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the peace of Europe. Either the Turks are inducing the Sultan to rely on the negoticompetent to maintain their own rights, or ations going on, rather than on war, exclude they are not. If they are, the whole of this all room for controversy on this point. Indiscussion is eminently gratuitous. If they fluenced, however, from without-goaded on are not, they must rely on the succour of by popular clamour—they had no alternative others; and it is as clear as reason can make but that of either taking part with Turkey, it that this succour must be accepted, not or resigning their functions. They made on their own terms, but on the terms of choice of the former, and, in the expressive those who lend it. The Porte cannot pre- language of Lord Clarendon, “ drifted into tend to combine the advantages of indepen- war." dence and protection. If it goes to war on Having thus presented what we believe to its own decision and its own responsibility, be the facts of the case before us, we are it may commence hostilities at discretion; now in a position to reply to the question but if it goes to war with British ships and which heads our paper. That reply is in French soldiers, it can have no right to the negative. The British government, in wrest the initiative from the hands of Eng- our opinion, was not justified in entering land and France." By the declaration of upon the present war with Russia. Had we war, however, the Ottoman government not already exceeded the limits to which we assumed and exercised that right. It became are necessarily confined, we would have a question, consequently, how far Britain shown how untenable is the position, that we and France would be justified in permitting go to war to maintain the independence and such a violation of the terms on which they integrity of Turkey- to defend the interests undertook the office of mediators. What of Britain, and to curb the aggressive spirit the result of this question, so far as the of the Russian government. This, however, British government was concerned, there we must leave to be done by some other can be no doubt. The ansiety displayed in friend.
E. L. J.
IS SECULARISM CONSONANT WITH THE HIGHEST AMOUNT OF SOCIAL
NEGATIVE ARTICLE.-II. The present question is proposed in a secularists will concur in the opinion that form well calculated to promote the discus- practical morality must be the main element sion of the merits of Secularism in se, since in the constitution of a state which shall it affords no reasonable pretext to the de- realize “the highest amount of social happifenders of that system for diverging into a ness.” We may here remark that it is not notice of the heresies, contentions, divisions, enough for secularists to point to the memand consequent bad results, which unbappily bers of their body, and ask if they are not affect Christianity as at present constituted, as good citizens, and as moral in their lives, which digression has hitherto been a favourite as religionists; because, admitting the stateresort of the ostensible apostles of Secularism, ment to be true, it may be accounted for by in order to eke out their dubious cause. the fact that they were born and educated Secularism should, on this occasion, occupy in the midst of a religionist society, and, itself in demonstrating its ability and suit- therefore, have necessarily acquired some of ableness for the functions it aspires to dis- | the taste and sentiment promoted by Chrischarge--the leadership of human progress. tianity, and reflect some of its light. It is
Secularism has been well defined as “the essential to their cause that they should practical side of Atheism.” Its adherents show that their system is capable of originhave more unhappily designated it, “the ating a morality such as our present adpositive side" of Scepticism. We presume vanced civilization approves.
We purpose, in arguing the negative of primary “guarantee of morals,” are those the present question, to show, first, that constitutionally easy, inoffensive, good-temSecularism is incapable of originating a pered people, who belong to the temperament genuine morality--that its received canons designated by physiologists “ lymphatic.” can only be productive of a spurious morality These persons, whose well balanced feelings and that thus, its ascendency would be thus incline them to morality," are easily productive of the most disastrous conse- conformed by external restraints, such as quences to humanity. Secondly, we shall law, custom, notions of respectability, perproceed to take up a contra position, and sonal interests, and the like; but in the maintain that religion alone is adequate to absence of any higher motives for morality, the production of true morality, and conse- we are bold to assert, that any pressure in quently is alone capable of producing “ the the direction of self-love sufficient to overhighest amount of social happiness.” come their characteristic inertia, and to
In pursuing our first proposition we have counterbalance the effect of external reto confront the main position of Secular- straints, would induce them to perpetrate ism,—" that there exists, independently of immorality to the full extent of the temptascriptural authority, guarantees of morals tion. Allowing that such persons are genein human nature, intelligence, and utility.”
."* rally pleasant companions, good neighbours, We freely concede, that the sentiments in and good citizens-in a word, all that morality regard to practical morality which secularists would have them in their external relations enunciate in their public addresses, are all to society, --still, this is no more genuine that we could wish in that way; but we say, morality than the parental affection which as in substance we have before said, that even the most brutal natures manifest toSecularism is an excrescence on the surface wards their offspring is morality,—it is naof religious society, and, as such, its homo- tural feeling, and morality cannot, with any geneity with some of the external aspects of propriety, be predicated of it. The evident that society is of no account in an estima- preference given, by secular philosophers, to tion of its essential character. There is a the order of characters here glanced at, in morality of ends as well as a morality of whose ranks energy, and genius, and high means, and the quality of practices ostensibly moral sense are seldom manifested, reflects moral, is altogether dependent on the ends but little credit on their discernment of chawhich they subserve. Now, if the secular racter and estimation of morality. guarantees of morals” be tried by this rule We now come to consider the second “inthey will be found wanting, and, indeed, so dependent” secular" guarantee of morals”many “guarantees of immorality.” To take Intelligence.” Secularists are wont to the first in order, “ Human nature,” which, maintain that “ Ideas are a dominion"-the we are told," means broadly the sum of the "inexorable empire of Intelligence;” of but passions and natural qualities manifested by intelligence is not a principle or moving man.” † Now, the ruling passion in human cause, it is only an instrumental or passive nature is, proverbially, self-love, and self- cause. The passions are in morals what love is the essence of all the immorality motion is in physics” (this sentiment has "manifested by man;" for a principle of been endorsed by a high secular authority); self-love implies a hatred of all that opposes and normally, the intellect, its powers and its interests. It is the first passion that acquirements, are used in the direction the shows itself in man, and is the last that is passions indicate. This result is only parconquered in the course of his progressive tially affected even when the intellect, eduimprovement. It is at the root of all the cated by external authority, is made the evil in the world, and, indeed, is only instrumental agent for affecting the natural another name for evil. Is not this secular bias of the passions, or when embued with guarantee of morals,” therefore, a guaran- the light of accumulated experience; witness tee of immorality? The persons whom se- the fact, that the whole range of crime, incularists adduce in illustration of this, their
* G.J. Holyoake.
* G. J. Holyoake.
clusive of the most devilish cruelty, and the wholly at variance with their usual nature, most disgusting unnaturalness, has been ex- this being one of the many facts demonstracused and abetted by the reasoning powers tive of an all wise and powerful Providence, of the intellect. It goes to prove our posi- and so confutive of Secularism. The inteltion, that even religion itself has been thus lect, we have seen, must needs be subservient profaned by the pandering intellect; while to the motive power of the will, which, in we bear in mind that Secularism is only an the present case, is absorbed in self-love; alias, which under other names has had its and the subserviency is all the more comauthors in all ages, and a complete secular plete, since the conditions of the state we library would perhaps afford the most strik- are arguing under, afford no higher or ex. ing proof of the entire subserviency of the trinsic source of truth to affect the intelliintellect to the dictates of the voluntary gence, so that its powers must needs be principle, however perverted, in human na- wholly absorbed in the satisfaction of the ture. So much for “intelligence” as a selfish and sensual appetites of the race. guarantee of morals.”
“Utility” is a third“ Utility," again, would be a motive merely secular “guarantee of morals." Morality relative to the end intended and the means must, indeed, be at a low ebb where “utility” employed. Thus we find Secularism altois its only guarantee. The highest possible gether without any element capable of orisentiment in this direction is, “Honesty the ginating morality — the main element of best policy.” We opine that one who prac- civilization and “social happiness;" and, by tises morality from motives of self-interest sequence of reasoning, since it is incapable alone, is essentially immoral. Every one of originating a civilized social state, it is understands that an individual who is only also incapable of maintaining such a state restrained from theft by fear of the law or in its integrity. Secularism acknowledges loss of respectability, which would result in only“ relative truth,'* and since truth is the the destruction of more material interests, is theory of the good it can have cognizance still a thief, albeit he does not perpetrate only of relative good. These, then, are its the overt act, for, if external restraints were only elements for restraining and leading removed, he would thieve without compunc- human nature. Now, naturally, we call tion. This secular“ guarantee of inorals” is that good which we love, and self-love, we therefore only productive of hypocrisy, which have seen, is inherent in human nature; is immoral! And now, going back to the hence, Secularism would inevitably lead hucommencement of things—such a commence- manity to call self-love good, and that which ment as the secularist must needs suppose favours its lusts truth; but these principles -when mankind were in a state of nature” are essential evil and falsity, the effect of —when self-preservation, “ the first law of whose ascendency woald be to break up the nature,” and self-love were in all their force, social state altogether, and land mankind on and when the general condition of human the primeval state of wildness from which beings would be altogether like that of wild we have assumed they started. If the applibeasts, among the wildest and vilest of whom ances of religion at this period, consisting they would rank;-we put the question dis- of a written revelation, ceremonial, sacritinctly to secularists, and challenge their ficial, &c., worship, should be objected to by reply,– From what quarter is the force which secularists and free-thinkers as conventional should raise them from this condition to a and far-fetched, we reply that the exigencies state of civilization to come? In other words, which they were to meet arose from the perWhat is to originate morality (the main ele- verted and erratic impulses of the human ment
which is self-restraint for the good will, which, nevertheless, had to be reached of others) in such a primitive state? Human nature, in its natural state, we have
* G.J. Holyoake. seen, is wholly under the influence of the
+ In ignoring an absolute standard of goodness passion of self-love, which inevitably gene- and truth, Secularism occurs to us as a boat's rates a condition like that of wild beasts, crew, adrift at sea, who should ignore the polar who are only preserved in existence by a box (of revelation). They are moving, but whitber?
star (of Deity), and throw overboard the conipass wonderful instinct implanted in them, of It may be in circles; or they are drifting with the affection for their offspring - an instinct current upon the rocks of destruction.
and operated upon under the condition of spect in this regard first originated society intact and absolute freedom.
and civilization, and the respective state and We now proceed to take up our position quality of this society and civilization have as religionists. The main question at issue always been parallel to the quality of the between Religion and Secularism is, of course, fear and the intellection of Deity. Thus, the existence of a God- the God of revela- whether the fear were that of terror, or that tion. If there be no such being, Secularism of the awe of intelligence, or that of the fear may be wisdom; but if God Is, then Secu- proper to love, and whether the intellection larism, as ignoring our relation to him, is was that of the crude attempt to realize the veriest folly and madness. It is a fact Deity in “images of wood and stone,” or that that the belief in God is all but universal, of the worship of the elements or the sun as and, notwithstanding the familiarity with His manifestation, or that of the higher and which a concurrent belief and education truer idea of a Divine humanity, the quality have invested it, the idea of God is, in the of the ruling religious emotions and ideas highest degree, sublime and unique. The must always have affected the moral and human imagination is not creative; its ideas civil state of the community holding them. are all transcripts of externalities; it is only The history of humanity affords the "clenchinventive in the way of combination. Now, ing fact” to our argument. The tide of prowe contend that there is nothing in the ob- gress and civilization has indeed ebbed and jective universe, nor in man, considered in a flowed alternately (and this phenomenon is state of nature, capable of originating the capable of an explanation which shall still idea of God-there is nothing in nature redound to the credit of religion, should it generally, or in human nature in particular, be called for), but here we are in the nineof which the idea of God is a transcript. teenth century, enjoying a state of civilizaYet this idea, so distinctly, firmly, and uni- tion and morality-a state of “ social happiversally held, must have had an origin, and ness"-in manifest advance of bygone periods. we at once conclude to revelation as its only Shall we, then, abandon the advantages of adequate source. The idea of God is itself religion, so demonstrable in argument, so a proof of revelation, and revelation-its appreciable to the feelings, at the call of history and intrinsic qualities—is recipro- factious infidelity, with its "tentative and cally a proof of the existence, attributes, and negative" positions, and its last new phase providence of God.
Secularism, the main characteristic of We understand the first pages of scripture which is, its attempt to ignore that which it as revealing a primitive condition of man- cannot logically surmount
the primary kind (similar to that we have already glanced truths of Theology? Forbid it Reason, Exat) under the figure of a chaotic state of the perience, and common Prudence! elementary world. The subsequent account Other and higher arguments belong to of creation we hold to be typical of the moral the present question; but we have endeacreation in man. We read,—“In the be- voured to adduce those which shall impinge ginning God created the heaven and the on Infidelity, even in the earthy intrench. earth; and the earth was without form and ment in which it is wont to ensconce itself; void, and darkness upon the face of the deep. knowing from experience that it is useless to And the Spirit of God moved upon the face deploy the forces of religion on open plains of the waters.” The idea of God we hold to and mountain tops, since the combat on have been the first spark which lighted up these conditions is uniformly declined, in the human intelligence, and the fear of God virtue of a process peculiar to scepticismto have been the first restraint laid on the of ignoring the positions so indicated. rampant wildness of a selfish and sensual
BENJAMIN. condition of human nature. A common re
AFFIRMATIVE ARTICLE.-II. Having in my previous article endeavoured “Rolla” charges Secularism with " forbriefly to sketch Secularism, and to indicate getting, or endeavouring to forget, the 'to the province of the secularist. I turn now to come of immortality.” Secularism teaches, consider some of the statements of “Rolla." that in making the best use of this world,
we do not unfit ourselves for any future moral sense of humanity revolts from, Secuworld which may be in store for us. A wise larism cannot associate with Deity, who God-so it seems to the secularist—would must always be presumed to be the infinite not have given us capacities for enjoyment, perfection of whatever is noble and magnaniand placed us in a world teeming with mous in man—the creation of his hands. beauty and countless sources of happiness, To presume otherwise, would be to make if he had not intended those capacities to be morality a chaos. Although“ Rolla” writes exercised and developed to the full; nor will about the “profane shrine of vaunting and he shut out from the benefits of a future error-bound human reason,” he will be obliged life those who wisely enjoy the life that now to tell us that, in the choice of his creed, his is. “Rolla” eulogizes as “philosophic” the sole reliance was on this “human reason," text, “ Set your affections on things above, which he so disparages and discredits. Will not on things on the earth.” He does not “ Rolla" tell us whether reason is the gift of see that if we followed this advice human God; and, if so, in what way he justifies the effort would be paralyzed, and that not only disparagement of it? If we are not to folis it not“ consonant with the highest amount low reason, to what shall we look for guidof social happiness,” but that it teaches utter ance? We may be told of the “ bold oppodisregard of “social happiness." Secularism sition of erring reason to the truth being, as “Rolla” declares, the “antithesis God;'" but, if our reason, with which it is of this apostolic exhortation, is proof that if admitted God has endowed us, warns us that it is not consonant with the highest amount what is represented as the “truth of God" of social happiness,” it is at least consonant is no such thing, our course is clear, we with a higher amount than the Pauline must reject it. We cannot turn hypocrite teaching. Secularism does not deny that and lie. Honest error is nobler and more
the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and worthy than dishonest assent to truth. the weakness of God is stronger than men;' What is it to us if the Shasters, the it is not so impious as to think of associating Koran, and the creeds of Paganism declare weakness or foolishness with God. Secular- Secularism to be false, if our conscience ism does not teach us “to abandon the approves it and experience justifies it! If oracles of the Deity,” if it can be made mani- we surrender our human judgment to anfest that such oracles exist. It regards other, will he insure our safety, and bear the much that men attribute to Deity as degrado consequences of our errors? Shall we not ing to his character, and as blasphemy be called upon to answer for ourselves? Is against his goodness. In calling upon men to it not imperative, then, that we should think attend to the present, about which they know for ourselves? Secularism denies not the something, in preference to the future, about Divine presence; it hesitates to presumpwhich they know nothing, and guess or tuously pronounce upon or arrogantly dogmasurmise everything, the secularist is not, as tize about a question which ages of contro“Rolla” puts it, doing an act of “highest versy has not settled, and leaves it to the presumption;” nor does he thereby set earnest and honest consideration of the inGod at nought, and defy his vengeance.” dividual. Is it presumption to seek to know ourselves We are called upon to justify our rejection and our relation to the world in which we of the Bible. We do not reject the whole live, move, and have our being, and in which Bible; we only reject those portions of it it is said God has placed us?—to revel in the that seem to us immoral, ambiguous, imblessings of earth, which it is reverently practicable, and improbable. Those portions presumed God would not have put within of the Bible we do reject, we do not reject our reach, if he had not intended us to enjoy from enmity to the Bible, or from perversethem?
ness or unwillingness, but from our inability Is it to “set God at nought, and defy his to see truth in them. It may be an intelvengeance,” to rely with unfaltering trust lectual want, it may be ignorance, but it is upon his goodness? Secularism does not not wickedness, or enmity to God, or truth, associate vengeance with God. Vindictive- or the Bible. When in the Bible we find ness, which is deemed unmanly, Secularism God described as partial, we reject that as regards as ungodly. What the cultured | derogatory to his character, and pause over