Another primary truth
This is the knowledge of
ourselves - the
ourselves with our self-existence.
We know that we exist - and in that
existence we recognize our personality.
Man is composed of matter and
mind - by some
mysterious combination united - and we may divide our
identity into bodily and mental.
identity is the
sameness of the
bodily organization - the man in figure - as we behold him with our
particles of matter of which the body is composed may
change - but its shape and structure and its physical creation are the
oneness of the thinking and reasoning principle.
It is not divisible
composed of particles, etc.,
nor does it change or cease to
It remains as it was
- with all its eternal powers
Upham, in his work on Intellectual
Philosophy in reference to
this subject, uses the
"It was a saying of
Seneca that no man
bathes twice in the same river; and still we call it the same, although
the water within its banks is constantly passing away. And in like
manner we identify the human body - although it constantly changes."
man as we behold him - in his bodily and
mental nature - mysteriously and
The old soldier who has
fought the battles
of his country in the days of the American
Revolution will recount his
deeds of valor and his heroic sufferings to his youthful listeners -
doubting that he is really the same old soldier who was in his
country's service some sixty years before.
The early settlers of
our country - as they
look abroad over the cultivated plain - never doubt that they are
the same individuals, who some forty years before, felled the trees of
the forest and turned the wilderness into a fruitful garden!
So is man constituted -
that his own
identity is one of the first primary truths.
We are so constituted
that we believe - or
rather there seems to be an authoritative principle within us of
giving confidence or credence to certain propositions and truths which
are presented to our minds.
Among the first things which the mind
admits is that there is no beginning or change without a cause - that
nothing could not create something.
When any new principle
is discovered - man
immediately seeks out the cause... looks for some moving "power" - as
though it could not be self-creative and self-acting.
In contemplating the
Thus it is
beholding the beautiful planetary system...
the sun... the moon... and the
regulated and controlled
by undeviating laws...
who does not say
these are the results
of some mighty creative
power of their existences
and harmonious motions
was originated beyond
a motive power.
Matter and mind have
and fixed laws, and they are always subject to - and controlled by -
We are not to suppose otherwise - unless we
give up our belief that any
object is governed or directed.
Yet we are not to suppose that the same
laws apply both to matter and
Each has its peculiar, governing
principle - and in as much as mind, in its nature, deviates from matter
so may its laws deviate.
We all believe
earth will continue
to revolve on its axis
and perform its
around the sun...
that summer and winter...
seed-time and harvest...
will continue to succeed
"that the decaying plants of
will revive again in
This belief does not
arise in the mind at
once - but has its origin now in one instance... and then in another -
it becomes universal.