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ness. Is it not enough to have removed the malignant bodies which eclipsed the royal sun, and mixed their bad influences with his, and would you extinguish the sun itself to secure yourselves ? 0! this is the spirit of bondage to fear, and not of love and a sound mind. To assume the office and the name of champions for the common interest, and of Christ's soldiers, and yet to act for self-safety is so poor and mean a thing that it must needs produce most vile and absurd actions, the scorn of the old pagans, but for Christians who in all things are to love their neighbour as themselves, and God above both, it is of all affections the unworthiest. Let me be a fool and boast, if so I may shew you, while it is yet time, a little of that rest and security which I and those of the same spirit enjoy, and which you have turned your backs upon; self, like a banished thing, wandering in strange ways. First, then, I fear no party, or interest, for I love all, I am reconciled to all, and therein I find all reconciled to me. I have enmity to none but the son of perdition. It is enmity begets insecurity: and while men live in the flesh, and in enmity to any party, or interest, in a private, divided, and self good, there will be, there cannot but be, perpetual wars ; except that one particular should quite ruin all other parts and live alone, which the universal must not, will not, suffer. For to admit a part to devour and absorb the others, were to destroy the whole, which is God's presence therein; and such a mind in any part doth not only fight with another part, but against the whole. Every faction of men, therefore, striving to make themselves absolute, and to owe their safety to their strength, and not to their sympathy, do directly war against God who is love, peace, and a general good, gives being to all and cherishes all, and, therefore, can have neither peace nor security. But we being enlarged into the largeness of God, and comprehending all things in our bosoms by the divine spirit, are at rest with all, and delight in all; for we know nothing but what is, in its essence, in our own hearts. Kings, nobles, are much beloved of us, because they are in us, of us, one with us, we as Christians being kings and lords by the anointing of God.”
But such sentiments, it will be said, are the flights of speculative minds. Be it so; yet to soar is nobler than to creep. We attach, likewise, some value to a thing for its mere infrequency. And speculative minds, alas ! have been rare, though not equally rare, in all ages and countries of civilized man. With us the very word seems to have abdicated its legitimate sense. Instead of designating a mind so constituted and disciplined as to find in its own wants and instincts an interest in truths for their truth's sake, it is now used to signify a practical schemer, one who ventures beyond the bounds of experience in the formation and adoption of new ways and means for the attainment of wealth or power. To possess the end in the means, as it is essential to morality in the moral world, and the contra-distinction of goodness from mere prudence, so is it, in the intellectual world, the moral constituent of genius, and that by which true genius is contra-distinguished from mere talent. *
The man of talent, who is, if not exclusively, yet chiefly and characteristically a man of talent, seeks and values the means wholly in relation to some object not therein contained. His means may be peculiar ; but his ends are conventional, and common to the mass of mankind. Alas! in both cases alike, in that of genius, as well as in that of talent, it too often happens, that this diversity in the quality of their several intellects, extends to the feelings and impulses properly and directly moral, to their dispositions, habits, and maxims of conduct. It characterizes not the intellect alone, but the whole man. The one substitutes prudence for virtue, legality in act and demeanor for warmth and purity of heart, and too frequently becomes jealous, envious, a coveter of other men's good gifts, and a detractor from their merits, openly or secretly, as his fears or his passions chance to preponderate.f
* See the note to this essay.-Ed.
+ According to the principles of Spurzheim's cranioscopy (a scheme, the indicative or gnomonic parts of which have a stronger support in facts than the theory in reason or
The other, on the contrary, might remind us of the zealots for legitimate succession after the decease of our sixth Edward, who not content with having placed the rightful sovereign on the throne, would wreak their vengeance on “the meek usurper,” who had been seated on it by a will against which she had herself been the first to remonstrate, For with that unhealthful preponderance of impulse over motive, which, though no part of genius, is too often its accompaniment, he lives in continued hostility to prudence, or banishes it altogether; and thus deprives virtue of her guide and guardian, her prime functionary, yea, the very organ of her outward life. Hence a benevolence that squanders its shafts and still misses its aim, or resembles the charmed bullet that, levelled at the wolf, brings down the shepherd. Hence desultoriness, extremes, exhaustionAnd thereof cometh in the end despondency and madness !*
common sense) we should find in the skull of such an individual the organs of circumspection and appropriation disproportionately large and prominent compared with those of ideality and benevolence. It is certain that the organ of appropriation, or (more correctly) the part of the skull asserted to be significant of that tendency and correspondent to the organ, is strikingly large in a cast of the head of the famous Dr. Dodd; and it was found of equal dimension in a literary man, whose skull puzzled the cranioscopist more than it did me. Nature, it should seem, makes no distinction between manuscripts and money-drafts, though the law does.
Let it not be forgotten, however, that these evils are the disease of the man, while the records of biography furnish ample proof, that genius, in the higher degree, acts as a preservative against them ; more remarkably, and in more frequent instances, when the imagination and preconstructive power have taken a scientific or philosophic direction; as in Plato, indeed in almost all the first-rate philosophers, in Kepler, Milton, Boyle, Newton, Leibnitz, and Berkeley. At all events, a certain number of speculative minds is necessary to a cultivated state of society, as a condition of its progressiveness; and nature herself has provided against any too great increase in this class of her productions. As the gifted masters of the divining rod to the ordinary miners, and as the miners of a country to the husbandmen, mechanics, and artizans, such is the proportion of the trismegisti to the sum total of speculative minds, even of those, I mean, that are truly such; and of these again, to the remaining mass of useful labourers and operatives in science, literature, and the learned professions.
This train of thought brings to my recollection a conversation with a friend of my youth, an old man of humble estate ; but in whose society I had great pleasure. The reader will, I hope, pardon me if I embrace the opportunity of recalling old affections, afforded me by its fitness to illustrate the present subject. A sedate man he was, and had