, which accompanies our know- 
ing and willing, and which forms the third side 
of the triangle of our inner life, goes under many 
names : it is called feeling, emotion, affection, 
passion, sentiment terms between which it is not 
very easy to discriminate but the most compre- 
hensive term is " the heart," when this is used, in 
its popular sense and in such phrases as " head and 
heart," as a general name for all f eelingswhatever. 1 

1 As there seems 'to be in the brain no organ which is the 
physiological substrate of feeling, mechanical philosophy finds 
great difficulty in including feeling at all in the cycle of causa- 
tion ; but the gigantic part played by feeling in the production 
of history, both personal and social, is one of the strong points 
of a spiritual philosophy. Compare the remarks on Subject- 
ive or Hedonic Selection in McDouGALL, "Physiological Psy- 
chology," pp. 157 ff. 


Feelings have an almost infinite range and 
variety. They may consist of the gentlest wave- 
lets, or they may toss the internal ocean into 
tempest. Some of them are easily identified by 
their bodily effects ; for feeling, though properly 
belonging to the mind, overflows into the body 
and produces changes in its appearance. Thus, 
grief is associated with tears, amusement with 
laughter, happiness with smiles ; horror is ex- 
pressed by rigidity of the frame and dilatation 
of the eyes, contempt by the curling of the lip, 
and so on. The eye and the mouth especially 
have an almost infinite capacity for expressing 
shades of feeling. Yet many feelings reside more 
deeply in the mind, and betray their existence 
but little by bodily effects. 

I am not sure that I have ever seen a complete 
list of all possible feelings ; but many attempts 
have been made to classify the more important 
of them. 

Thus, in a work by President McCosh, entitled 
" The Motive Powers," they have been divided 
into those relating to the past, those relating to 
the present, and those relating to the future. 
Feelings relating to the past are such as remorse 
and gratitude ; feelings relating to the present 
are such as love and joy ; and feelings relating to 


the future are such as hope and foreboding. 
This, however, is not a division of any great sig- 
nificance ; and there are feelings which may be 
referred to any of these three classes. Terror, 
for example, may relate either to past, present, or 

Another division of far more consequence is 
that into feelings of pleasure and of pain. This 
is a very old division, and it has played even too 
great a part in the thinking of the world on the 
subject, many taking for granted that it is ex- 
haustive. It may be questioned, however, 
whether all feelings can be included in such a 
twofold division. There may be feelings, as 
Bain, for example, contends, which are neutral, 
causing neither pleasure nor pain. But undoubt- 
edly most feelings can be classed under one or 
other of these categories ; indeed, pleasure and 
pain themselves consist in the experience of cer- 
tain feelings ; and herein lies the importance of 
this division that we delight to have pleasurable 
feelings and dislike to have painful ones. Hence, 
when we have had a pleasurable feeling once, 
we seek to repeat it, and, when we have once had 
a painful feeling, we try subsequently to avoid it, 
as well as the causes by which it has been occa- 
sioned. Many philosophers have not scrupled to 


teach that this is the key to the whole of human 
existence : what people are incessantly doing is, 
these say, seeking for pleasurable emotions and 
endeavouring to avoid painful ones. I do not 
believe this at least not in this bald and exclu- 
sive form but undoubtedly we put our finger 
here on one of the pulses of the machine. 

There is a third division of feeling, to which I 
attach more importance still into simple and 
elaborate. The simplest feelings of all may be 
called animal, and they are such as arise from 
the body hunger and thirst, heat and cold, and 
the like. These belong to all human beings and 
reach back into the earliest childhood. Then, 
there are feelings a little higher, in which mind 
is a little more involved, such as pride, envy, 
anger. These also reach far back, a child being 
capable of manifesting anger at an extremely 
early age ; so, it can exhibit pride and envy ; in 
short, whatever feelings relate exclusively to self 
show themselves very early. A child is the centre 
of the world to itself, and it expects all the rest 
of the world to minister to it. As long as this 
expectation is fulfilled, it manifests gratification 
of various kinds, but, when it is disappointed, it 
can exhibit very strong feeling indeed. Beyond 
this, again, there is a higher stage ; and to reach 



it a long step is required : this is the stage of 
sympathy. If childhood is self-centred, youth is 
distinguished by the outgoing of the heart to- 
wards others. At the transition from childhood 
to young manhood or maidenhood, there passes 
over human nature a change which has been 
compared to that which takes place in the Alps 
in the early year when, the breath of spring 
creeping up the peaks, the grasp of winter is re- 
laxed on snowdrift and glacier, and, away down 
on the plains of Holland and Italy, the rivers go 
brimming to the sea, diffusing beauty and fruit- 
fulness along their course. In youth it is as 
natural to give and communicate as it is at other 
seasons to grasp and retain ; and this is the op- 
portunity of escaping from selfishness and emerg- 
ing into the life of sympathy and affection. This 
expansion of the heart may go on, till it embraces 
not only individuals but far wider circles, and 
grows into the passion of patriotism or the en- 
thusiasm of humanity. Yet there is a still higher 
stage to be mentioned : those who have studied 
this subject most deeply usually place at the sum- 
mit of the development of feeling three .senti- 
ments which do much, where they appear, to 
dignify humanitythe love of truth, the sense of 
beauty and the sentiment of duty. 


These divisions will help to indicate the wide 
range of this subject, which includes such dis- 
tinct and widely separate feelings as vanity 
and humility, rapture and melancholy, pity and 
jealousy, vengeance and contentment, scorn and 
patience, and many more. 

It is probable that different persons are born 
with different capabilities of feeling, just as they 
come into the world with different intellectual 
capacities. We speak of certain persons as being 
thin-skinned or as having their nerves too near 
the surface ; because by the slightest causes their 
feelings can be set in agitation. It is no rare 
thing to meet a man though oftener perhaps it 
is a woman who might be described as a bundle 
of nerves. Other persons are at the opposite ex- 
treme : they are difficult to move ; jokes which 
convulse others with laughter cannot elicit from 
them a smile ; and occurrences which throw 
others into transports leave them cool and com- 
posed. These differences characterize not only 
individuals, but whole races and nations. Thus, 
to the French or the Irish would be ascribed the 
peculiarity of being easily moved, and to the "' 
Dutchman or the Englishman the reverse. But, 
whatever differences may belong by nature to indi- 


viduals or peoples, feeling, like the other powers 
of the mind, is to a large extent a matter of train- 
ing. It is acknowledged by all that the intellect 
must be trained : whatever may be its native 
capacity, it cannot dispense with the discipline of 
the school or the culture derivable from reading. 
And, in the same way, many of the finest feelings 
slumber, unless they be called forth by the appro- 
priate education. In many, for example, the 
sense of beauty slumbers : when they stand in 
presence of the fairest landscapes, they are un- 
moved ; when they listen to classical music, they 
are only ennuyed ; and they have no desire to 
see the masterpieces of art. As, however, such 
limitations denote not only the narrowing of the 
horizon but the absence of access to some of the 
purest and most satisfying pleasures of life, it is 
worthy of inquiry in what ways the culture and 
discipline of the feelings can be carried out. 

Jjst : the growth of feeling ought to proceed 
paripassu with the growth of the other two sides 
of the mindnamely, thought and will. Only in 
this way can a complete and well-balanced man- 
hood be obtained. If feeling be allowed to de- 
velop without the guidance of thought or the 
control of will, a character weak and hysterical 
will be the result, There are people in whom 


feeling has been allowed to become completely 
preponderant. Such a character was, for ex- 
ample, the late Walter Savage Landor, whose life 
consisted of a series of explosions of temper and 
a chronic display of whim and caprice. Persons 
of this composition are a source of never-ceasing 
perplexity and solicitude to those whose lot it is 
to live with them, and their career may end in 
the lunatic asylum. They have lost control of 
themselves, and the motives suggested by reason 
have not power to stop them. 1 Not infrequently, 
indeed, their own eyes are open all the time ; so 
that they see with perfect clearness the precipice 
to which they are posting ; yet, when the oppor- 
tunity of renewing the feeling arises, they are 
unable to resist. In such over-mastering feeling 
there resides a certain splendour or magnificence, 
which is deceptive. It gives the person experi- 
encing it a sense of power and superiority: he 
thinks he is at the summit of enjoyment, in the 
region inhabited by the geniuses and the excep- 
tional spirits of humanity ; and ordinary existence 
seems to lie far beneath his feet. This, however, 
is only illusion : there is no real strength where 

lu A person, no matter how highly educated otherwise, 
is a neural monster if he has not inhibition, " FRASER HARRIS, 


thought, conscience and will are excluded. 
Nevertheless, it can deceive others as well as the 
victim himself ; for persons in whom feeling is 
predominant are capable of exhibiting excessive 
affection, and they are profuse in the external 
demonstrations of the same. By these the un- 
wary are taken-in ; for they do not know that 
what their professed lovers are enjoying is not 
the person loved, but the luxury of their own 
emotion. Eternal constancy is sworn ; but the 
enjoyment would be quite the same whoever 
were the object of their passion. True love, on 
the contrary, may be penurious in expression ; it 
strikes inwards more than outwards ; it smoulders 
at the centre rather than sparkles on the surface ; 
it is controlled by modesty and good sense ; but 
it can be relied upon in the time of need, and it 
lasts forever. 

A seccmd rule is, that the higher feeling is to 
be preferred to the lower. It has been already 
proved that there is a scale of feelings in worth 
and dignity. The lowest are those directly con- 
nected with the body, such as the satisfaction of 
hunger and thirst, and the highest are sentiments 
like the love of truth, the love of beauty, the 
love of duty. In the annals of academic life 
there are many stories of students who have 



lived for years on the humblest fare, as far as 
the appetites of the body are concerned, in order .. 
that they might gratify the passion for know- 
ledge ; and the rising of the soul with which 
such tales are listened to is an eloquent testi- 
mony to the superiority of the latter feeling. If, 
on the contrary, there be circles in which the 
highest enjoyment is that supplied by food and 
wine, while the taste for letters and art is un- 
known, such society, however lavish its wealth, 
would be looked down upon by all good judges 
as degraded. In like manner, the feelings 
which have self for their centre require, as a 
rule, repression, while those into which the ele- 
ment of sympathy with others enters are to be 
developed. Among the selfish feelings are 
pride, envy, jealousy and the like ; and it re- 
quires no argument to prove that these need to 
be severely checked ; or that pity, benevolence, 
public spirit, and other feelings into which re- 
gard for others enters are generally far too weak 
and require careful cultivation. 1 From this posi- 

1 Nietzsche, no doubt, and his followers make themselves 
conspicuous by turning the moral world upside down and 
setting not only the magnificence and magnanimity of the 
Greek, but even the violence and ferocity of the savage, 
above the humility and the holiness of the Christian. But 
surely Christian Apologetic has an easy task when it has to 


tion it is easy to see how much truth or false- 
hood is contained in the statement, often made 
by the cynical, that every human being follows 
the feeling, whatever it be, that gives to himself 
most pleasure and avoids that which gives him 
pain. In a sense this may be true ; but, if a 
man takes more pleasure in doing what he 
believes to be for the welfare of others than in 
what benefits himself, he must have arrived at 
this height of attainment by a long course of 
victory over himself ; and it is idle to place him 
and the selfish man, who obeys his own first 
impulse, on a par by the argument that each 

prove that sympathy is better than selfishness, and gentleness 
more to be admired than arrogance. There may be circum- 
stances in European civilisation at the present time which 
impart a certain usefulness to the words of one who preaches 
at the pitch of his voice that the conclusions reached by his 
own intellect are more valuable than those of all the intellects 
that have ever peopled the earth before him, just as, in the 
wake of the Puritan Revolution, Hobbes obtained a hearing 
for the very similar doctrines of his " Leviathan" ; but every 
thinker knows that, if the thoughts of all who have preceded 
him have been folly and nonsense, his own are destined 
beforehand to the same futility ; for he is only human. No 
doubt to err is human ; but it is far less likely that the whole 
human race, striving throughout the ages to know and to do 
the right, has altogether missed the way than that one thinker 
and his disciples have formed an overweening estimate of 
his originality, 


obeys his own strongest bias. The highest illus- 
tration of this triumph of the higher over the 
lower is seen in the martyr, who has so far sub- 
dued all the lower desires as to be able to sac- 


rifice life itself in the interests of an ideal end. 
The last rule may be given in the words of 
Scripture : " Set your affection on things above, 
not on things on the earth". Feelings are good 
or bad according to the objects on which they 
rest. For example, one man's heart is set on 
wealth ; his whole being is absorbed in pursuing 
it ; and he grudges no time or pains in compass- 
ing his end. Another man has exactly the same 
devotion to the public good and exhausts his 
powers on this object in exactly the same way. 
But we do not place these two men on the same 
level. One young man has a friend for whom 
he cherishes an admiration only short of idolatry ; 
and, his friend being noble and pure, the con- 
nexion has a refining influence ; another has the 
same devotion to one who is worthless and whose 
example leads astray ; but we do not place these 
two on the same level. Now, there are two 
competitors for our feelings, characterized by 
St. Paul as "things above" and "things on the 
earth " ; the feelings which go out in these two 
directions may be the same ; but they become 


different on account of the objects to which they 
are directed. Religion may be said to consist in 
the putting forth on the things above of the same 
feelings which we naturally put forth on the 
things that are on the earth. For instance, all 
men dread fire, but some men dread the fire that 
shall never be quenched ; all men desire happi- 
ness, but some men desire blessedness ; all men 
love their fellow-creatures, but some men love 
the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. 

It is well known what place is given in Scrip- 
ture to faith, hope and love. What are these ? 
They are three feelings ; and they are the three 
master-feelings the tap-roots among the in- 
numerable roots and rootlets of feeling in our 
nature. These tap-roots must be sunk some- 
where ; and the soil in which they are embedded 
will determine the character of the man. When 
they are rooted in Christ, the man is a Christian. 
There are few reflections more pathetic than that 
in our nature there may be lying possibilities 
unused and faculties undeveloped which might 
be copious sources of both happiness and use- 
fulness. Perhaps, indeed, there may be in all 
possibilities which, in this life at least, are 
providentially prevented from developing natur- 


ally and fully ; but it is sad when these pos- 
sibilities remain unrealised through our own 
fault. No man can be a man in the fullest sense 
of the word if his nature be shut against the 
influence of the things that are above : in that 
case there are possibilities of expansion and ex- 
cellence lying in him waste and barren ; and 
these are the noblest possibilities of all. No 
woman can attain to perfect womanliness unless 
her heart has opened to the softening and refin- 
ing influence of the love of Christ. We may 
miss many things in this world and yet not have 
lived in vain; but the secret and the glory of 
life are missed altogether if the gateways which 
admit the influence of the Eternal have never 
been opened. 1 

When the Age of Rationalism, the very name 
of which suggests that its characteristic was the 

1 Strong, in his excellent work entitled " Christian Ethics," 
draws attention to one great contrast between Ancient and 
Christian Ethics. This is, that, in Ancient Ethics, emotion 
was distrusted; reason, the intellectual faculty, being alone 
credited with the power of forming character. Hope, for 
example, was spoken of as an ebullition of enthusiasm, not 
unlike intoxication, which could only be good if reason held 
it steadily in hand. Christianity, on the contrary, trusts 
emotion ; in fact, it makes the goodness which it aims at pro- 
ducing consist to a large extent in emotion especially in the 
three emotions of faith, hope and love. 


idolatry of reason, was reaching the stage of ex- 
haustion, Schleiermacher startled the theological 
world with the thesis, that the essence of religion 
consists in feeling the feeling of absolute de- 
pendence on the Infinite. In Christ, he taught, 
this had existed perfectly and permanently, but 
in other men it can be attained only through 
union with Him. Years before, however, the 
same doctrine had secured expression in the 
United States at the mouth of Jonathan Ed- 
wards, who, at the very outset of his great work 
on the Religious Affections, lays down and de- 
fends the proposition that " true religion, in 
great part, consists in holy affections " that is, 
in feelings. And, at the same time in England, 
the Wesleys and the other apostles of the 
Evangelical Revival were bringing about, in the 
experience of tens of thousands, a crisis the 
commonest symptom of which was the transition 
from one state of feeling to another from the 
deepest depression, due to conviction of sin, to 
ecstasy, caused by apprehending Christ as the 
soul's wisdom and righteousness, sanctification 
and redemption. Since that time there has been 
no disposition anywhere to underestimate the 
place of feeling in religion, but rather perhaps 
a tendency to exaggerate it ; although It may 


not seem easy to do the latter, when we recall 
St. Paul's summing-up of the essence of Christi- 
anity in a long list of feelings : " The fruit of 
the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, 
gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-con- 
trol," and especially when we recall our Lord's 
own statement that the first of all the command- 
ments is to love the Lord thy God with all the 
heart and with all the soul, with all the strength 
and with all the mind, and that the second is like 
unto it, to love one's neighbour as oneself. It 
is an echo of this sentiment when the poet de- 
clares : 

The heart's aye 
The part aye 

That mak's us richt or wrang. 

There have been centuries in the history of 
Christianity, and there have been quarters in the 
Christian Church, in which a pagan suspicion of 
religious feeling has prevailed, good men recog- 
nising the influence of the Spirit of God on the 
saints far less in me. modification of their feelings 
than in " enlightening their minds in the know- 
ledge of Christ and renewing their wills ". Even 
at the present day many are suspicious of feeling 
when it assumes the form of a movement in the 

crowd or extends as a contagion from one com- 



munity to another. But Christianity took its 
rise in the enthusiasm of multitudes on the Day 
of Pentecost, and it has lost something of its na- 
tive genius if it does not know how to utilise and 
control popular ferments. The sesthetical may 
not be religious ; but religion, when it is mature, 
produces the sesthetical. In nature the masculine 
and the feminine are always found together, and 
utility and beauty are united, as when fruits are 
not only wholesome for food but pleasant in 
odour and colour. While the expansion of the 
reason and the steeling of the will may be the 
substance of sanctification, feeling is its form ; 
and it is principally in the development of the 
gracious qualities of the heart that we recognise 
that irresistible something which we designate the 
beauty of holiness. 





THERE is a tendency in the literature of all 
sciences to expatiate with excessive prolixity on 
the earlier portions and to leave the later ones 
undeveloped and attenuated. For example, in 
the department of theological science with which 
I am myself usually occupied, Church History, 
the books written on the first three centuries are 
bewildering in number, but on the centuries that 
follow, and especially on the Middle Ages, works 
of the same ability are much more difficult to 
find. At the Reformation a new commencement 
is made, and works on the Reformation Period 
are both numerous in quantity and excellent in 
quality ; but for the period between the middle 
of the seventeenth century and the present day 
it is far from easy to obtain sifted and connected 
information. In Psychology the same circum- 
stance is discernible. The Intellectual Powers, 
as they are called, or the course by which sensa- 
tion is transformed into knowledge, may be said 



,to have been written about even to excess ; and 
by some writers in recent times the science of 
Physiology has been tumbled in a heap into Psy- 
chology. But the Active Powers have been far 
less amply treated. President McCosh and 
Professor James, for example, in writing of 
feeling, have both complained of the unsatisfac- 
tory nature of what had been written on the 
subject by psychologists before themselves ; 
and, even after one has perused their own valu- 
able contributions, one may still be far from sa- 
tisfied. But it is when we come to what follows 
feeling that dissatisfaction becomes strongest. 
It may be that philosophical authors grow tired 
as they are nearing the end of the long journey ; 
or, perhaps, having planned the scope of their 
lectures on too vast a scale, they find themselves 
short of time, as the session draws to a close, and 
have to huddle things up at the finish ; but it is 
certain that the method by which action becomes 
conduct has not been nearly so fully explained 
as that by which sensation is worked-up into 

For this is the problem. Sensations from the 
external world are pouring-in on the mind con- 
tinually from every quarter through the avenues 
of the senses ; but these would remain an over- 


whelming and confusing mass of separate atoms, 
unless there were in the mind faculties by means 
of which they are arranged and combined into 
that system of orderliness and unity which we call 
knowledge ; and, as we have seen^it is the part of 
Psychology to describe the different mental zones 
through which the materials have to pass, whilst 
they are undergoing this transformation. But, 
when the centre is reached, there takes place a 
reaction in the opposite direction, which issues in 
conduct. Mere action, however, is not conduct. 
In the same way as sensations pass upward 
through certain zones, in the process of becoming 
knowledge, so the reactions which in combina- 
tion are called Actions-must pass downwards 
through certain zones, in order to be transformed 
into conduct. If the mind has categories of its 
own which it lets down on the impressions coming 
from without, so as to transmute these into a 
cosmos, which it can apprehend and work with, 
so has it categories which it applies, in similar 
fashion, to the impulses going in the opposite di- 
rection, in order that these may become the con- 
duct of reasonable and responsible beings. This 
is the portion of Psychology which does not ap- 
pear to me to have as yet been nearly completed ; 
at this point there is ample room for the labours 


of the psychologists of the future ; and the cate- 
gories of conduct may yet come to be reckoned 
no less important than the categories of 

We must remember here, once more, the double 
system of nerves, described in an earlier lecture. 
The motor nerves form the bodily agency by means 
of which impulse is carried into action. As along 
the sensory or afferent system the impressions 
are conveyed which the world makes on us, so 
along this motor or efferent system are conveyed 
the impressions which we make on the world. 
Along the nerves proceeding outwards from the 
brain a force travels which sets in motion the hand 
for example, and the hand, with this force com- 
municated to it, displaces an object say, a book. 
It does so because of its firm, bony structure, 
and because of the contraction of certain muscles 
in the arm ; but these movements take place on 
account of notice communicated to them along 
the telegraph-lines proceeding from the brain. 
The power in the brain in which the message 
originates is the Will. It -is this faculty which 
sets in motion the nerve-force, which, in turn 
acting on the muscles and the limbs, produces all 
the activities of daily life, such as walking, lift- 
ing, smiting, fondling, talking, and so forth. In 


short, it controls the whole process by which 
action is converted into conduct. 

It is easy to perceive how elaborate is the. ar- 
rangement in the bodily organism for the use of . the 
will ; but still more wonderful is it to observe how 
inevitably the will flashes such messages always 
along the right nerves, not sending a message in- 
tended to move an eyelid along the line which 
would move a lip, or a message intended to move 
the thumb along the line which would move the 
forefinger. Equally impressive is it to consider how 
delicately it weighs out the amount of force requi- 
site in every case ; so that sometimes we speak in 
whispers and sometimes cry loud enough to be 
heard a hundred yards away ; we put out the ex- 
act amount of effort to move a candlestick an 
inch, not to hurl it to the opposite side of the 
room ; we do not crush the hand held out to 
salute us, but give it a gentle pressure. The 
will is the source of all the movements and 
activities of life, and it can be trained to com- 
municate to these expressiveness and harmony. 

It will, besides, be remembered how close, in 
speaking of feeling, we found the connexion to 
be between the action of the sensory system and 
that of the motor system. It is by the impres- 
sions conveyed to the mind by means of the 


sensory nerves that the will is caused to communi- 
cate to the motor nerves the impulse that leads to 
action. Thus, when an orange is held up before a 
child, certain impressions are transmitted to the 
child's brain through the eye and the sense of 
smell ; and the result is that the little arm and hand 
are moved to touch the fruit. From the nursery 
a cry of a certain kind falls on the ear of the 
mother, sitting in the parlour, and in an instant 
she has thrown down her work and is on the 
stair, on the way to the scene of accident, the 
reality of which she has too well divined from 
the quality of the cry. Sometimes the act, pro- 
ceeding from within, follows so instantaneously on 
the reception of the impression from without 
that there seems to be hardly room even for the 
exertion of the will ; it rather looks as if the in- 
coming impression pulled the trigger of itself and 
let out the reactive force. Thus, when any 
danger suddenly approaches the eye, the hand 
goes up so instantaneously in an attitude of pro- 
tection that the act appears to be mechanical 
rather than voluntary ; and there are psycholo- 
gists who incline to ascribe a not inconsiderable 
proportion of our actions, especially those into 
which habit largely enters, to this involuntary 
kind of reaction. 


In general, however, several things, besides 
feeling, come between the impression received 
from without and the ensuing act. 

Of these the first is Desire. - In the instance 
just cited, for example, of the child and the 
orange, the sight and the smell of the fruit ex- 
cite pleasurable feeling ; and this, in turn, creates 
desire, which rushes out towards the object be- 
fore the hand grasps it. 1 In books on Psycho- 
logy desire is usually discussed in connexion with 
feeling, as if it were a species of feeling. But 
this is questionable. It seems to me that desire 
is a different thing from either pleasure or pain, 
although it is excited by it. In fact, this is one 
of the points referred to above where Psychology 
has still work to do : it has to explore the quality 
of desire and the whole subject of motives, which 
have so much to do in determining the value of 

Desire may be either positive or negative. 
Negative desire is aversion ; and it disposes us 
not to act but to refrain from acting. All day 
long, and all life long, the objects of the world, 
brought before our minds by the senses or by the 
memory of sense-impressions, are exciting in us 

1 Some psychologists say that objects give pleasure because 
they are desired, not vice versa ; but this is too paradoxical. 


desires and aversions of various kinds, and these 
constrain us to act or restrain us from acting. 
The will, however, does not necessarily obey 
either kind of prompting. Desire for. an object 
may be intense, and yet the will may refuse to 
act ; aversion to a course of action may be equally 
strong, and yet the will may carry the course of 
action through. This power of the will to over- 
come desire we call Self-control ; in any con- 
siderable degree it can be acquired only through 
long practice ; but it is one of the most valuable 
qualities in the formation of character. 

Here allusion may be made, in passing, to 
what is called the Freedom of the Will. No 
question is more perplexing in itself, and it has 
been further darkened by confusion of ideas. In 
philosophy the phrase has one meaning and in 
theology another. The most formidable objec- 
tions to freedom of the will come at present 
from natural science ; and they are essentially 
materialistic ; for the mind is regarded as a por- 
tion of nature, completely under the law of cause 
and effect. Physical forces play on it, and the 
objects of the outside world appeal to it; the 
force of these appeals is due to the qualities of 
the objects themselves ; and, if the appeal be 
strong enough, the will yields ; there is no 


creative and sovereign power in the will itself to 
originate action. Against this doctrine, however, 
the clearest testimony of our own consciousness 
protests. When we have done^wrong, we know 
that, had we chosen, we could have done other- 
wise ; and, when we do right, we know that, had 
we chosen, we might have done wrong. It is 
this alone which makes us responsible beings. 
If what seems to our consciousness the free 
choice of our will be only the pulling of the 
trigger by the hand of circumstance, then the 
most sacred testimonies of our nature, such as 
the sense of guilt, are delusions. There are, in- 
deed, persons who have no control over their own 
actions, being compelled to act or not to act by 
the mere forces of nature ; but such persons are 
shut up in confinement ; and the obvious fact 
that there is a difference between themand 
healthy human beings is a strong proof that the 
latter do possess freedom of will. 

We have seen how desire or aversion is 
prompted by feeling, and how it thus becomes a 
stream moving in the direction of action ; but 
that, notwithstanding, the will can control this 
stream. It can either innervate or inhibit the 
nervous flow, such being the technical language 
for its action at this point : it innervates when it 


lets the stream loose ; it inhibits when it shuts it 
off, or drains it away in some other direction. There 
may be a conflict of desires or a conflict of desire 
and aversion. Thus, a thief may be powerfully 
constrained to act by the desire for booty but, at 
the same time, may be equally restrained by terror 
of punishment ; and so the decision of the will 
may be deferred. Nor does the control stop here ; 
for the outgoing energy has still to pass through 
zones cooler than those of feeling. Reason, for 
instance, may have its arguments to urge against 
the promptings of desire. Conscience, in like 
manner, may have its admonitions. Thus the 
will may be kept halting between two opinions ; 
and this state of indecision may last not only for 
minutes, but for days, months or years. It is 
astonishing how little notice of this part of the 
process is taken in some systems of Psychology. 
But it is in these zones of hesitation, considera- 
tion and judgment that the transmutation of 
action into conduct, spoken of above, takes place. 
This is a point so important that it is worth 
while to take time to repeat that there are three 
zones through which the impulses towards action 
have to pass, before they become conduct, in 
order to test their conformity to the true, the 
beautiful, the good. The first test that of 


Truth is the guide of science in all its branches ; 
and innumerable students and investigators ac- 
knowledge the obligation to follow the call of 
the great whole of truth, which is constantly 
drawing them on, while they feel bound to reject 
every opinion, however accepted and venerable, 
which is finally proved to be irreconcilable with 
facts. But the same guidance is daily leading 
the common man, especially in the ordering of 
his speech, constraining him to take the risk of 
stating what he knows to be true, whatever may 
be the cost, and teaching him to despise himself 
if, for any bribe whatever, he utters what he 
knows to be a falsehood. It is, however, the 
same motive which enables the reformer, in some 
hour big with destiny for the human race, to 
voice, in the presence of principalities and powers, 
what Heaven has taught him and, if need be, to 
lay down his life in support of his testimony. 
The second test that of Beauty, or what may be 
denominated the aesthetic test is at work all the 
time in all departments of life, and many who 
would not identify it under this name are daily 
applying it, without being conscious of doing 
so. In dress, for instance, it is this which de- 
termines the progress from the nakedness and 
the filthiness of savage life to the elegance of 


civilisation ; and, in manners, it makes those who 
are susceptible to its influence think not only 
of what will gratify their own taste and fancy, 
but of what will be agreeable to others ; and 
thus society grows in refinement and happiness. 
The sesthetic judgment, however, reaches both 
up into higher spheres and out into more practi- 
cal endeavours. It is this that sends forth the 
wayfarer to visit distant cities and foreign lands, 
in order that he may regale his spirit with the 
sight of famous objects of art ; but it is the same 
impulse that makes the ploughman draw his 
furrow straight and causes the mechanic to wince 
unless his handiwork be in exact accordance with 
the pattern furnished by an artistic hand. The 
Creator is said to have placed man at the first in 
a garden ; and, although man has long been ex- 
cluded from Eden, he knows, at the bottom of 
his heart, that he was intended for life in a 
garden, and he will never be content till he con- 
verts this world into one. Such is the sesthetic 
sense, appearing in varied forms and very varying 
degrees in different specimens of the race, yet 
not altogether awanting in any of the children of 
men; and it is a test of conduct. The third 
test is conformity to the Good, but this is so 
essential that I intend to devote to it, under 


the name of Conscience, the whole of the next 


When at last the Will acts, ~we call its act 
Choice, because a decision has been made between 
two or more alternatives ; or we call it Resolution, 
because there has been a problem, which is now 
solved ; or we call it Determination, because the 
struggle has terminated. Decision, choice, re- 
solution, determination such is the nomencla- 
ture of the will. 1 

A person's will may be called " good " if it does 
not decide too soon. The will ought to wait till 
it has before it all the materials, instead of act- 
ing on the first impulse of desire. A will which 
goes off the moment the trigger is touched is 
hasty and precipitate, and what is decided in 
haste is apt to be repented of at leisure. On the 
other hand, the action of the will may be too 
slow. Shakspeare speaks of the native hue of 
resolution being " sicklied o'er with the pale cast 
of thought" ; and his greatest drama, " Hamlet," 

1 By some the will is regarded as comprehending the 
whole process from the time a desired object first presents 
itself until it is attained as, in fact, the whole movement of 
the self from a present state to another state recognised as 
more desirable. 



is a study of this form of infirmity in will. Action 
loses its healthy force when it is too long delayed. 
There are instincts which ought to be obeyed at 
once and are only enfeebled by thinking. " The 
thing was done suddenly "is a remark made in 
Scripture on a certain episode ; and it is a sentence 
of commendation. Especially when conscience 
has spoken distinctly, action ought to be instan- 

Not too fast and not too slow these are the 
properties of a good will ; but to these we must 
add one of equal value namely, firmness, by 
which is meant \he power to persevere and actu- 
ally carry out what has been decided. We say 
that the choice is made when the inward struggle 
terminates, and the will has taken its side. The 
decision come to, however, may be to do some- 
thing to-morrow or a year hence ; and, before to- 
morrow or next year arrives, the intention may 
have been forgotten, or, at all events, when the 
hour arrives for carrying it into action, nothing 
may be done. When the Prodigal Son says, " I 
will arise and go to my. father," it is not tauto- 
logical when the parable adds, " And he arose 
and came to his father " ; for multitudes in the 
far country have said what he said and yet have 
never come home. Video meliora proboque, De- 


teriora sequor, said long ago an Epicurean poet 
" I see the better course and approve it, but I 
follow the worse " and thousands in every age 
have found the phrase only too apt an expression 
for their own experience. Just at this point, in 
short, lies the universal weakness of human 
nature ; here is the gulf between ideal and real, 
between knowing and doing. Sometimes the will 
is so weak that it cannot rise above wishing ; we 
wish to do good, but cannot will it : the little 
wavelets of resolution rise and fall, but the sea 


never swells up into the curved and foaming wave 
of a true decision. Or we will, but cannot dp : 
there is a wave of decision, but it is not long and 
strong enough to float decision over into action. 
Yet, till it issues in action, the will is not con- 

x "If ye know these things," said our Lord, 
" happy are ye if ye do them." And a poet of 
our own to the same effect exclaims, " Oh happy 
he whose will is strong ". I suppose, there are 
great natural differences in strength or weakness 
of will. The Will may even have excessive 
strength ; its strength may degenerate into ob- 
stinacy : it may be the will of a mule. Still, on 
the whole, the will requires to be strong. Some 
wills have a contagious strength ; one man's will 


may invigorate and support the will of another ; 
there have even been men possessed of wills 
which, with the force of torrents, have carried 
away whole nations or whole generations of men. 
But for the average man as much strength of will 
as is necessary to make his life harmonious and 
serene is a slow and laborious acquisition ; it re- 
quires self-control and self-conquest ; it requires 
repentance and prayer. 

In reading an American book, published some 
years ago, by Professor Stearns, a theologian 
who, to the great loss of the Church Universal, 
was cut off in his prime, at the commencement of 
a career of unusual promise, I was struck with 
a phrase which occurred in it frequently and 
has haunted my memory ever since : it was the 
phrase Permanent Choices. I had never met 
with the expression before ; and the thing denoted 
by it had never impressed my mind so much as it 
did when I found it indicated in this happy 

Permanent Choices what does the phrase 
mean ? Our wills are at work every day : per- 
/ haps between waking and sleeping we daily per- 
form thousands of acts of will. When we get out 
of bed, that is an act of will, and not always an easy 


one ; in dressing many acts of will are involved ; 
so in breakfasting; and so on throughout the 
day. Most acts of the will must of course refer to 
trivial things ; it is only on rare days that we come 
to decisions which have been long delayed and 
have occasioned us much perplexity. Even such a 
decision, however, may be soon forgotten, or its 
results may disappear. But there are decisions 
the effects of which never disappear, but obviously 
influence the entire subsequent life, and bring in 
their train thousands of other acts of will, which 
are virtually included in them. These are what 
Professor Stearns meant by Permanent Choices ; 
though he intended, I think, to include also this 
idea, that in a permanent choice the will always 
stands to its selection, believing in it, rejoicing in 
it, and never wishing to have it reversed. 

Emigration may be such a permanent choice. 
In early life a European becomes fascinated with 
America and leaves his native land forever. 
How many things are affected by this decision 
the objects with which his mind is stored, ,the 
people who will be his friends and neighbours, 
the literature he will read, the principles of 
government he will believe in ! But he makes 
the choice with decision ; he becomes naturalised 
not in name only but in heart ; he becomes a 


loyal and enthusiastic subject of the United 
States ; in short, it is a permanent choice. The 
choice of a trade or a profession may be such a 
permanent choice ; and it will determine before- 
hand a hundred things which a man will do 
every day of his life ; it will even determine be- 
forehand what will be the shape of his body and 
the cast of his features in old age. Marriage is 

x a permanent choice ; and obviously it is one of 

the most momentous of all ; happy he who, every 

succeeding year, can with more cordiality and 

conviction approve his own choice. 

But the most momentous of all permanent 

;-- choices is certainly the choice of Christ ; it is the 
one which most deeply influences the entire sub- 
sequent life ; and it is the one which is most 
certain in every succeeding year to secure alike 
from the head and the heart complete justifica- 
tion. As soon as St. Paul had made this choice, 
the entire history of Christ from eternity to 
eternity for it was of His cosmic history he prin- 
cipally thought became alive with motives, 
which were both constraining and restraining his 
will at every step of his subsequent career. 
Nothing was too small to be dignified from this 
source, and nothing was too great to be attempted, 
if he was convinced that it was the will of Christ. 


The cosmic history of the Saviour still exerts the 
same influence, though we have learned, in recent 
times, to be moved even more than St. Paul was by 
the earthly history of Jesus the details of His 
daily walk and conversation, as these are revealed 
in the four Gospels and there is never a day that 
dawns but a multitude which no man can number 
of humble and happy hearts rise from the rest of 
the night to resume a life which is literally a 
walking with Christ ; for they greet Him the 
moment they awake to' consciousness ; they are 
sensible of His presence beside them all the day 
long ; and their testing question, at every crisis 
and in every difficulty, is, What would Jesus do ? 
for their decision has been no pale or feeble choice, 
but an act blood-red with vitality, which only be- 
comes the more determined the more fully they 
know whom they have believed. 




CONSCIENCE is more a popular than a scientific 
term ; in fact, in some books on Psychology you 
will not find it even in the index. For all that, 
it is a powerful word, with blood and bones in- 
side it ; and I should not be at all surprised if, 
some day, it were elevated to a position of great 
consequence in philosophy. 

It does not occur in the Old Testament that 
is, the word does not but the thing for which 
the word stands occurs often enough. On al- 
most the first page you have that scene which is 
one of the most graphic accounts of conscience in & 
all literature Adam and Eve, overwhelmed with 
shame and terror, hiding themselves among the 
trees of the garden and, on the very next page, 
you have another great exhibition of the power 
of conscience in the flight of Cain after the murder t 
of his brother Abel. 

In the New Testament the word occurs with 



tolerable frequency ; St. Paul alone employing it 
'/ about a score of times. This might have been 
expected to secure for it a permanent place 
among the ethical terms of Christian instruction ; 
but, while words like faith, love, hope, and others 
belonging to the Apostle's ethical vocabulary al- 
ways retained a foremost place, this good fortune 
did not fall to o-wetS-qcns. Nevertheless, Chry- 
sostom places it, alongside of Nature, as one of 
the two books in which God reveals Himself out- 
side the Bible. St. Augustine makes less use of 
it than might have been expected in such an 
ethical genius. But the Schoolmen began to 
discuss and define it ; and Thomas Aquinas de- 
votes to it one question in each part of his 
" Summa ". The peculiarity of his treatment is, 
that he identifies it with synderesis,.& term which 
Origen appears to have employed in the form 
of o-vvTrjpya-Ls to designate the remnant of the 
image of God left in man after the Fall ; or rather, 
Aquinas distinguishes between synderesis and 
conscientia in this way, that he makes the one 
the faculty in the mind which supplies moral 
principles and the other the faculty which applies 
these to actual cases. The former is infallible, 
the latter fallible. Of course the example of 
Aquinas was long followed in the schools ; 


but, after the Eeformation, the Jesuit moralists 
dropped the former of Aquinas' two elements, 
making the conscience a weak, hesitating, fallible 
thing, which had to fall back for support and 
guidance on the Church and the confessor that 
is, on themselves every person who could afford 
it keeping a Jesuit as a guide to his conscience. 
The Mystics of the Latin Church, however, made 
much of the element which the Jesuits had 
dropped, finding in the synderesis the point of 
contact at which the divine comes down to touch 
the human spirit. 

At the Eeformation the conscience both 
name and thing came very prominently to the 
front. The pangs of conscience, in the experi- 
ence of Luther and others, were a negative pre- 
paration for the positive doctrine of justification ; 
and it will be remembered how powerfully, at the 
Diet of Worms, the Reformer appealed to con- 
science as the ground on which he took his stand 
in resisting the authority of the Church. It was 
thoroughly in accordance with the juridical 
meaning attached by Protestantism to justifica- 
tion when one of the worthies of the period, 
Schobeiiein, defined conscience as " the organ 
for the juridical relation of man to God " ; and 
Luther himself defines it as "a witness touching 


those things in .which man has to do with God ". 
Not dissimilar is Calvin's definition sensus dimni 
judicii et imperii. Within Protestantism the 
rights of conscience have been a favourite sub- 
ject not only of reflection but of testimony and 
courageous assertion ; although it is a task of no 
little delicacy to define where exactly the freedom 
of conscience begins and ends. 

In Post-reformation Theology the treatment of 
Ethics under the title of Cases of Conscience 
continued much longer than might have been ex- 
pected as a practice even of Protestant moralists ; 
but the fact is a straw showing how the wind 
was blowing. In Jeremy Taylor's "Ductor 
Dubitantium " the whole of the first book, ex- 
tending to nearly three hundred pages, is devoted 
to the conscience, the several kinds of which are 
handled in great detail, such as the good con- 
science, the erroneous conscience, the scrupulous 
conscience, and so on. Indeed, such descriptions 
of different kinds of conscience formed a feature 
of the ethical productivity of the period, which 
continued till it became a weariness to the flesh. 
During the reign of English Deism the conscience 
was set up as a rival to revelation, its testimony 
to God, duty and immortality being considered 
sufficient without any higher source of enlighten- 


ment; and the same contention was made still 
more strenuously in Continental countries, when 
the English movement had crossed the German 
Ocean ; the glorification of this faculty reaching 
a climax in Rousseau, who, however, character- 
istically wished the conscience to be only a source 
of self-approval and happiness, the old bad ideas 
of guilt and punishment being banished out of a 
philosophical world. Butler in England and 
Kant in Germany restored the conscience to its 
rightful position of authority, yet subordinating 
it to the will of God ; but the tendency to dis- 
solve its authority, through tracing its origin to 
mere association and heredity, has come in again 
with the advent of a naturalistic and develop- 
mental philosophy, which is at present so potent 
in England and on the Continent ; not, however, 
without evoking powerful reaction in such 
thinkers as Martineau and Green. 

This brief sketch shows that the conscience 
has, during the course of the centuries, been 
making, if not a steady, yet an ever renewed ad- 
vance to philosophical recognition ; and, as I 
have hinted, I expect it, some day, to be adopted 
by a philosophical genius, who will vindicate for it 
a prominent place in the vocabulary of Psychology. 1 

1 On the history of the doctrine of Conscience the books on 
the History of Ethics, such as Luthardt's and Gass', may 


The aspect of conscience on which the popular 
mind has principally fastened, and to which, ac- 
cordingly, the literature of the world has given 
the amplest expression, is that which is technic- 
ally called the Sequent Conscience that is to 
say, the action of conscience which follows the 
formation of a decision or the commission of an 
act. No sooner is a decision come to or a deed 
done than there ensues a judgment favourable or 
adverse, a sentence of guilty or not-guilty. Con- 
science has often been compared to a court-of- 
law, in which there are culprit, judge, jury and 
witnesses ; only all of these are in the individ- 
ual's own breast. Thus in " Sea Dreams " Lord 
Tennyson says : 

He that wrongs his friend 
Wrongs himself more ; and ever bears about 
A silent court of justice in his breast, 
Himself the judge and jury, and himself 
The prisoner at the bar, ever condemned ; 
And that drags down his life. 

be consulted. Schmidt, in "Das Gewissen," is very full. 
Gass' note on " The Scholastic Term Synderesis," in " Die 
Lehre vom Gewissen," is a fine morsel of scholarship. For 
the more popular and literary aspects of the subject, reference 
may be made to the second series of the late Joseph Cook's 
"Boston Monday Lectures". It is a pity that this author is 
being so soon forgotten ; because not only has he big ideas, 
but his volumes abound with illustrations novel, original and 


In the individual's own breast is, besides, the 
executioner ; because, on the back of the sen- 
tence of condemnation or acquittal, there imme- 
diately follows the pain of a wounded or the 
satisfaction of an approving conscience ; and of 
all human miseries or blisses this is the most 
poignant. Especially has the remorse of an evil 
conscience impressed the human imagination, in 
such instances as Cain and Judas, Saul and 
Herod ; and the greatest of the poets have found 
some of their most moving pictures in the repre- 
sentation of this aspect of human experience; 
the ancient poets representing the terrors of con- 
science under such figures as the Erinnyes or 
Furies, who with swift, silent, unswerving foot- 
step track the criminal and pull him down, while 
Shakspeare, in such dramas as " Macbeth" and 
" Richard the Third," has burnt the same lesson 
into the imagination of all readers of the Eng- 
lish tongue. 

The satisfaction of a good conscience may 
stamp itself on the habitual serenity of a face, 
while the accusations of an evil conscience may 
impart a hunted look even to the external ap- 
pearance. This contrast is powerfully given in 
the picture of the Bishop and the Burglar, in the 

same room at midnight, in " Les Miserables " : 



" He was sleeping peacefully, and was wrapped 
in a long garment of brown wool, which covered 
his arms down to the wrists. His head was 
thrown back on the pillow in the easy attitude 
of repose, and his hand, which had done so many 
good deeds, hung out of the bed. His entire 
face was lit up with a vague expression of satis- 
faction, hope and beatitude it was more than a 
smile and almost a radiance. There was almost 
a divinity in this unconsciously august man. 
The burglar, on the contrary, was standing in 
the shadow, with his crowbar in his hand, 
motionless and terrified by this luminous old 
man. He had never seen anything like this 
before, and this confidence horrified him. The 
moral world has no greater spectacle than this 
a troubled, restless conscience, which is on the 
point of committing a bad action, contemplating 
the sleep of a just man." 

It is to be observed, however, that not ' only 
does a man's own conscience thus pass sentence 
on his conduct but the consciences of others pass 
sentence on it too ; and to this may be due a 
great intensification of the consequent sensa- 
tions. Thus, a crime may be hidden in a man's 
memory, and the pain of its guilt may be as- 
suaged by the action of time, when suddenly and 


unexpectedly it is found out by the public ; and 
only when the force of the public conscience 
breaks out on the culprit, driving him from 
society, does he feel his guilt in all its hideous- 
ness. The Day of Judgment, as it is represented 
in Scripture, is an application of this principle 
on a vast scale : it is the submission of the char- 
acter and conduct of everyone to the conscience 
of all. On the other hand, a friend may be to a 
man a second conscience, by which his own 
conscience is kept alive and alert ; and this 
approval from without may, in some cases, be, 
even more than the judgment within, an en- 
couragement to everything that is good or a 
protection against temptation. 

There is a third activity of the Sequent Con- 
science, in addition to the judicial and the re- 
tributive namely, the predictive. Not only 
does conscience reward and punish now, but it 
hints of ampler and more perfect rewards and 
punishments still to come. Human beings are 
instinctively aware that they will have to answer 
for the deeds done in the body, when they pass 
within the veil. Thus is the anticipation of 
immortality a part of conscience. 

The second aspect of conscience is what is 
technically called the Antecedent Conscience ; 


and this designates a function of conscience 
which precedes moral decision or action. When 
the will stands at the parting of the ways, seeing 
clearly before it the right course and the wrong, 
conscience commands to strike into the right 
* and forbids to choose the wrong. This is its 
imperative ; and to employ the language of 
Kant it is a categorical imperative. What 
conscience commands may be apparently against 
our interest, and it may be completely con- 
trary to our inclinations ; it may be contrary 
to the advice of friends or the solicitations of 
companions ; it may be opposed to the decrees 
of principalities and powers or to the voices of 
the multitude ; yet conscience in no way with- 
draws or modifies its claim. We may fail to 
obey, giving way to passion or being overborne 
by the allurements of temptation ; but we know 
that we ought to obey ; it is our duty ; and this 
is a sublime and sacred word. 

The great crises of life arise when conscience 
is issuing one command and self-interest or pas- 
sion or authority another, and the question has 
to be decided which of the two is to be obeyed. 
The interpreters of human life have known how 
to make use of such moments, and many of the 
most memorable scenes in imaginative literature 


are of this nature ; a fine example being the 
scene in "The Heart of Midlothian," in which 
Jeanie Deans, with a heart bursting with love 
for her frail sister, yet will not deviate from the 
truth by a hairsbreadth, though a lie would save 
Effie's life. But the actual history of mankind 
has been dignified with numerous scenes, in 
which confessors and martyrs, standing on the 
same ground, have faced death rather than con- 
travene the dictates of the authority within ; 
and, we have good reason to believe, there is 
never an hour that passes but the All-seeing Eye 
beholds someone on earth putting aside the 
bribes of self -interest -or the menaces of authority 
and paying tribute to the voice of conscience by 
doing the right and taking the consequences. 

As to the aspects of conscience discussed up 
to this point there is little difficulty or difference 
of opinion ; but I have now to mention one about 
which this cannot be said. It was remarked 
above, that, when anyone stands at the parting 
of the ways and sees clearly the right course and 
the wrong, conscience imperatively commands 
him which to take and which to avoid ; but how 
does anyone know which of the two alternatives 
is the right and which the wrong? does con- 
science come to his help at this point, or is he 


dependent on some other faculty? Here the 
Intuitional and the Associational, or speaking 
broadly the Scotch and the English, the German 
and the French Schools of Ethics widely diverge ; 
those on the one side holding that conscience 
has still essential guidance to give, while those 
on the other hold that the guidance must now 
be undertaken by other faculties. The Sensa- 
tional or Experimental School hold that we are 
dependent on the authority of society or on our 
own estimate of the consequences of action ; 
while the opposite school teach that in the con- 
science there is a clear revelation of certain moral 
laws, approving certain principles of action and 
disapproving others. 

The strong point of the former view is the 
diversity existing among human beings in dif- 
ferent ages and in different latitudes as to what 
is right and what is wrong. What was virtuous 
in Athens might be sinful in Jerusalem ; what is 
admired as heroism in Britain may be despised 
as imprudence in Japan. The answer to this is, 
first, that this diversity has been grossly exag- 
gerated, the unanimity of the human conscience 
under all skies being greater than is allowed by 
philosophers of this school. " Let any plain 
honest man," says Butler, "before he engages 


in any course of action, ask himself, Is this I 
am going about right ? or is it wrong ? is it good 
or is it evil ? and I do not in the least doubt but 
that this question would be answered agreeably 
to truth and virtue by almost any fair man in 
almost any circumstances." Further, there may 
be error in the application to actual cases of the 
laws revealed in conscience ; such application 
being a merely logical procedure, where the in- 
tellect is liable to all the mistakes into which 
it may fall when dealing in the same way with 
any other kind of material. What conscience 
is responsible for, in every case, is only the major 
premiss. So argues Calderwood ; 1 and this is 
very much the position of Aquinas, who, as has 
been mentioned, attributed to an infallible 
synderesis the oracular issuing of principles but 
to a fallible conscientia the application of these 
to particular instances. 

The strong point of the Intuitional School is 
the right of the individual to break away from 
the habits of society and, in defiance of the 
verdicts of authority or the voices of the multi- 
tude, to follow a course of his own. When he 
does so, is it a logical conclusion as to the con- 
sequences of action he is obeying or a higher 
1 " Handbook of Moral Philosophy." 


intuition ? When, for example, Christianity, at 
its entrance into the world, preached the sinful- 
ness of fornication, in opposition to the laxity of 
Greece and Rome, was it an argument about 
consequences with which she operated success- 
fully, or an instinct of purity, which she divined 
at the back of the actions and opinions of 
heathendom ? The lettering of the moral law 
may have to be picked out and cleansed from 
the accumulations of time, but the inscription is 
there all the same. 

It may be, however, that what is required for 
the solution of this riddle is a more exhaustive 
analysis of the Antecedent Conscience. Between 
the categorical imperative, which commands to 
choose the right path and avoid the wrong, and 
the indicative, which declares that this is the 
right way and that the wrong, there ought per- 
haps to be assumed, as a separate aspect of con- 
science, the intuition that one of the alternative 
ways is right and must be pursued at all hazards, 
while the other is wrong and must be abandoned 
at whatever cost. This perception, that moral 
distinctions exist, contrasted with each other as 
heaven and hell, is the peculiarity of conscience ; 
but it does not exclude the necessity for taking 
time to ascertain, in every instance, which of the 


alternatives has the one character and which the 
other, or for employing a great variety of know- 
ledge to make this certain. Those who would 
limit conscience to the function of uttering the 
major premisses of moral reasoning are wont to 
hold that it cannot err and does not admit of 
being educated ; but such a use of the term is 
too remote from common usage ; and there must 
be room left at some point for the conscience to 
enlighten itself by making acquaintance with 
such objective standards as the character of God, 
the example of Christ and the teaching of Scrip- 
ture, as well as with the experience of the good 
and the maxims of the wise. 

To sum upthe conscience may be divided 
into the Antecedent and the Sequent ; and each 
of these has three aspects ; for in the Antecedent 
Conscience we distinguish three activities the 
Deliberative, the Indicative and the Imperative 
and in the Sequent Conscience three also the 
Judicial, the Ketributive and the Predictive. 

There is one other question of great interest 
about the conscience ; and this is the question, 
whether it involves an intuition of God. When 
the conscience is suffering the punishment of re- 
morse, who is it that inflicts the punishment ? is 


it only the conscience itself, or is man, in such 
experiences, aware of the existence of a Being 
outside of and above himself ? When the will is 
about to act, it receives the command to choose 
the right and refuse the wrong, but who issues 
this command ? is it only itself, or does the im- 
perative come with a sanction and solemnity 
betokening a higher origin ? Conscience is an 
intuition of moral law the reading, so to speak, 
of a luminous writing, which hangs, outside of 
man, on the bosom of nature but who penned 
that writing 1 It used to be believed that the 
word Conscience implies, in its very structure, a 
reference to God, meaning, literally, knowledge 
along with another, the other being Grod. This 
derivation may be uncertain ; but many are of 
opinion that it exactly expresses the truth. Prob- 
ably there are few persons with an ethical ex- 
perience of any depth who have not sometimes 
been overwhelmingly conscious of the approval 
or disapproval of an unseen Being ; and, if there 
be any trustworthy argument for the existence of 
a Deity prior to supernatural revelation, it would 
seem to be this. 

It may be only the same question in another 
form when the inquiry is raised, whether con- 
science and the religious faculty are identical. 


Historically, they have been separated ; it being a 
well-known characteristic of pagan religions that 
they have little or no connexion with morality, a 
pagan being frequently a great cultivator of the 
gods and at the same time abandoned to every 
species of immorality. Even in professors of the 
Christian religion the moral sense has sometimes 
been very faintly developed ; an Italian bandit, 
for example, being able to combine the business 
of highway-robbery and murder with devotion to 
the Virgin, whose shrine he may enrich out of the 
proceeds of his adventures. Nevertheless, it will 
be remembered that the Mystics of the Middle 
Ages looked upon the synderesis as the point of 
contact with the Divine ; and it is not only true 
that conscience testifies of God, but also that the 
highest religion has morality for its aim. Fully 
developed religion and fully developed morality 
would very nearly coincide ; and it may be that, 
in the future, the religious faculty and the ethical 
faculty will be identified. 

With what has just been said about conscience 
as the common centre of both the ethical and the 
religious life it will harmonize not amiss if we 
now add not so much by way of concluding the 
present chapter as by way of epilogue to the 
whole foregoing argument that the perfection 


of human nature is not only the task of man but 
the gift of God. We have seen that in the very 
structure of our nature there is a prophecy 
which craves for fulfilment ; and this is a strong 
motive, inspiring those to whom has been granted 
a vision of themselves as they yet may be. At 
every stage of progress this prophecy becomes 
more compelling ; because the landscape widens, 
as we advance, and the goal becomes more clear. 
But the whole transformation is in Scripture as- 
cribed to a divine causality. The " new man " is 
derived directly from the Father in heaven ; he 
is created in Christ Jesus ; and the transition 
from the " old man " to the new is, at all its 
stages, referred to the Holy Spirit, working 
through the agencies which He employs in the 
Church the Word, the sacraments and prayer. 
Here are motives not less potent than those in- 
herent in man's own nature and destiny the 
motive of gratitude, the motive of imitation, the 
motive of co-operation. These are felt in all 
their force and blessedness when the human 
subject of sanctification is most sensible of his 
own inadequacy for the task owing to the heavy 
weight of an evil past, the violence of passion, and 
the impotence of a demoralised will. It is this 
sense of personal unworthiness and unfitness that 


most of all distinguishes Christian Psychology 
from Philosophical or even Eeligious Psychology ; 
although the pessimism of such penitential emo- 
tion is more than redressed by the spring and 
buoyancy with which the new man rises anew to 
face the task after casting himself in faith on 
the mercy of the Saviour, who has said not only, 
"Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are 
heavy laden, and I will give you rest," but also, 
" I came that they may have life, and may have 
it abundantly ". 




THE body, the soul and the spirit are common to every speci- 
men of the race, and to possess them gives one a claim to the 
honour and hopes of humanity. But, while human beings 
are to this extent identical, they are in numerous respects 
diverse from one another ; and we may now give some atten- 
tion to the differences existing within human nature. 

No two human beings have ever been absolutely alike. 
Even in the same family the contrast between one side and 
another is sometimes almost ludicrous in extent. In some 
men all the potencies of human nature are seen at their 
highest, while in others they sink to the very lowest stage 
consistent with being human at all. Between a Shakspeare 
and a Bacon, on the one hand, and one of the aborigines of 
Australia, on the other, how wide the gulf! yet both are 
human. Many differences are no doubt the result of train- 
ing, but there are others which reach much further back. 
Philosophers have, indeed, sometimes tried to persuade them- 
selves that all souls come into existence alike, and that the 

1 This lecture was not delivered in America ; but dt is introduced here 
because it illustrates fully as well as any of the rest what is meant by 
the adjective " Christian " in the title of this book ; though, all through, 
the endeavour has been made to follow the counsel of Sir Thomas Browne, 
" Christianize thy Notions ". 

(257) 17 


differences by which they are subsequently divided are due 
to the force of environment or to personal choice. But it is 
impossible to believe it. Long before they leave the hidden 
laboratory of nature, souls are distinguished from one another. 
Certain thinkers have maintained that souls are all alike at 
their origin, but that the differences of the bodies in which 
they are encased make them appear to be different ; though 
others have held the exact opposite that the soul within 
determines the shape of the body its beauty or deformity. 
But both body and soul are, I suspect, peculiar from the first. 
Among the causes to which the differences among human 
beings are due may be mentioned sex, temperament, race, and 
talent or genius. Bach of these would be well worthy of close 
consideration ; but at present we must content ourselves with 
taking one of them as a specimen ; and we shall select the 
second. 1 

The word " temperament " means literally a mixture ; and 
the ancient physicians by whom it was invented held that a 
person's temperament is determined by the proportions in 
which the elements are mixed of which his constitution is 
composed ; or rather, the element which preponderates in the 
constitution of each determines his temperament. These ele- 
ments they reckoned to be four ; and, as any one of the four 
may be predominant, it follows that there are four tempera- 

1 A thoroughly scientific treatment of the Temperaments will be 
found in Corner's work on " Christian Ethics," third chapter of the 
second division. . There is a booklet on. the subject by Principal Whyte, 
who handles it in his usual realistic and home-coming manner. And 
there is a similar work in German, by Oskar Briissau, entitled " Die 
Temperamente und das christliche Leben ". For a sharp criticism of 
the ancient doctrine of the Temperaments see SHAND, " The Foundations 
of Character," bk. I., ch. xm. 


ments, which they denominated the Sanguine, the Phlegmatic, 
the Choleric and the Melancholic. 

The Sanguine temperament, as its name implies, was sup- 
posed to be due to a certain fulness of the blood ; and it is of 
a warm and abounding nature. It is the temperament most 
disposed to happiness and hopefulness. It is easily excited by 
impressions from the outside and responds to these with 
prompt resolves and actions. It may be considered a precious 
gift to its possessor ; because the , sanguine man easily rises 
again from beneath the blows of adversity; he welcomes 
every pleasure as it comes ; and he never borrows trouble from 

The Phlegmatic temperament is, in most respects, the 
exact opposite of the sanguine. It is slow and calm, perhaps 
cold, not easily excited or even roused. It loves the mono- 
tony of established custom and dislikes change and hurry. 
It knows neither the violence oE grief nor the ecstasy of joy, 
and it has been compared to the skies of the North, where 
everything is enveloped in a perpetual haze. The phlegmatic 
man easily allows others to do things for him, and thus he is 
liable to fall completely under the influence of a stronger -prill. 

The Choleric temperament is, in some respects, like the 
sanguine ; but, whereas the sanguine denotes chiefly a suscep- 
tibility to impressions made by others, the choleric indicates 
the power of making impressions on others. It is full of 
passion and energy, fiery in conception and swift in execution. 
The choleric man achieves what he has set his heart upon. 
He can set before himself a single aim and, forgetting every- 
thing else, press toward the mark, scorning difficulties and 
trampling obstacles beneath his feet. This is the temperament 
of the pioneer and the missionary, of the reformer and the 


The Melancholic temperament is the antipodes of this 
prompt and practical disposition. It belongs to deep and 
brooding natures. In its external reserve it bears some re- 
semblance to the phlegmatic ; but this is only superficial ; for 
behind the veil of reserve it conceals the utmost intensity. 
Whilst the choleric temperament sees the objects at which it 
aims, however remote these may be, as if they were within 
reach, and eagerly stretches out its hands to seize them, the 
melancholic, on the contrary, loves to see its objects far away 
in dim outlines which melt into infinity. The Greeks, who 
invented these descriptions, attributed this temperament to 
their greatest men, such as Socrates and Plato. This is the 
temperament of the poet, the artist, the thinker. 

How far the medical knowledge of modern times would 
confirm the notions of the ancients as to the cause and origin 
of these, distinctions among human beings, I cannot say ; but 
that the distinctions are real no person who hears them de- 
scribed can doubt. It is only necessary to look at any group 
of children in order to see them all. There is the child who 
is always happy and lively, giving no trouble except perhaps 
by her restlessness, welcoming every new proposal and always 
ready to adopt a new friend, sunny as a butterfly and passing 
from pleasure to pleasure as that insect flits from flower to 
flower. This is the sanguine temperament. Then there is 
the quiet child, whose voice is seldom heard, who is scarcely 
noticed if present or missed if absent, who never originates 
any proposal or takes the lead in any adventure, but is a 
hanger-on to a knot of friends and perfectly content to have 
every movement decided by the rest. This is the phlegmatic 
temperament. Then, in such a group there is sure to be a 

APPg^DIX A 261 

choleric specimen the boy who gets his own way in every- 
thing and blazes up into fury if he be resisted, who drills his 
companions as soldiers, is ready with a blow whenever it is 
required, and is worshipped by his companions as a hero. 
Lastly, there is the solitary boy, who says little but closely 
watches everything, who beats his schoolfellows at lessons and 
is the favourite of the schoolmaster, who loves a book in a 
corner and asks questions which puzzle the oldest heads. 
This is the melancholic temperament. 

Not only are these distinctions visible among individuals : 
they characterize entire divisions of the human race. Thus, 
the sanguine and the phlegmatic temperaments are specially 
common among the female and the choleric and melancholic 
among the male sex. The broad distinctions in the ancient 
world of Hebrew, Greek and Eoman correspond closely with 
differences of temperament ; so, in the modern world, do the 
contrasts of English, Irish and Scotch in the British Isles, 
of French and German on the Continent of Europe, and of 
Southern and Northern in America. 1 There are, besides, 
mixed temperaments : that is to say, one individual may, in 
different circumstances, exhibit the peculiarities of more than 
a single temperament. Especially may this be the case at 
different stages of life. Indeed, it has even been suggested 
that each of the four stages of life is especially associated with 
one of the four temperaments, childhood being phlegmatic, 
youth sanguine, maturity choleric, and old age melancholic. 
This, however, it is manifest, can only be said with consider- 
able reservation ; and, upon the whole, there is most to be 
learned from the broad, general fact, that everyone comes into 
the world with his own peculiar disposition, this peculiarity 

1 These are called by Schleiermaoher " national temperaments ". 


being roughly at least equivalent to the possession of one or 
other of the four temperaments. 

It is not at all difficult to seethe moral and spiritual bear- 
ing of all this. 

i Bach of the four temperaments has its own temptations. 
It does not, indeed, follow, because a man has been born with 
a certain temperament, that he will fall into certain sins. 
Sin is not inevitable. But, if he do fall into sin, it can be 
predicted, if his temperament be known, what kind of sin it 
will be. Every man according to his own temperament has 
sins which it is difficult for him to resist and into which it 
will be easy for him to fall. Hence, a wise man will desire 
to know himself, in order that he may be aware at which 
points it is specially necessary for him to keep watch and 

/ - - 

The sanguine man's temptation is to grasp at many things 
but bring nothing to perfection. In business he flits from 
scheme to scheme and launches out into undertakings which 
not infrequently involve others as well as himself in difficulty 
or ruin. He is always certain that he is going to succeed, 
and his faith in his own star is so contagious that it is not 
easy for others to resist his enthusiasm. He exaggerates un- 
awares in speaking about himself and everything connected 
with himself, and it is hard for him to be absolutely honest 
in either word or deed. 

The phlegmatic man's temptation is to bury his talent in 
the earth. He clings to what is old simply because it is old, 
after it has become an abuse and a wrong, and he resists 
change even when it is urgently required. He has an excess 
of passivity, and it is difficult to make him realise that life 


contains a task for the discharge of which he is responsible. 
The world's siris^and sorrows are crying out for help, but the 
call by which others are thrilled . does not move him. The 
cause of Christ is in need of initiative and support, but his 
life glides by with nothing done. His habit of leaving every- 
thing to be attended to and done by others exposes him to 
the risk of being dragged into error under the influence of a 
more fascinating or commanding personality. Great numbers 
of the young, both men and women, are led into courses 
where their souls are stained and their prospects ruined not 
so much by any violent desire for the forbidden fruit or by 
violent delight in the enjoyment of it as through their being 
easily led and not having enough of spirit to resist the pro- 
posals which their consciences condemn. It may be added 
tnat, at the opposite end of life also, this disposition is beset 
with special danger. The pleasures of the table then prove 
a snare to such vegetative natures, converting existence into 
a heavy dream. In fact, the worst temptations of phlegmatic 
natures begin at the very point where the fires of temptation 
in the sanguine are beginning to burn themselves out. 1 

The temptations of the choleric temperament are precisely 
the opposite of those just Described. They arise from the im-- 
pulses towards sensuality and are strongest at those early stages 

1 Isaac is, in biblical biography, a striking example of ithis temperament, 
and he did not escape the danger indicated above. Abraham 'and Jacob 
are examples of other temperaments ; and that the three patriarchs stood 
in the relations of grandfather, son and grandson is a remarkable illustra- 
- tion of how temperaments may differ even in the closest family con- 
nexions. Yet Jehovah was " the God of Abraham, of Isaac and of 
Jacotr" ; this being His name and memorial from generation to genera- 
tion ; which seems to prove that no temperament disqualifies for the 
love and service of God, but that each can render to its Creator a tribute 
of its own. 


of existence when the flames of passion burn most fiercely. 
The man who rushes madly into vice, and who feels that he 
must have the forbidden thing which is destroying him even 
though he should have to go through the fire to procure it, is 
of this temperament. So is he who stakes upon a single 
east his good name, his chances of success, and the fortunes 
of his family. Though this has been correctly called above 
the disposition of the pioneer and the missionary, it is likewise 
the temperament of the ringleader in evil, who by his brilliant 
recklessness draws others after him down the broad road. 
The Devil has his missionaries as well as the Saviour ; and it 
is a solemn reflection that the natural qualifications for both 
services are the same. 

The melancholic temperament has, like the rest, its own 
liabilities to special sins. It is not, like the choleric, liable 
to be hurried headlong into open sin. For this it has too 
much self-restraint. But it broods in secret on forbidden 
subjects. In the hidden mind there may be going on a carnival 
of passion which prudence or shame keeps from breaking 
forth in outward acts. Besides, this temperament has other 
temptations : it disposes its possessor to brood on the sadness 
of the world and the apparent injustice of the providence of God, 
till from such ruminations may be gendered the savage scorn 
of the cynic, who jeers as he turns inside out the seamy side of 
human nature, or the reasonings of the atheist, who sees in 
the universe no loving Father but only the" remorseless grind- 
ing of the wheels of fate. The ravings of a Timon and the 
obscene savagery of a Swift are exhibitions of this tempera- 
ment in a state of deterioration ; and the end may be the 
crime of suicide. 

In the doctrine of temperament there is, as we have seen, 


a solemn strain of warning, which none can consider them- 
selves entitled to neglect. But happily this is only one side 
of the picture : there is another side, which is as happy and 
hopeful as the one just presented is threatening. If each 
temperament has its own temptations, each has also its own 
possibilities of good. It does not, indeed, determine that, if a 
man possesses it, Jie will either be good or do good. This 
depends on divine grace ; it depends on whether or not a 
man surrenders himself to God. But, if a man be' a Christian, 
his temperament determines beforehand what kind of Christian 
he will be and what kind of good works he will do. 

The special virtue of the sanguine disposition is to display 
the bright and hopeful side of Christianity. If we look round 
us in any living Christian community, it is easy in our genera- 
tion to pick out examples in which this temperament has de- 
veloped into a most attractive type of Christian character 
the woman who never grows weary in well-doing and whose 
acts of considerateness and helpfulness .are the subject of 
comment at every turn in the neighbourhood in which she 
moves ; the man who is engaged in a score of schemes for 
the temporal and spiritual amelioration of the world, who re- 
sponds -with a sympathetic heart and a liberal hand to calls 
from every point of the compass, and who never pulls one iron 
out of the fire without thrusting in two or three others to take 
its place. The Church could ill want her sanguine members. 

The phlegmatic temperament, however, under the influ- 
ence of grace, also unfolds peculiar excellences. There are a 
great juany Christians who never start anything new and are 
incapable of an original idea, yet lend their whole force to 
swell the well-defined testimony of Christianity and are willing 
to spend and be spent in accepted ways of doing good. They 


depend for initiative and guidance on more original and ener- 
getic natures ; but they have chosen God's people for their 
people, and they never leave any doubt as to the side to which 
they belong. While the work of God has places for conspi- 
cuous leaders, it has places also for those who have neither 
taste nor talent for leadership but cultivate the shade. The 
army of salvation requires multitudes of privates as well as a 
staff of officers ; and, when so many are determined to be 
either at the top or nowhere, it is gratifying to meet with 
those who can with perfect contentment and good humour 
take the second or third or even the twentieth or thirtieth 
place. In old age this temperament appears to great advan- 
tage; for it blossoms sweetly into those virtues of meekness 
and peaceful contentment which so much adorn the hoary 
head, and which were so highly praised by the Saviour. 

The choleric temperament supplies the militant element in 
Christianity. Though Jesus Christ is called the Prince of 
Peace, yet He said Himself : " I came not to send peace, bufc 
a sword ". His religion is an aggressive and conquering move- 
ment ; it must pull down every stronghold in which evil has 
entrenched itself ; for it has undertaken nothing, less than to 
embrace the whole world in a reign of righteousness. It re- 
quires, therefore, men of enterprise and courage, who can both 
take blows and give them, who will not be turned aside by fear 
or favour, but can set before themselves an object and sacrifice 
everything for its attainment. Such a man was St. Paul; 
such was Luther ; such was Livingstone ; such Ijave been 
hundreds more of the pioneer and conquering spirits of 
humanity men of passionate force, but with the fiery ele- 
ments of nature yoked, like the flame in the steam-engine, to 
a beneficent purpose. And these have been illustrations of 
the choleric temperament. 


Lastly, the melancholic temperament has likewise its own 
peculiar excellences and possibilities, though, in a practical 
age like ours, these may be undervalued, because they do not 
at once strike the eye. Ours is an age of work, when every- 
one is expected to have his brain teeming with schemes for 
the improvement of the world and his hands full of philan- 
thropic and missionary activities. But the Church of Christ, 
in spite of the services of such adherents, would soon sink 
into spiritual poverty unless her great Head bestowed on 
her some servants who, though ill-fitted for the glare of pub- 
licity and the management of practical affairs, delight to brood 
on the mysteries of the faith and are compelled by an inner 
necessity to think out her beliefs in the face of the advancing 
knowledge of the ages. Such work takes place in the depths ; 
it makes no noise ; its results are long in coming to fruition ; 
but it is indispensable. Christianity ' needs her St. Johns as 
well as her St. Pauls, her Melanehthons as well as her 
Luthers, her Cowpers as well as her Wesleys, her Dantes and 
Miltons as well as her Moodys and Booths ; and she finds 
them among men of the melancholic temperament. 

Here we come upon that conception of the Church in 
which St. Paul so much delighted, as an organism in 
which every variety of natural disposition and endowment 
can $nd its own place and its own work. " For the body is 
not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because 
I am not the hand, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of 
the body ? And, if the ear shall say, Because I am not the 
eye, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body ? If 
the whole were an eye, where were the hearing? If the 
whole were hearing, where were the smelling ? But now hath 
God set the members, every one of them, in the body where it 
hath pleased Him. And the eye cannot say to the hand, I 


have no need of thee, nor again the head to the feet, I have 
no need of you." This variety, however, of construction and 
function in the realm of grace is founded on an older variety 
in the realm of nature. But the most solemn lesson of this 
study is for the individual. Bach has, at his birth, received 
from nature his own share ; but each has to determine for 
himself what he will do with it ; and the same powers may 
form a contribution to the right side or to the wrong. With 
the same natural gifts different individuals may be servants 
of Christ, helping to make the world better, or they may be 
servants of the Evil One, tempting and deteriorating others. 
Everything depends on a choice and a decision. " Choose 
well ; your choice is brief, and yet endless." 





PSYCHOLOGY is not a new thing as applied to evangelism. 
All successful evangelists have been past masters in the psy- 
chological method of appealing to men and winning converts. 
Some, as Whitefield and Moody, have a natural insight into the 
workings of the human heart. Others, as Jonathan Edwards, 
are reflective students and bring their knowledge to bear on 
the most specific, difficult and unusual conditions. Whether 
or not Mr. Moody ever had a formal acquaintance with psy- 
chology, no one knew better than he how to find and describe 
the stages of sin and consciousness of conversion. He knew 
the heart, its motives, its weaknesses, its longings, its defeats, 
and he knew how to touch its secret springs all the way from 
laughter to tears and from sin to the consciousness of forgive- 
ness. No more satisfying material is available for one who 
wishes to study the relation of psychology to evangelism than 
is provided in Mr. Moody's sermons as, for example, those on 
Lot and Zaechseus. In Jonathan Edwards' " Treatise con- 
cerning Eeligious Affections," one finds an almost perfect 
touch-stone for the tests of true conversion. No one else has 
ever written so thoroughly or with such subtle insight as he 

1 See p. 25. 



in his investigation and description of the various types of 
Christian experience. 

By " Evangelism " in this paper I mean that form of Chris- 
tian activity which seeks to make the gospel effective in human 
life, especially in the initial stages of renewal. It may then 
assume three forms : (1) Endeavour after social renovation, 
aiming at a gradual change of existing social conditions or an 
immediate application of Christian agencies to human need ; 
(2) Steady, prolonged, and continuous effort to persuade men 
to become Christians ; (3) Definite, organized, and periodic 
attempts for the immediate conversion of men. In what 
follows I refer particularly to (2) and (3). 

If psychology is not wholly new in respect to evangelism, 
it is new so far as it is now self-conscious and scientific. In 
looking around for opportunities to apply its interpretative 
suggestions, it has found in evangelism a promising field. On 
the other hand, evangelism, in inquiring how it may most 
effectually reach the individual and the community, has turned 
to psychology for its aid. 

In this paper only three aspects of our subject are pre- 
sented its bearing on sin, on the conditions of evangelism in 
the crowd and the individual, and on conversion. 


Psychology is of help to evangelism in the light which it 
throws on the nature of sin. It enables one to trace the 
genesis of sin in the individual and in the race, and thus to 
ascertain the present moral condition of the sinner. Psycho- 
logy has discerned the truth in "original righteousness," 
" original sin," "depravity," and " moral inability". It helps 
to an understanding of the " flesh *' and its relation to the 


"spirit"; it interprets the conflict which arises between 
these, and the nature of the responsibility which is connected 
with the surrender of the " spirit " to the " flesh ". It reveals 
the part played by social heredity in the formation of 
individual character. It shows how impulse, instinct, and 
desire are related to choice. It takes sin out of the field of 
theology and plants it in the field of experience. In the 
Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, in the terms which are trans- 
lated by " sin," it rediscovers the deep and permanent mean- 
ing which experience has stamped upon it missing the mark, 
error, folly, emptiness, wickedness, violence, rebellion, wrong, 
transgression, lawlessness. Psychology shows further that 
sin is sins, concrete deeds as well as a spirit of life, acts as 
well as habits. It makes it clear also that sinful actions are 
not always perfectly bad, that many actions are done from 
mixed motives, and that there is at times a heart of good in 
things evil Moreover, it helps us to see that the conscious- 
ness of sin is sometimes a feeling of unrest, due to the sense 
of defeat or imperfection, of social disharmony, of divine dis- 
approval ; at other times sin gathers up into itself the pierc- 
ing cry, " Against Thee, Thee only have I sinned ". 


Psychology is of value in its description of the conditions 
which lead up to effective conversion. These centre in the 
crowd and in the individual. Eecently the "crowd" has 
been subjected to a thorough-going analysis ; its fundamental 
notion has been defined, its mental characteristics described, 
and the laws upon which its suggestibility is conditioned have 
been formulated. It is evident, for example, that a revival is 
a form of impulsive social action and as such conforms to the 


law (1) of the origin of emotional states socially initiated, (2) 
of spread through imitation and geometrical progression, and 
(3) of restraint or diminution and final subsidence. In such 
a crowd, the reflective or critical faculty gives place to the re- 
ceptive, there is a tendency to suggestibility and contagion, 
and to do things which if the individuals were alone and apart 
from the crowd no one of them would do. Psychology shows 
why the evangelistic appeal is through familiar beliefs and 
convictions, why its formulas are also familiar with little use 
of reasoned exposition, how it gives rise to unconscious illu- 
sions, what part fear plays in the emotional awakening, why 
the leadership is important, and what the forces are which 
determine social evangelism, as imagination, customary beliefs, 
emotion, mental contagion and suggestibility, and the personal 
influence of the evangelist. Through psychology also we are 
aware of the value of the concomitants of evangelism, such as 
the preparations for the meetings, the place of assembly, the 
opening services, predisposing personal conditions, the prestige 
of the evangelist, and the general assumptions on which the 
meetings are conducted. The meanings of every one of the 
foregoing facts and conditions have been more or less under- 
stood through all the history of the Church, and evangelists 
have observed many of the requirements referred to, but not 
until a comparatively recent period have we been in a posi- 
tion to appreciate the specific mental bearing of all this, and 

adapt ourselves to it in evangelism. 



Psychology has helped us to a truer interpretation of the 
nature of conversion. An experience which often appeared 
utterly mysterious or was referred exclusively to the. will pr 


power of God, is now seen to be to a great extent at least, if 
not entirely, explicable by known psychological processes. In 
this way several troublesome matters have been more or less 
cleared up. 

1. Conversion has been studied inductively, with a view 
to ascertain what could be known about it as a human 
experience. For the time being the divine causal action was 
ignored and attention fixed on the human conditions and 
processes in which it takes place. Professors Starbuck and 
Goe were pioneers in this field, while to Professor William 
James is due our chief debt. 

2. Discoveries made in the field of the sub-consciousness 
are found of the highest significance in elucidating the experi- 
ence of conversion. Facts of the sub-conscious life derived 
from hypnotic and hysteric patients have provided material 
for accounting for many hitherto mysterious phenomena of 
religious conversion. We now know what kind of persons 
are the most likely subjects of an explosive form of this ex- 

3. Sudden and violent conversions have been brought 
within the law of the human consciousness. Similar pheno- 
mena., in the religious experience of the devotees of other 
religions have been studied and their results used to light up 
Christian conversion. Experiences also outside of the religious 
field explain the sudden emergence of emotional excitement 
in which in an instant the interest shifts and sets up a new 
and dominant direction of personal forces. 

4. Psychology has shown that there are two main types 
of conversion the volitional and the self-surrender and we 
understand now what it is in the consciousness of each in- 
dividual which predisposes him to one or other of these forms 



of experience. We now know why some conversions are the 
culmination of long striving for a better self, for higher ideals, 
for self-control in unity of will, for union with God, and we 
know why others are inwardly changed the very moment they 
leave off effort and relax, so that what they could not attain 
by the most strenuous endeavour becomes their sudden pos- 
session. We know too why it is that bitter opposition sub- 
sides and one finds himself at peace in accepting, just as a 
moment before he was at war in resisting, the gospel. 

5. Psychology has made it possible for us to understand 
the conditions which often accompany such conversions, some 
of which are more distinctly psychical, as the instantaneous 
reinforcement of the will, the peace after storm, the new light 
in which even the natural world appears, others of which are 
more definitely physical and are concerned with bodily dis- 
turbances, such as visions, auditions, shakings, and loss of 
muscular control. Professor Davenport in " Primitive Traits 
in Religious Eevivals" has introduced us to a very large 
number of such experiences at different periods and in widely 
separated regions of the world. Such instances are sus- 
ceptible of indefinite extension not only in Christian but also 
in non-Christian lands. 

6. Psychology enables us to distinguish more accurately 
the essential from the non-essential elements in conversion. 
All that Jonathan Edwards has so subtly and exhaustively 
described in his " Narrative of Surprising Conversions," and 
his " Eeligious Affections " is still further sharpened and made 
convincing by the aid of a more thorough psychological 
analysis. The fact of a sudden or a gradually realized con- 
version is entirely indifferent. Emotion or the lack of it, the 
physical condition at the time, and even unusual accompani- 


ments of the new attitude are also indifferent. Persons may 
experience a doctrine or a suggested experience of a given 
type, and still not have begun the new life. One and one 
thing only is necessary the beginning of that type of life 
which Jesus Christ lived, His attitude toward God, His at- 
titude toward men. Not all who enter upon this life believe 
the same things or are conscious of the same ideals, or give 
expression to the life in the same terms of conduct. If this 
new spirit now becomes "the hot place in a man's conscious- 
ness, . . . the habitual centre of his personal energy," 'psycho- 
logy pronounces him a Christian. 


ABRAHAM, 263. 

Active powers, 192, 214. 

Adams, Professor, 96. 

Affection, family, 56. 

Alexander, A. B. D., 63. 

America, 20. 

American Christianity, 21 ; 
preaching, 21. 

Amiel, 131, 155. 

Anatomy, 39. 

Aquinas, Thomas, 236, 247. 

Argyle, Duke of, 180. 

Aristotle, 148, 150, 191. 

Arnold's "Attention and In- 
terest," 96. 

Arnold, Matthew, 32, 35. 

Arrol, Sir William, 178. 

Association of Ideas, 148, 150. 

Attention, 93, 96, 97, 98. 

Augustine, St., 108, 120, 121, 

BACON, Lord, 192. 

Bain, Professor, 196. 

Baldwin, J. M., 148. 

Barbour, Dr. G. F., 32. 

Beauty, test of, 223. 

Beck, Professor, 18. 

Beckwith, Professor C. A., 25, 

Beecher, Rev. Henry Ward, 21. 

Begbie, Harold, 23. 

Bible, 19, 47. 

Body, 41, 47, 49, 51 ; sins of, 53, 

Bois, Professor Henri, 24. 

Brain, 69, 82, 107, 193; sub- 
stance, 81. 


Browne, Sir Thomas, 257. 
Briissau, Oskar, 258. 
Burns, Robert, 137, 209. 
Bush, Wendell T., 30. 

CALDERWOOD, Professor, 247. 

Calkins' " Science of Selves," 28. 

Carlyle, Thomas, 158. 

Categories, 176. 

Character, 163; formation of, 

Choice, 225 ; permanent, 228. 

Christian, definition of, 138. 

Christianity, 141, 210; problem 
of, 161. 

Ohrysostom, 236. 

Ooe, Professor, 273. 

Cognitive powers, 191. 

Columbus, 136. 

Commonsense, 171, 178. 

Conduct, 191, 215. 

Conscience, 58, 64, 71, 116, 202, 
222, 226, 235; implies exist- 
ence of God, 250 ; and religious 
faculty, 250 ; in Old Testament, 
235 ; in New Testament, 236 ; 
sequent, 240, 243, 249 ; ante- 
cedent, 243, 248, 249 ; Kant 
and, 239 ; Rousseau and, 239 ; 
Butler, and, 239; Martineau 
and, 239; Green and, 239; 
Shakspeare and, 241 ; in " Les 
Miserables," 241 ; Luther's de- 
finition of, 237 ; Calvin's de- 
finition of, 238 - ; Schoberlein's 
definition of, 237; English 
Deism and, 238 ; Protestantism 
and, 238. 



Consciousness, 111 ; of self, 115. 
Conversion, 20, 22, 26 ; two main 

types of, 273. 
Cook, Rev. Joseph, 240. 
Culture, gospel of, 32 ; mental, 


DALE, Dr., 24. 

Dante, 143. 

Davenport, Professor, 274. 

Day-dreams, 130. 

Decision, 225. 

Delitzsch, Professor, 18. 

Desire, 71, 219. 

Determination, 225. 

Determinism, doctrine of, 163. 

Dickson, Professor, 49. 

Dorner, Professor, 258. 

Drama, 133. 

Dreaming, 128. 

Drummond, Prof essor Henry, 28, 

Drunkenness, 51, 52. 

EAR, the, 80 ; the external, 77 ; 

the internal, 78 ; the drum of, 


Edison, 136. 
Edwards, Jonathan. 20, 208, 269. 


Eliot, George, 32. 
Emerson, 32. 
Emotion, 71, 194. 
Epic, 133. 

Eucken, Professor, 22. 
Evangelism, three forms of, 270. 
Excitement, religious, 21. 
Experience, 81 ; religious, 23, 24. 
Eye, 79, 80. 

FEELING, 70, 71, 191, 193, 217. 

Feelings, division of, 195, 196, 
197 ; the lowest and highest, 
202 ; the three master-feelings, 
206 ; education of, 200. 

Fichte, 32, 35. 

Fletcher's, "Psychology of the 
New Testament," 18. 

Forgiveness, 117. 
Frank, Professor von, 24. 

GASS, Dr. W., 236. 

Gibbon, 142. 

Glover, William, 40. 

Gluttony, 51. 

God, 117, 118 ; the Fatherhood 
of, 29 ; voice of, 90 ; Word of, 
183 ; kingdom of, 35, 141 ; the 
reason of the universe, 186. 

Goethe, 35. 

Good, conformity to the, 224. 

Gratitude, 117. 

Guilt, 115. 

"HABIT," the word, 162. 

Habit, 147 ; formation of, 151 ; 
strengthened by repetition, 
151 ; mind seat of, 153 ; body 
in its service, 153 ; good, may 
become tyrannical, 155 ; evil, 
easily acquired, 159; evil, ty- 
ranny of, 160 ; rules for break - 
ing-ofi, 161. 

Hamilton, Sir William, 37, 38, 

Hamlet, 167, 226. 

Harris, Professor Fraser, 201. 

Hearing, sense of, 77. 

" Heart," in Old Testament, 18, 
64 ; in New Testament, 64. 

Heart, 191, 194 ; " new," 65. 

Heredity, 99. 

Herzog, 24. 

Hobbes, 204. 

Hope, an instrument of salvation, 
140 ; and immortality, 142 ; 
modern form of, 142. 

Humanity, 59. 

Hume, David, 148. 

IDEALISM, modern, 74. 

Ideas, Association of, 148, 150 ; 

succession of, 148. 
Ihmels, 24. 
Illingworth, J. E., 27. 



Imagination, 42, 71, 125 ; 
" creative," 127 ; principal 
function of, 132, 135 ; highest 
service of, 139 ; dangers of, 
134 ; and hope, 139. 

Immortality, 30. 

Impressions, stream of, 86, 96, 
99 ; power of, 94, 112. 

Impulses, 71. 

Individuality, definition of, 33. 

Industry, 56, 57. 

Intellect, 37. 

Intellectual powers, 213. 

Interest, 95, 96. 

Introspection, 73. 

Isaac, 263. 

Iverach, Principal, 108. 

JACOB, 263. 

James, Professor William, 22, 23, 

38, 86, 147, 161, 214, 273. 
Jesuit Moralists, 237. 
John, St., 187. 
Johnson, Dr., 136. 
Judgment, Day of, 248. 

KANT, 244; Doctrine of the 

Categories, 176. 
Knowledge, 71, 81, 90, 191, 215 ; 

five gateways of, 74. 
Kostlin, 24. 

LABOUR, gospel of, 158. 
Ladd, Professor, 81, 93, 105. 
Laidlaw, Professor, 32, 60. 
Landor, Walter Savage, 201. 
" Life," term, 27 ; definition of, 


Livingstone, David, 136, 266. 
Logic, aim of science, 179 ; 

ancient, 73. 

" Lost," meaning of term, 28. 
Love, 58. 
Lust, 51, 52. 
Luthardt, 236. 
Luther, Martin, 237, 266. 

MACBETH, 241. 

McCosh, President, 37, 38, 195. 

McDougall's " Physiological Psy- 
chology, "84, 194. 

MacEwen, Sir William, 88. 

McHardy, Dr. , 36. 

Man, 39, 40, 43, 49, 50, 154; 
Bible view of, 48; "of the 
world," 55 ; " old," 65, 252 ; 
"new," 65, 252; on physical 
side, 74. 

Materialism, 106, 107. 

Matter, 83, 85. 

Memory, 42, 71,. 92, 104, 110, 
114, 115 ; two powers of, 104 ; 
"good," 112; Mother of the 
Muses, 115 ; and imagination, 

" Might," in Old Testament, 18. 

Milton, 143. 

Mind, 87, 88, 127, 167 ; materi- 
alistic theory of, 107 ; and 
habit, 153 ; knowledge of by 
the ancients, 72. 

Momerie, 27. 

Moody, D. L., 269. 

Mystics, 237, 251. 

NATURE, human, 34, 47, 48, 60 ; 

perfection of, 252. 
Nerves, system of, 69, 70, 74, 79 ; 

sensory, 192, 216, 218 ; motor, 

192, 216, 218. 
Netoliczka, 0., 33. 
Newton, 174. 
Niebergall, 34. 
Nietzsche, 38, 203. 
Novel, 133. 

OMISSION, sins of, 116. 

PARABLE of Prodigal Son, 140, 


Patriotism, 198. 
Paul, St., 18, 19, 92, 98, 205, 

209, 230, 266 ; his conception 

of the Church, 267. 
Perception, 71, 92. 


Personality, 27, 28; definition 
of, 33. 

Peter, St., 36, 138. 

Philanthropy, 56. 

Philosophy, Scottish School of, 
37 ; mechanical, 194. 

Physiology, 40, 214; Ancients' 
notion of, 72. 

Plato, 92, 120, 148, 150, 260. 

Plotinus, 115. 

Prayer, habit of, 159. 

Protestant worship, 185. 

Protestantism, 139. 

"Psyche/' 35. 

Psychology, 36, 39, 42, 70, 71, 
213, 215, 219 ; English school 
of, 148 ; and conversion, 26, 
271, 272 ; and Evangelism, 
269 ; and sin, 269 ; purpose of, 

" 18; of Eeligion, 20, 21, 25, 
26 ; Biblical, 17, 19, 24, 25, 26, 
47 ; Pauline, 64, 253 ; Chris- 
tian, definition of, 26, 29, 39, 
47 ; of sanctification, 26 ; of 
evangelization, 26. 


Reason, 58, 92, 167, 222 ; work 
of, 167 ; creative power, 168 ; 
cultivation of, 177 ; religious 
use of, 181 ; has to do with 
means to ends, 171 ; has to do 
with cause and effect, 172 ; 
faculty of comparison, 169. 

Reasoning, 71. 

Recollection, 104. 108, 126. 

Reformation, 184. 

Religion, 39, 137, 208. 

Resolution, 225. 

Retention, 104, 105, 108. 

Reverie, 129, 130. 

Revival, definition of, 271. 

Richard III., 241. 

Romanism, 139. 

SALVATION, definition of, 29. 
Scaliger, 113. 
Schleiermacher, 208, 261. 

Schmidt, 240. 
Schoberlein, 237. 
Scott, Sir Walter, 106, 245. 
Seeing, sense of, 77. ' 

Self," meaning of the, 27. 
Self, the subconscious, 108. 
Self-control, 157, 220. 
Sensation, 71 ; pure, 90. 
Senses, the five, 69, 74, 81 ; of 

animals, 75. 
Sentiments, 71. 
Seth, Professor, 37. 
Shakspeare, 225, 257. 
Shand, Alexander F., 258. 
Sin, 147, 182. 
Smell, sense of, 76. 
Socrates, 260. 
" Soul," in Old Testament, 18 ; 

in New Testament, 27 ; term 

of Jesus, 29, 30, 39. 
Soul, the, 40, 41, 42, 47, 51, 54, 

64, 74 ; Bible use of, 54. 
Spencer, Herbert, 86. 
Spirit, 47, 51, 58 ; the work of, 

59 ; supremacy of, 61. 
Spots, temperature, 76 ; pres- 
sure, 76. 

Starbuck, E. D., 22, 23, 223. 
Stearns, Professor, 228. 
Steven, Dr. Gk, 24. 
Strong, T. B., 207. 
Sympathy, 198. 

TACT, 177. 

Taste, sense of, 76. 

Taylor, Jeremy, 238. 

Taylor, Dr. W. M, 98. 

Temperament, the sanguine, 259, 
260 ; the phlegmatic, 259, 260, 
the choleric, 259, 261 ; the 
melancholic, 260, 261. 

"Temperament," the word, 258. 

Temperaments, the four, 257. 

Temperaments, the temptations 
of, 262, 264 ; special virtues of, 
265 ; mixed, 261 ; national, 261. 

Temple, on Personality, 27. 

Tennyson, Lord, 92, 240. 



Theology, Biblical, 17, 18. 
Thomson, Professor Hanna, 73, 


Thought, concentration of, 167. 
Touch, sense of, 75, 76. 
Trent, Council of, 117- 
Truth, test of , 223. 
Tyndall, Professor, 86, 136. 

Universe, 175. 

VINET, 37. 
Volition, 71. 

WARD, Professor, 94. 

Wellington, Duke of, 154. 

Wendt, 49. 

Wesleys, the, 208. 

Whitefield, George, 269. 

Whyte, Principal, 155, 258. 

Will, 71, 93, 202, 213; freedom 
of, 220 ; power of, 228 ; 
"good," 225. 

Wilson's " Gateways of Know- 
ledge," 81. 

Wisdom literature, 182. 

Wobbermin, 20. ^ 

Woman, the "worldly," 56. 

Work and wages, 158. 

YOUTH, 198. 




M.A., D.D. 

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