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Miscellaneous Correspondence, &c.
An History of a DIABETES caused by Swimming. T
HO'hypotheses in physic have not produced the benefit pro
posed by them, yet the knowledge of a theory raised from experience, and built upon the solid basis of fact, seems to be a necessary qualification of a physician. The animal fabric is a machine, and the application of mechanical laws to medicinal purposes must be a right way of proceeding. How serviceable towards the discovery of truth this way of reasoning has been in the explication of a Diabetes, the nature and seat of which are disputed, may be seen in a pamphlet upon the subject lately printed at Oxford: whoever the author of that treatise be, I beg leave to join with him in assigning the seat of this disorder to the kidney, and the immediate cause of it, how various or complicated soever the causes antecedent may be, to a debility of the tubuli urinarii of that organ; in confirmation of which is given the following history.
A school-boy was so excessively fond of swimming, that at play-hours he was seldom out of the water. He continued this practice for some time without any inconvenience to appearance, but at last growing weak and thin, was discovered to labour under an immoderate discharge of urine. He was committed to the care of a neighbouring apothecary, by whose assistance he regain'd his health.
What were the means used for his cure I know not, but the indications seem to be sudorifics, and gentle astringents alternately with balsamics at intervals.---- Thus much is certain, the external vessels of the body being contracted in their diameters by the pressure of the water, and transpiration impeded, if not fuppress'd, the parts within must be over-loaded; the secretory ducts of the kidneys suffer'd a diftention, which being continual, render’d them unable to preserve their tone; now, other particles than those of urine, together with that, pass’d through them ; some water too, passing through the skin, probably contributed to the increase of this secretion. Hence are deducible the pain in the loins, debility of the whole body, sweeetness of the urine, hectic fever, thirst, &c. a connexion of phenomena which attend this disorder.
This, Sir, may be of some use, and your publishing it will oblige
A Doubt relating to a Pasage in the Rev. Mr Stackhouse's APPARATUS to the New Testament.
Parce precor, precor.
Person of obfcurity, and weak, if any abilities, that accuses an
author of an eftablished reputation, runs the same risk as a comnon soldier, who charges a celebrated general with pufillanimity, or a faux pas in the Military Art. Should he have the good fortune to e1cape the animadversion of the person accused, yet the publick immediately take the alarm, resolved to vindicate the justness of their opinion, they ftigmatize the offender with the ntoft virulent reproaches, and impute the offence to arrogant ignorance, conceited impudence, a chi. merical fagacity, or malicious envy. As my present undertaking may be looked upon as an attempt of this nature, and consequently lubject me to so terrible a treatment, I believe it will not be imprudent to give this previous hint, namely that at the same time I am finding fault with, I have the greatest veneration for the Rev. Author, and tho'I do give the stroke, yet, with Brutus, I give it with love.
Should this be sufficient to divert the rage of the publick, I have nothing inore to fear. I am secure from any of the least apprehengons of centure from the learned divine: but fecure, only on account of my own obscurity, not my superior strength, just as a imall fkiff is fafe from the upper tier of a first-rate ship; that is, not because of its own superior force, but the other's superior height. Yet still I cannot but tremble for fear I am blaming Mr Stackhouse on account of my own incapacity, and accuse his principles as wrong, only because I do not comprehend or understand them, If this should prove my case, I hope that he will look upon me as an object of pity, tho' of no importance, and clear up my doubts, if not from conviction, at least from compassion.
The suspicious, perhaps mistaken, passage occurs page 6th of Mir Stackhou e's APPARATUS to the New Testament, where the learned Author, to solve an objection against the gospel dispensation's being deferr'd so long, argues “ that as God hath discovered himself to be a
God of order and not of confufion, it seem'd on that account requisite “ that he should proceed by degrees, and not introduce the most perfect
dispensation, till others of an inferior and less perfect nature had gone « before.” This he establishes by the analogy, as he says, “ found in the creation of the world; we read, says he, that Trees and “ Plants, and all kinds of vegetables were made before Man, who has a “ rational soul, and is the most excellent of all God's works in this " lower world; ” and from hence he infers that we may, “ by parity of “ reason, suppose that he should make the same gradation in his reve“ lations.” “Now if what he lays down be an adequate description of order, God must act up to that to be a God of order; and if he make ule of a method quite opposite, it will then follow (I tremble to think it) that huis a God of confufion. To be then a God of order, according to the Rev. Mr Stackbouse's pofition, he muti, in lis works of crcation, beyin from the moit imperfez?, and so ascend by a continual gradation tothole which are the mo' per fest. He s'ut coníequently baie made the chaos the first link in the chain of his operations, and the creation of Angels the latt. But this method, however plaufivie it may appear in Iheory, is quite inconiiitent with Fast, * and has not the good icrtuse to be countenanced by Scripture; for it if the morning Stars fung tog: ther, and all the fons of God flouted for joy, when God laid the foundations of the earth ; then were the Angels existent, at least on the third day of the creation, when God separated the waters from the dry lard, I if not before the first, when the earth was without form and void.Ş The inference that I would draw from hence is so plain that every one, even he that runneth, may see it.
If it be here objected, that I am all this while on a wrong scent ; that I am combating a chimæra of my own brain; and that the learned writer's argument no ways relates to the creation of superior spirits, but is liinited by his own words, the very words that I have cited, to this lower world; I beg leave to reply that, tho' I should grant all this, which I might chule to do, yet itill the argument, as it seems to me, mult be fue, even under this refriction. For it would prove that Man was, or pould have been, formed not before, but after Woman ; that is, in other words, that God acted either inconsistently with infinite wisdom, or the scriptures themselves are false. The mother of mankind was cer: tainly, as our Engli/h tomer nobly expresies it,
in the prime end
O’er other creatures. So that we find, even in this latter and more restrained sense, that the work of God did not terminate in the highest, and pureft, and noblest degree of perfection. But does it follow from hence, that this mighty work is inconsistent with infinite wisdom, unworthy of divine omnisci. ence, and incompatible with order? I hope, I am confident, it does not.
The inquisitive, perhaps, may expect that I should prove this, and reit better fatisfied, if i lhould wire-draw the present argument through two or three pages moie. But I am not any ways inclin’d, nor, if inclin'd, could I please persons of this cast of mind: besides that I had rather merit the praise of modesty for having faid too little, than incor the brard of impudence, or oftentation for having said too much.
However as there are persons of a different temper, who may justly infift upon my giving reałons for my assertion, or on my refusing to do so call upon me to recant, I add, that the order of the creation may be accounted for from other principles; principles that must strike conviction into the hearts of the moft iceprical, and silence the cavils of the most prejudiced.
The reason why man and woman should be produced rather towards the end than the beginning of the creation, is very well accounted for by the Rev. Mr Stackhouse himself in his first Dissertation to the History of the Bible. But does he assert there that God made Man and
Woman B. dy of Divinity, last Edit. p. 18.b. † Job 38, 7. I Gen. 1, 9. § Gen. 1, 2.
woman laft, because they were the most perfe&t of all his sublunary works, or because it was requisite that works of a less perfect nature should go before those of a more perfect one? No: but because it wou'd have been improper to have introduced them into the world before the earth was a fit habitation for them. The original paffage is beautifully sublime, but as it is too long to be transcribed, and too good to be a. bridged without a sensible and inevitable disadvantage, let me refer the reader to it.
But if this realon shou'd not prove satisfactory, and there shou'd still appear fome confusion adhering to the phænomenon, let us persuade ourselves that it is a regular confusion, that all seeming chance is dire&tion, and all imaginary discord, harmony. In the prelent case I am apt to think, whatever it may be thought with respect to common occurrences, that it is no contemptible way of accounting for the concealed reasons of the deity's operations, to say, that he docs act so because he does a&t fo. However this I am confident of, that, though it is justifiable to pronounce the foolishness of God wiser than men, it is by no means so, to say, that the foolishness of men is wiser than God.
I am apt to think that I fee, and cou'd account for our author's mistake, by unravelling the process of the human mind, in establishing such a standard of order as he has given us. But as I am timorous of being thought guilty or too great a degree of temerity and presumption already, I shall not aggravate it by saying any more on this head. Yet before I conclude I must beg the Revd Author's pardon for what I have already 'dere, and hope that he will be excited to it on account of what I have declin'd to do. I am,
Mr URBAN, bis and your Jesus College, Oxon.
conftant Perufer, Sept. 10, 1745
and unprejudiced Admirer,
A Mert VIE w of Bishop BROWN's Procedure
of Human Understanding, and of bis Divine Analogy.
(See No. V. p. 248.) *
U R five senses are the only inlets of those ideas which are the O
iniise groundwork of all our knowledge, both human and divine. Without ideas of some sort or other, we cou'd have no knowledge at all; for to know a thing, is to have some representation of it in the mind; but we cannot think till we have fome idea, or semblance of an object, to think upon; and without our senses we cou'd not have one internal idea or semblance of any thing without us. The soul then only begins to operate, when it is suppiy'd by sensation with materials to work upon. To know what an idea is, look upon a tree, and then immediately shut your eyes, and try whether you retain any fimilitude of what you saw ; and if you find any such within you, call that an idea. Thus it is thai all the great variety of objects in the visible creation is let in
upon Mr Locke has plainly prov'd that there are no innate ideas,
upon the mind thro' the senses ; as all the parts of a delightful and spacious landschape are contracted, and convey'd into a dark chamber, by a little artificial eye in the wall, and so become conspicuous and distinguishable in miniature.
The word idea ought to be confind to our sensations only, in distinction from the operations and affections of the mind, whereof we have an immediate consciousness, and from thole complex notions or conceprions form’d by the mind, out of its operations and the ideas of seniation in conjunction. Thus, we have an idea of a house, a cursciousness of thinking or grief, and a complex notion of justice, mercy, and charity.
Nothing is properly an I idea, but what stands in the mind for an image or representation of something which is not in it; the thing muit be without us ; and because it cannot itself enter, the likeness of it only, is convey'd thro' the senses into the imagination, which is by nature dispos’d for receiving and retaining any impression. But the operations of ihe mind are themselves within us, and are not known by any fimilitude of them in the imagination, but we have an immediate consciousness of the operations themselves.
The imagination is, as it were, the store-house or repository of the ideas of things. It has its name from the images of external objects lodg’d in it: And may be conceiv'd as if it were the intellect's place of acling, and the scene of all its operations. When we say a man has a lively or working imagination, it is but a mistaken and vulgar way of expresling the more dextrous and sprightly operations of the intelliet upon the ideas in the imagination: And consists particularly in a quick and ready comparison of them with one another, and placing them together in luch a light, as that they shall actually reflect a beauty and lustre from one to the other, and by that mcans produce a surprize and pleasure in the mind.
Senfitive perception, or the simple perception of obje&ts by ideas, is to be well dillinguish'd from the simple apprehension, or view of those ideas by the intellect. In receiving the ideas of outward objects we are altogether passive, but our after-view of them can't be perforind by meer matter, without the concurrence of an immaterial principle. * The con. sequence of sensitive perception is an idea, but fimple apprehension only views one already made.
Ideas of sensation are immediate ; for in sensation the object must be present, and some actual impression of it upon the organs of iense; the idea of it therefore is perceiv’d without the intervention of any other idea.
They are likewise direit. For instance, when we look strait in a man's face, this gives us a direct idea of it; but if we had never seen that face but in a glass, it wou'd have given us an indirect idea, or bare relemblance of it: So that an indirect idea or conception is, when we rever difcern’d the thing itself, but either in a meer feadow, or a more perfect fimilitude of it in something else.
Of 1 The famous Mr Locke extends the word idea to every thing that is the object of the mind in thinking:
Our Author endeavour'd to prove from scripture that chere are three conft:cueno parts in man, viz, Body, Soul, and Spirit.