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embraced it; but the opportunity never pre-sonal interview with God?” We know not sented itself.
how any other than a negative answer can After his marriage with Kadijah, Ma- be given to these inquiries. Those who homet was accustomed to retire from the would advocate the contrary undertake a busy haunts of men, in order that he might task in which they must inevitably fail. meditate. What thoughts passed through They have to prove that imagination gives his mind during these seasons of solitude, birth to sounds which are not uncertain, and it is hard to tell; but we may suppose that to phantasms which delude the eye, and he, who used to say to his youthful com- that, too, of a man of the keenest intellect. panions, when solicited by them to engage They have to show that his representing in their plays, “ Man was created for a himself to be the Comforter of the Chrisnobler purpose than indulgence in frivolous tians was not cunningly intended to enlist pursuits," directed his thoughts to many them on his side; and that his sudden subjects he deemed worthy of himself. But, acquiescence to the question proposed by alas! Mahomet had no divine revelation by the pilgrims from Medina—“Can this be which he could become acquainted with the Messiah of whom the Jews are contruths inaccessible to unassisted reason. stantly speaking ?"-was not designed to Though seizing upon part truths, he had not gain them as his adherents. From them that most important to be known; but, / we must expect a great amount of credulity, brooding over subjects which he was unable if they can believe that imagination ever wholly to grasp, his mind would constantly imposed upon Mahoinet with respect to the fall back upon itself, and the consequence journey to heaven with Gabriel; and from would be that a regular enthusiasm would them we would require some well-authentiensue. “Solitary meditation is the parent cated case of a somewhat similar imposition of a regulated enthusiasm." We think it of fancy—the subject of the delusion being possible, then, that Mahomet believed him-a man in his senses. To them it remains self in some way commissioned by God, and to show how a man, wise in many rethat he formed the determination to make spects, was a fool only when his worldly himself known as such, when a fitting interests were likely to be furthered by being opportunity occurred; but much time did such. not elapse, we fear, from his putting forth There are other considerations which · his pretensions till he commenced his descent might easily be advanced to strengthen our
down the graduated scale of imposture. We present position. We might notice how the may here note a few reasons which lead us to tolerant views set forth in the commencebelieve this. From veriest childhood Mahomet ment of the Koran strangely contrast with was possessed of a discriminating and acute the persecuting tone of the succeeding suras mind. This caused him to reject idolatry: of the book, Mahomet's conduct changing in it proved itself inimical to his superstition: a like manner, and thus forming a fitting the manner in which he moulded bis teach-counterpart to his pretended revelation. ings to suit those addressed proves his Indeed, no sooner did a course seem desirable, mental power. Could such a mind receive than then and there a revelation for the as true the follies which he required his occasion was forthcoming. We could cite followers implicitly to believe? We think cases where wholesale robbery was permitted it impossible. Did he believe that “the and encouraged; where cruelty was clearly angel Gabriel” actually "commanded him exhibited; where the law of God, and all to undertake the prophetic mission”? Was the better feelings of humanity, were outhe assured that the same kindly visitor read raged, that passion might be indulged. The him revelations from heaven?' Was it his Koran, too, was made to sanction this. conviction that he was the paraclete which we give Mahomet the credit of being, at had been promised by Christ? or that he first, a sincere inquirer after truth. We was the Messiah, as he declared himself to greatly admire that sublime view of the be to the Medinese? Did he believe in the divine unity which led him to abandon veracity of the account which he gave of idolatry. But when we see him turn from “his journey to the highest heavens in com- being a reformer to be a deceiver, and, instead pany with the angel Gabriel, and his per- of truth, set ambition before him as his guiding star, we sigh at the change which are constrained to say,—“Mahomet was an is so marked, and, in consistency with truth, impostor."
P. D., Dublin.
Politics. WAS THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT JUSTIFIED IN ENTERING UPON
THE PRESENT WAR WITH RUSSIA?
AFFIRMATIVE ARTICLE.-III. LET but a man in high power commit an | thundering war car the nationalities of act of injustice with a certain degree of awakening Europe, and ultimately plants its audacity and effrontery, and he will most polluted hoof upon British shores! Such assuredly find many defenders and advocates! conduct is unworthy of manhood. It is not History proves it. Catiline and Nero, in thus that our national liberties have been ancient times, found persons who defended obtained, and most assuredly it is not thus their most outrageous acts; and Napoleon that they can be either enlarged, perpetuated, the little, with the late Czar of Russia, in or imparted to others. modern times, are defended by many as just! Regarding the whole of Mr. Bright's adand honourable men!
vocacy on this subject, it would appear that We stop not to enter into the philosophy his favourite political axiom is, “ Peace, at of such a monster fact,--this is the province any sacrifice or peril.” The adoption of such of the moralist, not the politician. We no a principle on the part of the English and tice it because it glares upon us while con- French Cabinets, in this crisis, would have templating Europe in the present awful proved disastrous to the best interests of crisis, and because by it some have been led Europe. Its adoption by any nation must, to question the wisdom and justice of our in the present state of the civilized world, government in entering upon the present ultimate in certain ruin. An ignoble peace war with Russia.
is a curse which must gather to itself the Mr. Bright has seized the present oppor elements of direr disaster than it would tunity of rendering himself and his principles appear to obviate for a time, in the outnot a little notorious, and equally odious; bursting of which national resources will be and in order to establish his conclusions demanded to resist it. against government, he resorts to his old All praise to our country, such a course peace-making artillery,—sophistry, exagger- of conduct has been spurned with sovereign ation, and the most flagrant misrepresenta- contempt; and though we have been called tion. Truly, he has earned himself a fame to mourn over the fearful losses of our army which it requires no small amount of human in the East, and the lamentable state into endurance to survive. The English com- which our military affairs had fallen during munity has proclaimed its belief in the pre- a long peace, there remains the blessed consent war as one of the most just and neces. sciousness of defending the right,-of helpsary in our history, and Messrs. Bright and ing the oppressed and weak,-and of teachCo. have, with amazing presumption, declared ing a tyrant yet once again the right terrible it the reverse.
| lesson which Oliver Cromwell first impressed Let it not be thought that we have no npon the nations, that England will defend sympathy with the grand principles of the the cause of justice and liberty, not only for Peace Society; we bave great faith in their her own prosperity, but for the good of uniultimate potency. They must survive war, versal humanity. This much England inand ultimately unite the interests of all herits from her glorious forefathers, and this nations into one glorious commonwealth. We much her religion enforces in political life, have, however, no sympathy with those who, -Defend the rights and liberty of all seeking safety from the present storm in a men ! pseudo peace, would have a nation slumber The incubus of modern selfishness, desiguntil eastern despotism crushes beneath its nated politically “Non-intervention,” has
had its day, not in governmental procedure cumstances equally trivial as those which we are happy to say, but in the theoretic gave rise to the Crusades, and left three ,whimsicality of certain politicians; and in millions of Europeans on the plains and hills that land of Utopian blessedness and vision of the East, in the silence of the tomb! The ary glory it may yet appear, but only the dispute concerning the “Holy places," in ghost of its former hideous self. The wis- which Russia was the aggressor, was the dom of the British government is too strong commencement of this affair, in which we a bulwark to be taken by force, such as the as a nation are now involved. Russia was advocates of “ Non-intervention," though the aggressor, inasmuch as she denied the they possessed the eloquence of Demosthenes, right of France to the holy places in matters the sophistry of Socrates, and all the gather- of worship; whereas the claim and right ings of the people in the land, to work upon, was as clear and valid on the side of France can ever resuscitate. The laws which bid as of Russia. * It is a fact that when France fair ultimately to govern nations universally, made her claim known at Constantinople the common interests of humanity, the secret Russia protested and threatened.t M. de agencies which unite the welfare of one na- Titoff protests against all inquiry into the tion with another, as well as the common right of possession, and insists, in the Emdictates of justice and truth, all stand in peror's name, on the actual state of possesdirect opposition to the theory of Non-inter- sion. Was it right, then, that either France vention. This being so, our political peace-or Turkey should cower before Russian intolermakers, at the expense of justice and ance? They did not; hence the rapture. Here national character, have, in order to carry follows a piece of Russian intrigue, conduc. their cause, shut their eyes to the clearest ted by Prince Menschikoff, the object of facts of the case, in which the war origin- which was to delude the Porte, by offering ated, and in order to impeach the conduct him a vast armament, for defence against of our administration, make out that the the Western Powers, if necessary: the Czar's conduct of Russia prior to the invasion of object being to possess himself of Constantithe principalities was just and fair, and nople, to crush the nationality of Turkey, England, France, and Turkey only to blame and to defy the Western Powers, if not attack for the calamitous results! Never was any them. We will give the passage as it appears statement more disreputable to any class of ' in the “ correspondence:"--" Prince Menspolitical agitators! Posterity will remember chikoff expressed the Emperor's wish to enter their names with that impartiality with into a secret treaty with Turkey, putting a which we regard those in the past, who on fleet and 400,000 men at her disposal, if other great questions acted a similar though she ever needed aid against any western not so flagrant a part.
power whatsoever. That Russia, further, Thus, laying aside the principle of Non- secretly demanded an addition to the treaty intervention as, at least in this case, alto- of Kainardji, whereby the Greek church gether opposed to our national character and should be placed entirely under Russian prohonour, as well as to the duties devolving tection, without reference to Turkey, which upon England, as a member of a European was to be the equivalent for the proffered aid confederacy, to maintain the existing nation above mentioned.” Mark, reader, what alities of Europe, and their respective rights; follows:-“ Prince Menschikoff stated that we pass on to a brief investigation of the the greatest secrecy must be maintained facts which justify the active policy of the relative to this proposition, and that should British government in this crisis of Euro- | Turkey allow it to be made known in Engpean events.
land, he and his mission would instantly First of all we shall state a few of the quit Constantinople.” Never did the Czar facts which led to the rupture between so debase himself, in all his career of craft, Russia and Turkey; which, if but duly con- as in this case; and never was man so sidered, must silence those who impeach our humbled in the estimation of European nagovernment. It is a strange thing that this terrible war, in comparison of which the
* Vide“ Correspondence respecting the Rights sieges of Ascalon, Acre, and Jerusalem are l in Turkey
| and Privileges of the Latin and Greek Churches as nothing, should have originated in cir- + Ibid.
tions by any diplomatic disclosure! He Western Powers must come forth to the brought intrigue and intimidation to bear defence of Turkey against Russia. This upon the Porte in order to carry out his England and France did promptly. Had design of crushing his victim, after deluding not England done so, in answer to the loud him into a position from which there was no call of moral duty, her national character escape of independence or nationality! And might have been as justly impeached as it is yet the Czar is defended in our own land by now unjustly. Fearful indeed have been men calling themselves Englishmen! the results, and must yet be, of her righteous
Craft and intimidation, however, were of conduct, but circumstances and results must no avail. Turkey understood the friendly ever be disregarded by man when in opposidespot,-saw ber independence at stake,-ation to the stern voice of moral duty. Our murderer with dagger drawn at her heart! brave army well nigh realized the terrific Russia relaxes, offers another treaty, demands fate of Napoleon's before Moscow, some forty compliance; but here Russia hides in verbal years ago. Our nation has since worn the ambiguities her deep-rooted intent to delude insignia of sorrow for those whose graves and crush. About the same time, it appears appear amid Crimean desolation, down from that Russia's despot was breaking the ice of the highest to the lowest ranks! Alma! his fell intent to the English ambassador, to Balaklava! Inkermann! in all their unpresee how far England would merely look on, cedented displays of valour and scenes of in the event of his proceeding to seize upon suffering heroism, start up before our vision; Constantinople. In this he failed, and his and while we now write, the dread artillery plans were all frustrated, happily for Euro- of two mighty armies, with resources of pean interests. Let it be remembered that destruction un paralleled in the annals of Russia, in common with the leading states warfare, are thundering down upon the of Europe, was bound to uphold Turkey as mighty bulwarks of the “Holy City," a nationality, and this, in the face of the threatening it with a destruction which facts already stated, must prove the perfidy must sooner or later come, the horror and which dwelt in the late Czar's bosom, and at grandeur of which, under the graphic pen of the same time most fully justifies the con- some future historic poet, will strike with duct of our ministry in resisting the first solemn awe the hearts of men in ages yet steps of that most consummate of modern unborn! perfidies! Here we must notice the grand Having then stated the grand facts of the error on the part of the Four Powers,-the case between Russia and Turkey,-having Vienna Note! It was a piece of diplomatic looked into the double-dealing and treatyblundering and shortsightedness; and from violating policy of the late Czar,--having the fact that that document had been signed shown the point where the Four Powers comin London, Vienna, and Berlin, and bad been mitted themselves by acting for Turkey accepted by the Czar, without the consent without Turkey's consent, and thus morally or knowledge of the Sultan, our national binding themselves to meet the consequences character was at stake! Henceforth Eng- of their own conduct,-having seen how land was involved in the contest. The fully our government was justified in its Vienna Note contained, in verbal substance, conduct on the occasion of Russian aggresthe desire of the Czar! Here lay the blun-sion - we shall pass on to look out upon the der; diplomacy had unwittingly betrayed the subject in its broader aspects, and the results power she defended, and not until the Sultan which in all probability would have followed rejected the document did diplomacy see the from the subjugation of Turkey by Russia. error. It was then too late, the Czar had I. It would have endangered the nationhad obtained what he desired, - a hold upon alities and constitutional interests of Europe, Turkish independency; and that he would Whatever view we may take of Napoleon retain, if his hosts of bayonets and ranges Bonaparte's character, we must all admit Of artillery could aid him, until he possessed that he was a man of the most consummate Constantinople and Turkey itself! There military skill and political insight. Now he remained no alternative but that either Tur- plainly foresaw that Russia was a power key must fall a victim to Russian despotism, which might disturb the peace of Europe, aided by a blundering diplomacy, or that the and by its gradual encroachments would most certainly do so, if she was not resisted. traffic both of the Black and Mediterranean This he himself essayed to do; and though seas must have poured wealth and resources he ruined himself and his army, the great into the treasury of Russia, or it must have fact still remained of what must at some for ever declined. This point is so evident, future time be done. It ought to have been that we pass on. seen that the addition of parts of Poland and III. The supremacy of Russian absolutism, Finland to Russia was a piece of insane if it had prevailed, must have blighted the policy in days gone by. The dissolution of fair prospects of rising and flourishing nathe kingdom of Poland was opposed to Euro- tions, and have thrown back the tide of pean interests, and had this never come to civilization, and have overwhelmed the conpass, the independence of Turkey would have tinent of Europe in mediæval darkness never been brought to this imminent peril, and horror! We are aware that many and one of the safest and surest steps for wiseacres prate largely about the civilizaEngland and France now to take is the re- tion, enlightenment, and freedom of Russia. construction of the same kingdom into a But it is a gross delusion. The Russian distinct European nation. The crushing of population groans under an awful yoke Hungary, and the stifling of republican Italy, of serfdom, in comparison with which the were things of highest interest and self-con- actual slavery of America is little worse. gratulation on the part of Russia; they pre- Whatever of true civilization, enlightenpared the way for the despot's car, and, like ment, and freedom the masses of Russia the Vienna Note, yielded to Russia a clear possess, it is not the result of her governpath for carrying out her fell designs. Not ment, but of some foreign agency. If his. only did Napoleon long ago anticipate the tory teaches anything clearly it is this, that aggression of Russia, but one of the deepest absolutism sets her crushing foot upon civilipoliticians of France has placed it on record zation as the mighty mystic Centaur with as his prophecy long ago.
which she must ever battle and prevail in “It was quite enough in delivering Finland order to hold the sceptre of power! to the Russians, to have afforded them the If the real condition of Russia has at all means of a step in advance towards the advanced for the better, it is because the Sound, as a point from which they will not ruling power could not help it, because the be less menacing at a future day, when the progress of civilization in other nations has Russian Colossus, with one foot on the Dar- | thrown in upon Russia its blessed influences, denelles, and another on the Sound, shall and to a certain extent fired her national make the whole world his slave, and liberty soul. Let but the neighbouring nations fall will have fled to America. However chi- victims to Russian power, and that source of merical all this may seem now to narrow glorious influence will be destroyed, and the minds, it will one day be a cruel reality; for thick mists of deeper darkness will enshroud Europe, unwisely divided, like the towns of the continent, as a funeral pall o'er the tomb Greece in the presence of the kings of Mace- of her former glory! donia, will have probably the same lot.”* Had Russia prevailed in her attempt to Let our Brights and Cobdens think over take Turkey, the dim and distant hope which this passage, and, wiping from their eyes the every noble heart cherishes in its aspirations mephitic dust of delusion, see how far such for the cause of liberty—the rise and flourish brainless and heartless policy as theirs would of republican Italy, the land of artists and help to bring about its literal fulfilment. poets and glories past, of memories blessed,
II. It would have blighted the commercial of scenery richest-of down-trodden Poland interests of Europe with the East, and Eng- and agonizing Hungary,-if the foe to naland's more than any other nation's; and tional liberty had triumphed, the patriot's who shall say that our eastern possessions hope, the philanthropist’s anticipation conand wealth would not have been in such a cerning them, must have for ever perished in case a morsel sweet as the heart of Poland the darkness felt! or Turkey to the insatiate appetite of suc- Reader, we have thus briefly set before cessful absolutism? Certain it is that the you the different grounds on which we de
clare our government was justified in enter* M. Thiers.
Ting upon the present war with Russia.