Page images

application of this system to all the varieties of national and individual character.

With this subject, that of Temperaments is closely connected, and the Author found herself obliged to postpone the consideration of the laws of human physiognomy until she had been able fully to define the modifications which arise, in their application, from this source. Her work on Temperaments never extended beyond the sketch which appears in this volume. But her mind, in the latter years of her life, was comparatively little occupied with the merely scientific exposition of those observations concerning human character which would properly have found their place in a work on Physiognomy. Her strength, indeed, did not allow such an undertaking. Yet the several standards of Beauty applied in the first part of this work exclusively to inanimate nature, seem irresistibly to have suggested to her, before its close, those various types of human character which remarkably fall under the same classification, and are equally with natural objects revelations of the Divine character from which they







As there is but one good, and that good is God; so is there but one Beautiful, and that Beauty is the picture of the moral character of GOD, reflected from His works to the heart of man.


Good may be defined to be the moral character of GOD. Beauty to be the pictorial manifestation of that character in His works, which are His actions ;as in His revelation, which is His speech.


And thus as in man, who is created in the image of GOD, each individual possesses an internal, vital,


self-acting principle, an outward voice of speech springing from the abundance of the central heart as its utterance, and an outward physiognomy of beauty; as every man has an energy emanating from within, whose actings bear upon objects without, and thus afford the external manifestations of the internal ruling spirit: so has GOD, who is eminently THE LIFE, all these three attributes; Good or Love unclouded, for His principle or life; Truth or Light, His garment, for His revelation; and Beauty, the glorious manifestation of that Love and Truth combined, in the works of His natural creation.


And therefore, no doubt, it is, that the word of revelation itself pronounces, that the "heavens declare the glory of GOD," that "the firmament sheweth His handy-work," that "the earth is full of His riches ;" and that every part of His glorious creation, both visible and invisible, in the heavens above, in the earth beneath, and in the waters under the earth, all are spoken of as praising GOD; that is, as manifesting His glorious perfections and attributes to His creature, man.


Beauty, then, consisting in the reflection of the Divine character from His external works, it follows

that he alone has a genuine eye for Beauty, who truly beholds that Divine character in the material world; who feels the heart and mind of the Author in His works; whose heart is prepared to enter into communion, through these visible manifestations, with that invisible principle of Love and Truth.


Now as this needs a preparation of heart from above, so the book of Psalms terminates its noble concluding anthem of praise with the solemn behest, "Let everything that hath BREATH praise the Lord;" -for they only who have the breath of The Spirit can effectually praise Him. Let not our souls, O Lord, be of the number of the dead; for the living, the living, they alone shall praise Thee!


Beauty is distinguished from the Non-beautiful, in that it conveys the reflection of the Divine character from the works of GOD to the feelings of the human heart; whereas the Non-beautiful either does not present that moral image to the heart with equal definiteness, or else presents no such image.


Beauty is distinguished from Deformity, in that Deformity, while it does present an actual and deter

minate moral expression, yet presents not that of the Divine perfection; but that of the worldly, the fleshly, or the diabolical image of the human heart as corrupted by the fall.


Now the merely Non-beautiful, being destitute of any pictorial expression, comes not within the scope of an inquiry into the sources and modes of expression of Beauty and Deformity.


But Deformity, being based upon the actual though perverted expression of moral character, however travestied or fallen, does come, if not primarily, yet by inversion, within the scope of the inquiry of these pages.

« PreviousContinue »