"Philosophy elevates and steels the Mind, Christianity softens and sweetens it."

— Fielding, Henry (1707-1754)

Place of Publication
Printed for A. Millar
"Philosophy elevates and steels the Mind, Christianity softens and sweetens it."
Metaphor in Context
'To this I added another Study, compared to which all the Philosophy taught by the wisest Heathens is little better than a Dream, and is indeed as full of Vanity as the silliest Jester ever pleased to represent it. This is that divine Wisdom which is alone to be found in the Holy Scriptures: for those [image] impart to us the Knowledge and Assurance of Things much more worthy our Attention, than all which this World can offer to our Acceptance. Of Things which Heaven itself hath condescended to reveal to us, and to the smallest Knowledge of which the highest human Wit unassisted could never ascend. I began now to think [Page 275] all the Time I had spent with the best Heathen Writers, was little more than Labour lost: For however pleasant and delightful their Lessons may be, or however adequate to the right Regulation of our Conduct with Respect to this World only, yet when compared with the Glory revealed in Scripture, their highest Documents will appear as trifling, and of as little Consequence as the Rules by which Children regulate their childish little Games and Pastime. True it is, that Philosophy makes us wiser, but Christianity makes us better Men. Philosophy elevates and steels the Mind, Christianity softens and sweetens it. The Former makes us the Objects of human Admiration, the Latter of Divine Love. That insures us a temporal, but this an eternal Happiness. -- But I am afraid I tire you with my Rhapsody.'
Searching "mind" and "steel" in HDIS (Prose)
Over 75 entries in the ESTC (1749, 1750, 1751, 1759, 1763, 1764, 1765, 1766, 1767, 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771, 1773, 1774, 1775, 1776, 1777, 1780, 1782, 1783, 1784, 1786, 1787, 1789, 1791, 1792, 1794, 1795, 1797, 1800).

See The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. In Six Volumes. By Henry Fielding. (London: Printed for A. Millar, 1749). <Link to ECCO><Link to LION>

See also three-volume Dublin edition in ECCO-TCP <Link to Vol. I in ECCO-TCP><Vol. II><Vol. III>

Reading The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. Norton Critical Edition, ed. Sheridan W. Baker. (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1973).

Also reading Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, eds. John Bender and Simon Stern (Oxford: OUP, 1996).
Date of Entry

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.