Psychology In The Life, Work, And Teachings Of Jesus -- By: Oliver S. Taylor

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 027:106 (Apr 1870)
Article: Psychology In The Life, Work, And Teachings Of Jesus
Author: Oliver S. Taylor


Psychology In The Life, Work, And Teachings Of Jesus

Rev. Olives S. Taylor

We use the term “psychology,” as derived from ψυχή to denote the science of the human soul. For a long time this word was nearly monopolized by certain quacks in philosophy and phrenology; and not until comparatively a recent date has it been redeemed from its ambiguous meaning, to stand henceforth with its near kindred, “physiology”; the two together embracing the material and immaterial parts of man.

We may look upon the adoption of this word into the technology of science as evidence of the enlarged and extended sphere of human investigation in the things of the soul.

This study has found its limits in days past just on the borders of its most interesting and vital workings. While the human intellect and the will have been the subjects of most careful and elaborate scientific inquiry, we wonder to see how little, comparatively, has been written respecting those remaining operations of the soul which are not included in these departments. The emotions, impulses, affections,, sensibilities — whatever we call that in our inner man which is not intellect or will — have been deemed, apparently,

beyond the reach of accurate human knowledge; and only a small portion of this field has been called terra cognita of philosophy. While some few minds have advanced a short distance into this unknown wilderness, it remains true that there is yet very little knowledge of any order prevailing in the most spontaneous movements of the soul. It is to this hidden part of man, this terra incognita, the term psychology has most commonly been applied, and so it has come to mean more of mystery than knowledge.

But it is to be believed that even in this part of God’s handiwork, where all seems so fitful, disorderly, unconnected, there yet may be discovered the elementary forces which are working, like all God’s instituted powers or forces, in a perfectly uniform order. To discover these forces, and take observation of this order in the deep involuntary movements of the soul, is the work yet to be done in perfecting the science of psychology.

Lest these remarks seem to ignore what efforts are made by ordinary scholars in this department of science which we now call defective, we may verify them by one or two references. Examine “Haven’s Mental Philosophy,” a common text-book. To the discussion of ^the intellect he devotes three hundred and fifty pages, and to. the sensibilities only one hundred and fifty. And, aside from this difference in quantity, there is no such rigor of analysis applied to the sensibilities as to th...

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