A "strange Impression upon the Mind, from we know not what Springs, and by we know not what Power," may over-rule us

— Defoe, Daniel (1660?-1731)

Place of Publication
W. Taylor
A "strange Impression upon the Mind, from we know not what Springs, and by we know not what Power," may over-rule us
Metaphor in Context
This renew'd a Contemplation, which often had come to my Thoughts in former Time, when first I began to see the merciful Dispositions of Heaven, in the Dangers we run through in this Life. How wonderfully we are deliver'd, when we know nothing of it. How, when we are in (a Quandary, as we call it) a Doubt or Hesitation, whether to go this Way, or that Way, a secret Hint shall direct us this Way, when we intended to go that Way; nay, when Sense, our own Inclination, and perhaps Business has call'd to go the other Way, yet a strange Impression upon the Mind , from we know not what Springs, and by we know not what Power, shall over-rule us to go this Way; and it shall afterwards appear, that had we gone that Way which we should have gone, and even to our Imagination ought to have gone, we should have been ruin'd and lost. Upon these, and many like Reflections, I afterwards made it a certain Rule with me, That whenever I found those secret Hints, or Pressings of my Mind , to doing, or not doing any Thing that presented; or to going this Way, or that Way, I never fail'd to obey the secret Dictate; though I knew no other Reason for it, than that such a Pressure, or such a Hint hung upon my Mind: I could give many Examples of the Success of this Conduct in the Course of my Life; but more especially in the latter Part of my inhabiting this unhappy Island; besides many Occasions which it is very likely I might have taken notice of, if I had seen with the same Eyes then, that I saw with now: But 'tis never too late to be wise; and I cannot but advise all considering Men, whose Lives are attended with such extraordinary Incidents as mine, or even though not so extraordinary, not to slight such secret Intimations of Providence, let them come from what invisible Intelligence they will, that I shall not discuss, and perhaps cannot account for; but certainly they are a Proof of the Converse of Spirits, and the secret Communication between those embody'd, and those unembody'd; and such a Proof as can never be withstood: Of which I shall have Occasion to give some very remarkable Instances, in the Remainder of my solitary Residence in this dismal Place.
(pp. 207-8)
At least 33 entries in ESTC (1719, 1720, 1722, 1726, 1742, 1744, 1747, 1753, 1761, 1766, 1767, 1772, 1778, 1781, 1784, 1785, 1789, 1790, 1791, 1793, 1797, 1799, 1800).

See Daniel Defoe, The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner: Who Lived Eight and Twenty Years All Alone in an Un-Inhabited Island on the Coast of America, Near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having Been Cast on Shore by Shipwreck, Wherein All the Men Perished but Himself. With an Account How He Was at Last As Strangely Deliver'd by Pyrates. Written by Himself (London: W. Taylor at the Ship in Pater-Noster-Row, 1719). <Link to ESTC><Link to ECCO><Link to ECCO-TCP>
Date of Entry

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