Memory that faculty of the mind which enables us to recall past impressions, whether of external facts or internal consciousness. It applies to sensations, perceptions, creations of the fancy, matters acquired by learning, in short, to anything, actual or imaginary, which has previously occupied the mind. It is the great mental storehouse of knowledge. The clearness of the impression so recalled depends, other things being equal, upon. the strength and vividness of the original impression, and this largely depends upon the degree of attention given to the object of it at the time. Other conditions are, chiefly, length of interval since the first impression, frequency of its reiteration, variety of intervening and confusing impressions, etc. There are two accessory ideas usually included in the definition of memory namely, the power of retaining as well as recalling previous impressions, and an accompanying consciousness that the impressions recalled relate to the past. But both these are logically involved in the definition above given; for the power of retention is only indicated and measured by the facility or ability of recalling, and the past character of the thing remembered is implied in its being re-called rather than conceived, perceived, or originated. Memory is thus a definite act, which serves as the exponent or index of the faculty by virtue of which it is performed; and the power itself is estimated and characterized according to the ease, rapidity and completeness of the function. Memory can hardly be said to be voluntary, yet the will may assist it indirectly. The recurrence of the past impression depends upon what is called the association of ideas, i.e. the connection. in which the impression was first made; and this furnishes the link for retrieving it. This association differs greatly in different minds, and, indeed, with almost every occasion. By attentively fixing the mind upon something connected with the matter sought to be recalled, the train of thought may often be recovered; yet, when it does at last recur, it is spontaneous. Hence memory has been distinguished into simple remembrance, or passive memory without effort, and recollection, or active memory accompanied by a mental endeavor. Memory of a particular point may be clear or faint. Memory in general may be either weak or strong. In some individuals these last characteristics are constitutional. The memory, however, may be greatly improved by habit. Artificial helps are called mnemonics. Memory may also be weak in one respect, and strong in another. Hence the distinction of verbal memory, etc. Names and numbers are proverbially difficult to remember. Yet some remarkable instances of these species of memory are on record. Singular instances also of disordered memory, either excessively acute or defective in some peculiar respects, have been observed. It is held by many that nothing is absolutely lost by the memory; and some are of the opinion that this faculty will furnish the conscience with the whole catalogue of past sins at the final judgment. SEE MIND.

Bible concordance for MEMORIAL.

Definition of memory

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

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