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in their favour. But, marching through an years of perfidy and oppression, it has forenemy's country, and having to fight for feited its rank as an independent, first-rate every inch of ground; menaced upon their power of Europe. And again, have our march upon all sides, and having to provide opponents ever considered what, at this themselves with every requisite from the moment, is the weakest point of Russia ? resources of their own country, who does If not, let them ask an exiled Pole, and read not at once apprehend the impossible nature the answer in the sudden quiver of the lip, of the attempt? It is, in fact, this very and the sudden lighting up of the eye. difficulty which has alone hitherto prevented And why is it that Poland is the weakest Russia from attacking the Chinese empire, point of Russia? Not, CERTAINLY, because which presents more advantages and incen- the mass of the Polish people are not in an tives, and fewer obstacles to conquest, than infinitely better position than before the does British India.
first partition, but because that instinctive We have, then, so far, keeping strictly spirit of nationality, which is the life of a within the limits of the subject we proposed people, is hereditary and immortal, and to ourselves, endeavoured honestly to state must, sooner or later, assert its supremacy and to remove such reasons as can be urged over the simply brute force of the conqueror. as justifying the present war; and we hope And, therefore, though Poland is at this to have succeeded in producing a conviction moment little other than a huge fortress, it that neither our “honour” nor our “inter- is still less a rampart to bar the approach ests” would be jeopardized by that event, of Russia's enemies than a breach, wide and the prevention of which is urged as the indefensible, which invites their approach, great and worthy object the present and would facilitate their success. The struggle with Russia.
young Emperor of Russia wields the sceptre There is, however, a “special” interest, of power over, such as they are, some eighty moral, not material, dear to us all alike, or a hundred distinct nations; but this duty, which, it is supposed, will be placed in the difficult as we all know he finds it to be, utmost peril by the success of Russia's would be simply disastrous and overwhelmdesigns upon Turkey. That interest is ing, could he, for but an instant, succeed in liberty-European liberty. It is said, and subjecting to his sway the cultivated and oh, with what gravity! that the possession advanced nations of the west of Europe. of Turkey by Russia would be but the first But such a consummation is as plainly imstep to the subjugation of entire Europe, possible as it would be fatal to Russia herand the empire of the world. Now, we self, could it be accomplished. Already, think this notion not only monstrous and under the pressure of the present war, silly, but we regard it with utter contempt. Russia seems on the eve of being “crumpled So far from the fact supposed giving to up;” but in the case supposed, subjected as Russia any advantage for further aggression, it would be to the shock of an European it would, on the contrary, bind her over, in coalition fighting for personal liberty, the very heavy recognizances, to keep the peace rickety structure of Russian despotism would, towards the rest of Europe for at least a as a power, be crushed and swept out of hundred years. Like all conquered coun- Europe. As with every other nation, she tries, Turkey would prove a thorn in the must seek wealth and power by cultivating flesh ” to an unscrupulous despot, a hotbed the arts of peace, by developing the resources of revolution, an element of weakness, and a of the country, by cultivating industrious standing invitation to any daring enemy, in babits amongst her population, and by the time of war, to make it a principal point of extension of her commerce. Despising this, attack. Dues not the position of Hungary the only sure path to greatness, the Czar explain the secret meaning of the boasted may as well set himself to subjugate the neutrality of Austria? Menaced on the one moon, as hope to quench in Europe that side by Russia, and on the other by the blithe spirit of liberty, which laughs equally allies, it is unable to adopt a bold and inde at his terrible lath-and-plaster high-mightipendent line of policy; and as it lacks the ness as at those silly alarmists, who, in this honesty and the wisdom which might prompt country, profess to fear him. it to atone, by one great act of justice, for
Borial Economy. IS SECULARISM CONSONANT WITH THE HIGHEST AMOUNT OF SOCIAL
TAE avowed purpose of Secularism, as which they are prepared to defend as "pure expounded by Mr. G. J. Holyoake, is to morality,” nor have they made any discovery establish a “positive side" in connection with in science-the reputed " discovery" of "sci"free thought,” or the "tentative and nega- ence the providence of man” being, we have tive” aspect of so-called “free thinkers,” in already seen, no discovery at all. Their regard to the fundamental belief of religion- " eclectical" exercitations are due to intellect ists; and, indeed, the obtainency of such a and taste, the result of education and experiposition is of the last importance to their ence, which are common to all, thus alike to advocacy of the affirmative of the present secularists and religionists. How, then, does question; for, if Secularism is nothing more the recognition of these things constitute a than the old black crow of infidel negation positive side” for the scepticism of “free disguised in the stolen peacock plumes of thought?” We are not answered by being positive philosopby, it will be hard for its told that, these things being first as to time adherents to prove that anything of a posi- and sense, secularists hold them most worthy tive nature-thus, any amount of social of “precedence” (Qy., to what?); because happiness"--can possibly result from it. An these matters may and do exist with relianalysis of the particulars which constitute gionists as an end, which is practically purthe general “province of the secularist,” as sued by them first as to time, but subordiindicated by “ James,” leads us to this esti- nately to, and contemporaneously with, a mation of its intrinsic character. He informs higher end—the end contemplated by relius that "it proposes pure moralism as a gion. Taking Secularism, therefore, at its basis of union and rule of conduct,”—that own estimate of itself, it is simply the dis“it is 'the philosophy of the things of time;'” connection of religion from the “morality of and that “he (the secularist) discovers that man to man," and the uses of this life;science is the providence of man.” Now, all that is to say, it ignores, or for all practical that is implied in these general propositions purposes denies, religion, ergo, Secularism is has been, and still is, held to by religionists, intrinsically a negational residuum, and in connection with religion. “Pure moral- thus“ inconsonant with the highest amount ity” is regarded by them as one of the ends of social happiness,” which is a positive and issues of true and practical religion. result to which only a system of a positive “ The philosophy of the things of time" is character is adequate. indebted for its progress and present develop- It would appear from the drift of “ James's" ment chiefly to religionists; and "science a article that secularists regard religion as providence of man,” is implied in the appli- somewhat opposed to, obstructive of, or abcation of science in order to supply the ne- stracted from, the moral and social duties cessities, conveniences, pleasures, and protec- and uses which they assume as their partition of mankind in all ages. Secularists are cular“ province;" but this is simply a misundeniably indebted to an “eclecticism” from conception on their part. Religionists hold the “past” for their particular notions in this world to be a sphere of probationary regard to morality, science, and use, which existence, wherein to form a character for go to make up the general propositions al- a heavenly eternity, which character is ready noticed; and this “ past” they appear achieved by the true and efficient performto admit was ever mainly under the auspices ance of the duties and uses of this life, as of religion, which fact is, we presume, the consisting in general of the “morality of reason with them for dubbing it “a mys- man to man," and in being useful “ in our tery.” They have not, hitherto, so far as day and generation.” When this is done, as we can learn, enunciated a single new tenet | the revealed will of God, and in view of our soul's salvation from sin, we are “making explanation of the fact that both "love" and the best use of this world,” “laying up trea- “ vengeance”- spiritual life and spiritual sure in heaven," and "setting our affections death-are predicated of the same infinite on things above." The extra appartenances and immutable Being; nor have we any of religion, as consisting of self-denial, prayer, difficulty in determining which is the essenscripture reading, and worship in general, tial, and which the accidental property perare so many means whereby to obtain and taining to his Essence. The particular sustain the religious life and light within. passages of scripture deemed “immoral, Secularists hope to merit heaven,“ if there ambiguous, impracticable, and improbable,” be a heaven," without either regarding it as were not specified, or we might have been an end, or using the approved means for the able to adduce something in the way of achievement of the “ kingdom of heaven with explanation, being well assured that there is in” them. We can only deplore their delusion, nothing in holy writ which, rightly interpreand attempt to point out its folly. Provi- ted, can justify these aspersions on its dence, as held to by religionists, seems to character; not that we deem ourselves caparequire some explanation for the information ble of explaining all the mysteries contained of secularists. We regard the providence of in that divine book, but we might do someGod as having mainly in view the salvation thing in the way of justifying them as mysof souls, and as disposing the circumstances teries. If all the meanings” of such a of this life only so as to subordinate their production of Divine Wisdom were clear to influences as means to this higher end ;-al- secular understandings, that would furnish ways bearing in mind that salvation consists, a much more cogent reason for doubting its not merely in the forgiveness of sins, but in divine origin than any of the arguments their removal, and in the substitution of the adduced by sceptics on the score of its life of goodness and truth. Religion is not apparently “perplexed and double” sense. answerable for the backslidings, errors, short- Against the secularist estimation of the comings, and vagaries of some of its pro- Bible, as “falling below acknowledged human fessed adherents; these are due to an imper- productions,” we place our own appreciation fect ascendency of religion, and a consequent of it as being so far superior to the literary obtainency of human nature in se, which is works of man as the works of God in nature essential Secularism, and belongs to its are superior to the mechanical works of man, standard wherever found. If secularists and this in virtue of analagous qualities. would approach the scriptures with a desire What if men of ability, learning, and godlito affirm them as the Word of God, and so ness have differed in their explanations of take their authority for the fact of God being the Bible? Different impressions must northe Creator of nature, we might hope to offer mally occur to different mental optics, for them a satisfactory explanation of what the plain reason that all truth, as it exists occurs to them as contradiction in its pages; for the finite human subject, is relative, parand this through analogies, for which their tial, and apparent in its nature. These professed “study of the order of nature” differing views arise from different mental would furnish the first terms. Thus, the and moral positions and attainments, analoquality of the sun's influences in nature, if gously; as in the natural sphere, a perfect described according to its effects, might be circle will occur to observers in different represented both as life-sustaining and life- positions, respectively, as a straight line, or destroying; for while, on the one hand, it is an oval of indefinitely differing proportions: instrumental in the production and perfection there is not necessarily any contradiction in of normal growths and objects; on the other the impressions thus received, they are all hand, by its influences on excrementitions true—that is, relatively-provided there is and abnormal objects and states, it is pro- “agreement between the proposition and the ductive of dissolution and of pestilential reality it represents;” nor will the diverse exhalations. Now, supposing that the influ- accounts of the same object (in the natural ence of the “Sun of Righteousness” is repre- sphere), or the same subject (in the Bible), sented in scripture according to its effects justify the denial, respectively, of the fact or (and valid reasons can be adduced why it of the Bible. But there exists, unhappily, should be so), then we have a satisfactory such things as essential errors, both in sci
ence and religion, and in both cases we the future "a secret." Matters should be conclude to a fundamental defect,---not in so to justify secularist principles, and that nature or revelation, but in those who inter- consideration suggests that the wish might rogate them. In the case of religious error be father to the thought.” It would be very we conclude to the presence of the “mote" convenient for Secularism to ignore the past, or the “ beam"-the pride of self-intelligence since it would obviate many of the objections or moral obliquity-affecting the mental to their principles, nor does its testimony say vision. We are willing to opine the former anything in their behalf. If the possibility rather than the latter of secularists, in of the existence of a separate secularist comdeference to their protestation that “it may munity were questioned (and we would be be an intellectual want, it may be ignorance, understood as most decidedly questioning it), but it is not wickedness," that prompts their there is nothing in the history of “the past" rejection of revelation and of revelation's to support its probability, - however, the God. It is, then, the pride of self-intelli- convenience of the assumption in secularist gence which hinders their advent in the regards, does not make it the less dogmatemple of God's truth; they wish to kuow tism. Our professed knowledge of the future and understand before they try—to be men is assumed to be a guess or surmise;" and in religion before they are children in its since our belief in this regard is founded on regard. Such an advent as they desire to revelation, it is meant, we suppose, to be effect is not given; its folly is susceptible of implied that its contents are guesses and numerous illustrations. If a child, in pride surmises; "-well, secularists have much to and obstinacy, should determine to know and prove and disprove before they establish that; understand the rationale of the rules which meanwhile, its assumption is dogmatism, and govern the processes of his first lessons in its attitude in regard to the past and its arithmetic, could he ever advance in this legacy revelation non-logical. In its moral branch of his education? We can imagine aspect, the attitude of Secularism is moral one who should spend his whole life in rea- rebellion, for it professedly disregards, and soning respecting a bat or a shoe, whether it practically revolts from, that authority which would fit or not, to the exclusion of the ever was, is, and ever will be, the Dictator simple and practical test of trying it on; and Sustainer of“ pure morality,” -even God and many, perhaps the great bulk of scep- in revelation. Why do secularists seek to tics, perpetrate an analogous folly ;-they! repudiate the term “infidelity,” which has even they, must first receive religion in ever attached to their principles, when this that spirit of obedience and confidence pro-term rightly expresses their attitude to the per to children, before they can properly test ' powers that be," or at all events, that are religious truth; for it is written, “in thy generally recognized as being. It was never light shall we see light,”—but self-will and yet taken as a valid excuse for political pride are its own hindrances. Again it is rebellion, that the rebel could not understand written, “ My ways are all plain to him that the legal title of enthroned authority. Yet understandeth,”-that is, to him who seeks secularists tell us in their justification, that to know the will of God, with a view to “their reason, with which it is admitted practise it;-in this regard we re-asseverate God has endowed them," " warns them that of the Bible, that it “ is so plain that a way. what is represented as the truth of God'is faring man cannot err therein."
no such thing." We reply, in the language of We conclude by impeaching the attitude scripture, “ If thy right eye (i. e., underof Secularism, both on logical and moral standing of spiritual truth) offend thee, grounds. In its logical aspect it must be pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into pronounced non-logical, since it dogmatically life with one eye, than, having two eyes, to assumes “ the past” to be “a mystery," and be cast into hell fire.” PERSONA.
AFFIRMATIVE ARTICLE.-III. “Seize upon truth where'er 'tis found,
are not ignorant of being branded with the Amongst your friends, amongst your foes; On christian or on heathen ground;
most opprobrious epithets from the iron pen The flower's divine where'er it grows."
of “Rolla." He denounces Secularism as On entering the arena of this debate, we “moral obliquity and infidelity;" as “ an em
bodied blasphemy.” But, whilst the un- | authoritative rule of religious faith and praecharitable guardian of an uncertain theology tice.” We conscientiously differ from this is silent, we will seek to show that Secular- opinion, finding as we do in the Bible numerism and Religion are not diametrically opposed ous contradictions, conflicting histories which one to the other, as “Rolla” would have them cannot be reconciled with themselves, probe. He takes the same narrow view of phecies which did not come to pass, accounts Secularism as some people do of Christianity: of miracles, the belief of which we cannot they only pourtray to the mind the selfish-admit as an article of faith;" stories that ness of priesteraft, and the cant of laypocrisy, make God a man of war, cruel, capricious, and would fain have others believe the whole revengeful, and not to be trusted. Connected system to be a tissue of falsehood; so “Rolla,” | with these things are lofty thoughts of narelying on the truthfulness of his cherished ture, man, and God; devotion, touching and prejudice, has denounced Secularism as “con beautiful; and a most reverent faith. In tradicting the first principles of rationality, the Old Testament, fact and fiction, history -natural and revealed theology,--and at the and mythology, wisdom and error, are intisame time belying all the better aspirations mately blended. Who, then, will maintain of our common humanity.”
that it is the voice of Divinity”? ThroughIt will be our object in this article to show out, we have marks of fallibility, which prove that Secularism is not opposed to religion. that its authors were not a different race of Secularism, as we understand it, is the posi- men from the present, but were fallible like tive part of this life; it bids us help forward ourselves; they each shared, like us, the civilization, education, the establishment of ignorance and superstition of the respective truth; it teaches us to exercise in everyday ages in which they lived. life the intellectual, affectional, and moral Why do we ascribe a peculiar inspiration elements with which we are endowed: in a and infallibility to the writers of the New word, it is well-dving, feeding the hungry, Testament? They do not claim it for themclothing the naked, defending and upholding selves. Paul tells us that all Christians the oppressed, administering to the wants of receive the “Spirit of God.” He refers wisthe fatherless and widow, raising our species dom, faith, knowledge, ability to teach or to by science and art, engaging in any way best heal diseases, skill in the interpretation of calculated to supply the wants and enhance tongues, to inspiration, -"All these worketh the happiness of humanity; it teaches us to that one and self-same Spirit.” If the act justly towards all men, doing to others apostles were infallibly inspired they could as we would others should do unto us. not disagree on any point. But such is not
We attribute the error into which “Rolla" the case; we find they entertained doubts as has fallen to his assumption of the infallibility to whether the Gentiles were to be admitted of the Bible. We do not consider it infallible; to Christianity. Paul seems surprised still, we prize it for its intrinsic merit; we that “God is no respecter of persons." We look apon it as “the book of books," contain- find that some of the apostles “contended ing, as it does, truths which no other book with him” on this point; but when they heard contains, so deep, so rich, so divine. When that to certain of the Gentiles God gave the we look into it as into other books, we find like gift as unto them, they exclaimed, facts which force the conclusion upon us “ Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted that the Bible is a human book. “Ortho- repentance unto life.” Now, another quesdoxy"- ambiguous, everchanging--bids us tion arose between them: Shall the Gentiles beware, for we tread on holy ground. It keep the old ceremonial law of Moses, and be tells us :—"The Bible is a miraculous col- circumcised? On this question they held a lection of miraculous books; every word it consultation, called the Christians together contains was written under the influence of “ to consider this matter." After “much a miraculous inspiration from God, which disputing” they adopted a resolution that all was so full and infallible that it set forth the the Mosaic ritual should not be imposed upon whole truth and nothing but the truth; it the Gentiles, only such as James deemed contains all religious and moral truth which“ necessary things.” This decision was comit is possible for man to attain, and no par-municated to the churches. However, Paul ticle of error: therefore, the Bible is the only and Peter seem to have disregarded it; one