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revelation and destruction of any Church founded thereon. It is, however, one of the most hopeful signs of the times, that there are men like Mr. Clissold, who can face materialism on its own ground, without flinching, and who, as we think, can defeat it with its own weapons, without coming to the despairing conclusion that science and religion are necessarily antagonistic.
Space will not allow that we should attempt anything like an analysis of Mr. Clissold's work, and we can only say that the utmost fairness is shown in the treatment of the subject, that due prominence is given to the arguments on both sides of the question, and that we never find the facts strained to meet any favourite view of the author. This is high praise in a subject which is in its nature obscure, and which has formed a field for much and bitter controversy.
Mr. Clissold's work ought to be in the hands of every medico-psychologist, and should be carefully studied by those who believe in the ultimate victory of a spiritual philosophy. We must confine our own notice of it here to a brief consideration of the concluding chapter, in which most of the subjects treated of in the body of the work are summarized and their results formulated.
The first step towards the foundation of a true system of psychology is to wholly disabuse our minds of the belief that mental science is by its nature necessarily unfathomable and impenetrable. As was forcibly pointed out by the late Professor Goodsir, perhaps the greatest anatomist of this century, psychology differs from the other sciences solely in the methods of investigation which it is compelled to use. In studying the phenomena presented by the external world, man employs his senses, which are adapted and designed to take cognizance of phenomena external to himself. In studying psychology man employs his faculty of self-consciousness, which is equally well adapted and designed to take note of the phenomena of his psychical constitution. If it is argued that man's self-consciousness may lead him astray in such an investigation, the answer is, that no doubt it may and sometimes does; but the senses are equally liable to fallacy in investigating objective phenomena. In both cases alike, patience, care, and above all, education of the faculty employed, are necessary before the results arrived at can be depended upon. By the comparison of the phenomena which man's self-consciousness reveals to him of his own mental constitution with those phenomena of a like nature which he can observe in other men, by comparing these again with the phenomena presented in morbid states of the mind, and by studying the mental phenomena exhibited
by animals, we obtain all the materials necessary for the construction of a rational and scientific system of psychology. Much has to be done before this can actually be brought into existence, but the first step in the process is the conviction of its possibility.
Mr. Clissold, further, rightly points out that a higher psychology is impossible unless it be allowed that we can extend the limits of consciousness beyond time and space, and unless we reject the ancient proposition that “the soul is a simple substance, having no parts.” On this latter point he observes :
“ As to the merely metaphysical notion of immortality, be it observed, that a simple and uncompounded substance is only an ens rationis, an abstract entity, not a real being : in reality it is non-existent, and what is non-existent cannot be immortal. The very proposition which was intended to oppose materialism, is thus itself one principal source of it. For revealed theological truth is positive: it is infidelity that is negative: and how can positive theological truth concern itself with mere negations? or, how can medico-psychology concern itself with the pathology of simple and uncompounded substances, which, like the point in geometry, have no parts or no magnitude? Mind in this case is virtually a nonentity, and matter only remains. Whereas if we conceive the spirit of man as a composite substance, as fearfully and wonderfully made as is the material body; if, in fine, we regard it as a spiritually organized substance, or as a spiritual body endowed with living organs corresponding to those of the material body, we then come to a positive idea of mind; and at once establish a relation between the natural body and the spiritual body; and, as such, the relation, so important to medico-psychology, between matter and spirit, between the organisation of mind and the organisation of matter. In this way we open up a communication between the natural and supernatural; for what we call the supernatural, is in its own world as natural as are the laws of nature to us in our present state of being.”
As a matter of course, the view which we adopt as to the nature of all morbid mental phenomena must depend entirely upon what view we hold as to the nature of the mind and its relations with its organized implement, the brain. If mental activity is a mere product of the brain, and if “thought is as much a function of matter as motion is,” then, of course, insanity in all its forms is merely disease of some part or other of the brain, to be treated by purely physical and material remedies. If, on the other hand, the soul of man is “a spiritual organized substance, or a spiritual body endowed with living organs
corresponding to those of the material body," and if the brain is merely to the soul what the conductor is to electricity or what the paint brush is to the inspired artist, then it is perfectly clear that insanity may be due to a diseased state of the soul as well as of the brain, or to both combined. A man may be spiritually insane, his soul alone being the seat of the morbid process, in which case cure would only be possible by spiritual means. Or, it might be that the brain alone should be diseased, and that the man should still appear to be insane, the diseased organ being unable to fulfil the behests of the mind, and distorting all its external manifestions. Or, lastly, it might be that both mind and brain should be disordered, the mind probably primarily, and that the remedy would be found in both spiritual end material medicine. As a matter of fact, it is probable that most cases of what is properly called “mania” are due to disease and disorganization of the soul, not necessarily attended with any corresponding lesion of the brain. We know, by actual experience, that the causes of mania are in the great majority of cases of a spiritual, and not of a material nature. On the other hand, it is probable that most cases of what is called “amentia,” or idiotcy, are due to arrested development of the brain, and do not necessarily imply that the individual affected is devoid of spiritual faculties.
It is hardly necesary to say that Mr. Clissold is an upholder of the doctrine that mental disease is often, probably in the majority of cases, wholly unconnected with disease of the brain, except as a secondary result. As regards the causes of mental disease it is equally unnecessary to remark that our author regards these as being of a spiritual nature and as due to the influx of evil spirits. It is not possible here to enter upon the evidence by which this proposition may be sustained; but the following passage deserves quotation, as showing the true position, from this point of view, of the normal and sane man :-"God is the only Being of whom it can be strictly said, that He is, and He lives. He is, as the sun, a consuming fire; but a fire that imparts the vital heat of love, and the vital light of truth; as such He is the source of all the activities of life, or of all vital forces. Hence between this Divine solar fire and man there is an indefinite series of spiritual beings or intermediate forces, which, in virtue of their ultimate influx into the human mind, are the sources of all the changes in the will and understanding; thus of all vital action in the brain, the heart, the lungs, in fine of all the organs of the body. Without this influx from the spiritual world, we cannot think a thought, or stir a step, or move
a finger, or lift an arm; and it is in this sense that God is the First Cause of all motion.”
All men alike are subject to this influx from the spiritual world, but the influx
may be from hell by means of evil spirits or from God through good spirits. In the former case, the individual is morally insane, even if he be not legally so. In the latter case, the individual is sane; but here there is a point of difference to be observed. Ordinarily, in our present dispensation, the individual is wholly unconscious of the spiritual fingers by which his soul is played upon. If, however, he becomes conscious of these spiritual influences, he becomes more or less a prophet.
“The degree and mode of that consciousness have varied under different dispensations; but it has been more or less continued in and by the prophetic spirit, in the form of dreams, visions, voices, and secret inspirations of ideas. Through these forms of consciousness it is that ministering spirits or angels of God have communicated to man those truths of Divine wisdom, which have now assumed a permanent and written form, under the title of “ The Word of God.” But it is the Word of God clothing itself in the outward form of consciousness proper to the age in which it was written; otherwise, at that time, the book would have been of no use. As human consciousness is not now what it was then, the office of the prophet in these days consists in opening those divine truths, which themselves open new regions of consciousness, and bring man back into a nearer connection with that region of consciousness from which he had fallen. . From these remarks it is evident that there are two sources of human knowledge ; the one from within, the other from without; the ono from the will, the other from the senses; the one internal, the other external; and to these two sources the apostle referred, when he said, Eye hath not seen, neither hath ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive, the things which God hath laid up for them that love
but God hath revealed them to us by His Spirit.' This knowledge is not derived from observation and experiment by means of the senses; but from revelation within, by means of an inward intuition of the truth arising from, and leading to, an elevation of the affections. This is that source of knowledge which peculiarly distinguishes the prophetic spirit, which is in harmony with true science, but in direct opposition to Naturalism and Materialism.”
We will conclude this brief notice of a work which must be studied to be appreciated, by quoting Mr Clissold's remarks upon the assertion
of a modern scientific man, that “the pretensions of theologians that the early ages of mankind were nearer the fountain of truth and knowledge than ourselves, hardly merit examination ; basking, as we do, in the light thrown upon palæontological problems by natural philosophy, by the sciences of astronomy, geology, and zoology."
“ It is obvious that the perfection of human nature is here assigned to the Scientific spirit, as opposed to the Prophetic; and as, in the early ages of mankind, Scripture represents the transition from knowledge from within to knowledge from without to be a fall; and the coming of the Messiah to be the means by which man was to be made to rise again; so the scientific spirit regards the fall as a real elevation in the scale of man's being, and the elevation effected by the Messiah as a descent. Hence the natural and material is in these days all in all. The Messianic idea, in any shape, must be merely the vague sense which the mystical, unscientific mind conceives of the progress of the universal mind of humanity; and the doctrine vulgarly termed the immortality of the soul, or individual sentient principle, is reduced to the ideal conception which the cerebral function has of infinite duration in the future; precisely as the obsolete one of pre-existence springs from a sense of the infinite in the past.' Future existence is thus no more a reality to man than pre-existence; both immortality and pre-existence being alike the ideal conception formed by the cerebral function.”
“Now, if it be alleged, that the prophetic spirit apart from the scientific tends to insanity; so does the scientific apart from the prophetic. Materialism is the creed of moral insanity; nay, as founded upon the alienation of the moral senses, it is itself a moral insanity. A person may be outwardly sane, but inwardly insane ; or he may be outwardly insane, but inwardly sane. The body of a person may be possessed with demons, but not his mind; or his mind may be possessed with demons, but not his body. When our Lord said, “In my name shall they cast out devils ;” it is certain that they were to do so in consequence of being endowed with the prophetic spirit; wisdom was to cast out folly; sanity was to cast out insanity; health was to cast out disease, virtue to cast out vice, and innocence to cast out guilt. But sanity is nothing apart from a sane being; and insanity is nothing apart from an insane being. One abstraction cannot cast out another, nor can one flow into the other. But angels may cast out devils ; one sphere may flow into another; and, if the two are opposite the stronger of the two will dissipate the other."
H. A. N.