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we want with rulers? But government ground; and as no potato can help being has destroyed itself. It has abdicated its round or oblong, white or black, so no own functions. · In flying from persecu- man's mind can resist the force which tion it has sunk into indifference. It has moulds it, and become other than it is abstained from punishment, till criminals made to become; and therefore all moral are so hardy and so numerous, that pun- censure is unjust and criminal ! ishment seems impossible. Even con- And here let us pause for a moment to tempt can no longer be enforced. What warn any well-intentioned but not deeply. the Attorney General might shrink from instructed antagonist against rashly venproducing before a jury, for fear, shall we turing on the refutation of this metaphysi. say, of provoking opposition, or of un- cal problem. Bishop Butler* has shown cloking hideous vice-the bishops have them already the only mode, in which the been compelled to bring publicly before doctrine of necessity, and materialism as the House of Lords-to defile themselves connected with necessity, can be safely and that assembly by details which we met. It is by denying, not the minor pre. could not republish. And it is found that miss, 'that man's agency depends on orthe wisdom and good sense of the Eng- ganisation, but the major, that he is lish nation is in the condition in which all, therefore irresponsible,'that the argument, who know the principles of the age, if argument is ever to be tolerated, must be would expect to find them--at the lowest conducted. It is one of the great mysteries ebb—in a state, which is leaving at this of our being, that we are most intimately moment a large portion of the population connected with an external creation, with an easy, unyielding prey to the monstro- the machines of our bodies as well as with sities of Socialism.
the other detached parts of the material But public opinion will correct it! We world. It is a mystery, involved essentialanswer that public opinion is itself cor- ly in the very fact of a creation—for a cre. rupted. Public opinion can never sit as a ation without laws to guide it, rendering it stern inexorable judge, without a volume dependent on the Creator, is incomprehenof positive and undisputed law to support sible, perhaps impossible. And whatever its decisions; and this has been taken from be the degree of our dependence upon a its hand by the same sophistical process, material organization without us, there is which has rested religion on individual evidence of it to some extent,-sufficient ratiocination, and morals on individual to embarrass the metaphysical discussion. feeling. And public opinion feels this; it And why should we wish to escape dares not speak. How few would ven- from the fact, when Christianity itself
, ture to turn off their labourers, who be- beyond any other system, has declared come Socialists—would refuse to meet the close communion of mind and body, such men in society-would order them and made the resurrection of the body from their presence as self-convicted cri- a very article of faith? But besides minals—as loathsome objects-if they this, Socialism is not dealing with it ventured to appear within their doors. blindly. It has at its back Locke and No! public opinion is at this moment a the sensualists, and Marat and the ma. coward-bullied (it is the only word to terialist philosophers of the French revoexpress the abjectness of its submission lution ; and materialist physicians and to every new absurdity)-bullied by so- metaphysicians of our own times; and phisms and nicknames, not knowing the the Scotch school, who have been urging grounds of its own belief, and therefore us so long to analyse our mental movedistrusting itself, and incapable of con- ments, just as we analyse the physical demning others. And even if it dared to world ; and, above all, it has the phrenocondemn, Socialism is deaf, and before it logists, who have done Socialism admirran the risk of incurring the stripes of able service, as a link-boy to a hangman's shame, it put on a hard tough skin, cart. Let it therefore be remembered through which no pain can pierce. Ben- that this question of external organisatham, and the French materialists, whom tion and influence has nothing in the they translate and publish, have provided world to do with the real object, for them amply with this. Our opinions, they which its advocates support it, the irresay, are not in our power : they are made sponsibility of man. As Butler admirafor us by our brain-by nerves, blood, bly shows, human responsibility, whether skin, bones, sun, air, water, beef, mutton, right or wrong, just or unjust-of which brandy, everything we touch, or see, or taste-they grow, like potatoes in the
Analogy, 6. 36
points, in our present defective know., ity, is compelled to adopt the very system ledge, we cannot be competent judges, which he contemns, omitting only those is a fact of experience. Whether or portions which make it practicable. We not it ought to co-exist with a depend- had thought that the Alinighty Author of
on external circumstances, we Christianity had, 1800 years ago, come know that it does and will exist. We down upon the earth, proclaiming the are punished, we are blamed, censured same melancholy fact of man's subjection and rewarded, liked and disliked, hated to an external power, which, by himself, and loved, are thought good or bad, and he was unable to control-speaking of must take the consequences of such opi- him as a captive,' as ' in prison,' as . unnions of our characters, however those able to get out,' as . fast bound in mise. characters are formed. So long as soci- ry and iron,' as 'the slave of his flesh, ety has power, they will punish a mur- and of the prince of this world and of darkderer, whether he is influenced by his ness. It was not left for the nineteenth brain or not. So long as we have heart century to make such a discovery. No and head, we shall like one man more good or wise man ever lived, who did than another ; shall approve such ac- not feel and groan over his state of bondtions, and disapprove such others ; shall age here upon earth ; and the very esfollow up our likings and dislikings by sence of vice is the omission of efforts to acts of kindness or severity. Till man be free. But, of old, man also recognisis disembowelled of his affections, till ed within himself, not only his chains and the works of his mechanism are taken fetters, but a spirit struggling to escape, out of him, he must feel and must act an eye turned up to heaven, looking long. upon a distinction between good and ingly for release ; a voice crying for asevil. And Mr. Owen himself, whatever sistance, and catching at any sound are his hopes of the millennium, when which promised aid : this fact the new either men's likings and dislikings of mo- Folly has forgotten. Man is with it a ral actions shall cease altogether, or slave, and a slave he is to remain, conshall cease to influence their actions, as tentedly and inextricably-only society now he declares they do, has not yet ex. is to mould and form him anew, so as to hibited any specimen of this anticipated prevent him from feeling his fetters. phenomenon. He does himself praise How society itself is ever to become and dispraise in very strong language ; emancipated from the influence of the and though he acknowledges that he old system-how the darkness in which ought not to follow up his sentiments we have been living could ever produce by any overt act, he does meditate an light, it is omitted to explain. If exterentire destruction of the characters, and nal impressions generate corresponding opinions, and moral practices, which he internal sensations, and those sensations so strongly detests. That in so doing again by necessity generate correspondhe will cause considerable pain and in- ing external acts, and these acts again convenience to those who adhere to the generate more similar sensations, how old moral world in preference to the new in the world are we to escape from this cannot be doubted; that he will justify never ending circle,? By some singular his conduct by referring to the evil cha- good luck the poor vain old man who has racter of his antagonists' proceedings been dreaming of a new world, imagines is equally clear; and also, that he will that he has escaped from the fatality; consider himself perfectly at liberty to and, like Epicurus' atoms, has struck deal with them according to their ac- out of the tram-road to originate an entions. Whether such dealings will be tirely new course. His ignorance is just or not is a question into which he only equal to his conceit. His lamentawill not presume to enter. Mr. Owen tions over the present state of man, his himself declares they will be most un desire of something better, a great part just, for our actions to men ought in no of the improvement, which he meditates, way to be influenced by considerations are nothing but the hackneyed principles, of merit or demerit, good or evil: but on which every scheme of philosophy, that the dealings themselves will take religion, and society has been instituted place, we should be quite convinced, since the world began. The only parts even without his repeated assertions that which can claim to be novelties, are no his whole system is founded with this novelties in Newgate or in Bedlam. Few object.
fanatics have risen up either in religion or And here again it is singular to see in politics, without promising a new moral how the infidel, in blaspheming Christian-' world, though few have hitherto dreamed
of accomplishing it by such means as his, | abuses from the face of the earth-and without it being necessary to commit make their fellow-creatures virtuous and them to the care either of a gaoler or a happy by knowledge-by mechanics' in. keeper. He is claiming by his own con- stitutes, and penny magazines, and a fession a miraculous power, a power to board of education, and lectures at the interrupt the course of necessity, to London University — by teaching men make, first, society and then man entire that a cat is not a dog, that A is not B, ly different from what the laws of his that it takes so many inches to go round nature must make him by the Socialist's the earth, and so many more to go round own confession. And that such a power the sun; that Romans once lived at Rome, has been sent into the world, and is work and Greeks at Athens—that twenty and ing in the world at this moment, Chris- twenty make forty—that if you swallow tians well know, and that the end will be arsenic, it will poison you-and if you in time a new moral world—a wholly plant acorns, they will certainly grow, new creation-where men will neither and grow with their roots downwards hate, nor covet, nor censure, nor punish, and their boughs up in the air. These nor fear poverty, or famine, or sickness; men had their miracles likewise their when they shall have all things in com- steam-engines, and railways, and printingmon, and all things beyond the utmost presses, and calculating machines, and abundance of their desires. But then iron animals, which did man service, and neither will they be sensual, nor blasphe made his clothes and ground his corn, mous, nor passive slaves of sense, nor like Homer's tripods. Such things they criminals, nor atheists, nor selfish and hailed as miracles, for the very reason self indulgent, nor vicious in any other that they were not miracles; that they form, which Mr. Owen hopes to recon- were explicable by man's power to com. cile with the bliss of his promised mil. bine the laws of nature—while with the lennium.
same mouth they denied the existence of There were unhappy heretics in the any miracle whatever, which they could first centuries of the Church, who claim-not by experience discover to be none ed the same power with him of establish- at all. ing a New Moral World, but claimed it And now, a fit conclusion ! as if, havas messengers from heaven, as superna- ing cast off the Church, and every semturally inspired, wanting only one thing blance of a Church, and religion, and -credentials, in the shape of miracles, law, and statesmanship, and all philosoto attest their mission. Then came others, phy but sense, one after the other, the who would work the same wonder by an human mind was now ready to believe usurpation in the name of the Church. any thing, however gross, there comes a The founders of the religious orders were man without any credentials whatever, prophets of a New Moral World—all with a denial of all authority, either orienemies to covetousness—all forbidders ginal or delegated, boasting himself a of marriage-all declared reformers of passive machine in the hands of fate,' a the existing evils of society. Then came selfish, interested, solitary, unsupported a third body, the friars and the jesuits. propagator of a system yet unheard of in They also would form a New Moral the world, and holding out only four nos. World ; and some shadow of authority trums as a panacea for all the ills of life they possessed in the assumed supremacy -atheism, divorce, infanticide, and the of the Pope, to whom they professed to destruction of master manufacturers ;subject it. 'On them followed Anabap- and hundreds are found to follow himtists, and Brownists, and Fifth Monarchy not miserable starving beggars, or gentlemen, and all the other enthusiasts who men, whose organisation has developed set to work to reform the Church, that is, itself in the shape of pickpockets or riotto establish a New Moral World, without ers, but what are called educated men reference to precedent or law, as indivi- educated as the nineteenth century edudual Christians only. But even they cates her children, to read and writeclaimed divine illumination. And then men who can translate French, and write we had politicians, with their new codes grammatically, and quote the Bible-who of laws and new theories of civil govern- have been head-clerks in counting houses, ment, backed by the House of Commons teachers in Sunday schools, small surand the headsman who decapitated their geons, notaries public, middling shopsovereign. And lastly came philosophers keepers, enlightened mechanics,' and of science-men who would extirpate all even (it is a fact) persons who can afford to subscribe thousands for the propaga-drudge to comfort and independencetion of this new mania.
would indeed be a boon to the world. Surely in all this, if we wanted such No Christian quarrels with this end—he an evidence-if the state of the country only wonders, first, that man in his sendid not show it on all other sides alike- ses should think to accomplish it by the there is proof of a judicial blindness fall. agency of joint-stock societies, unconing on an age which calls itself wise-trolled by a higher and better power than whose sins are remaining on it, because, their own; and, secondly, that the Church with thick darkness on its sight, it says itself is not forming plans for some such that it can see. Surely if our hands are institution under her own eye. But this powerless to quell the nuisance-if we politico-economical character is only the dare not touch it, lest its stench should mask, under which the Owen sect has enbreak out further and poison the land- rolled and legalised itself in the eye of what must be our own weakness, and the the statutes. Mr. Tidd Pratt, they boast, surrounding corruption? What is to be. has inspected their rules, and announced come of a nation whose faith is so sickly that they contain nothing contrary to the that blasphemy, in the most silly of forms, law. Surely we may observe, by the by, is likely to overthrow it? Where are the this law* should be looked at.
It was powers of government, if it cannot, or not of old the practice to allow societies dare not, punish what it professes to be to shoot up like mushrooms in the heart lieve a hideous crime? What has become of the state, subject to no visitation, and of public opinion-of that voice, which especially with such objects as the legislatures and judges, and priests, and following :kings, are appointed to sound trumpet. tongued throughout the land, proclaiming for mutual assistance, maintenance, and education,
• The object of this Society shall be to raise funds truth and goodness to a people, if it can. which funds shall be applied for the purchase or not speak without ruining what it is ap- rental of land, whereon to erect suitable dwellings, pointed to guard ? If a dead beetle, or and other buildings; wherein the members shall, any other noxious thing, is found in a by united labour, support each other, and arrange nest of ants, they do not carelessly pro- and education, so as to produce among the mem
the powers of production, distribution, consumption, ceed with their work, as if, by letting it bers feelings of pure charity and social affection for remain, they would not ultimately be each other, and practically plant the standard of poisoned. They carry it away piecemeal,
“ peace and good will on earth,” towards all men.'
-Rules, p. 11. cover it up, destroy it, and never rest till it is destroyed, by the instinct which God
Where was the careless statesman who has given them. And in the midst of this framed so lax a statute, under which a great country there is an organised soci- body of blasphemers, with nearly the ety for the propagation of blasphemy and very same watchword as that of the atheism ; of maxims which destroy the French Revolution, could enroll themvery moral existence of man, and of foul, selves in an organised form under the nesses which cannot be written of—and sanction of Mr. I'idd Pratt, and then defy yet this offensive carrion is to remain the law? among us untouched-and swell in its putrescence, poisoning and defiling all * It was,' said the Bishop of Exeter, .not merely around it! Is it because it is no nuisance, an English society. No; it was an universal society.
It professed its determination to extend itself all and blasphemy no crime or because
over the world ; but at present he believed it had not Englishmen are so seared in conscience gone beyond France. At this moment its influence that they would revenge its punishment was feli in England, perhaps he should rather say as persecution ?
in the British isles, to a very great extent. Accord. For this, let us remember, is the real ing to its code, Great Britain was divided into fourcharacter of the nuisance. As a politico- which assumed to itself a legislative power for di.
teen principal districts. A congress met annually economical speculation, Socialism has recting the whole proceedings of the general body. always failed, and always must fail. It The congress assembled, he believed, at ditierent is absurd, but it is comparatively inno points in different years. Two delegates were sent
from all the places where there were charter cent. Anything, which would put an end branches of the society, not amounting to less than to the flagitious corruptions of our pre- sixty-one. There was besides an executive bodysent manufacturing system--which would the Central Court. He did not know how often extinguish covetousness—which would that met: but he believed it was in a constant state
and capacity of meeting. That body superintended prevent the accumulation of capital in a few hands and distribute it among many raising the mechanic from a
10 Geo. IV., cap. 56, sec. 11.
the formation of associations throughout the land, | panegyric on the person, of whose scheme and appointed missionaries to each of the fourteen it formed a feature. But when a man is districts into which the United Kingdom was divided by the society. There were no fewer than to be condemned, or punished, and held 350 towns regularly visited by those missionaries. up to scorn in the most efficacious way, Very small sums were individually contributed for we exclude him from society, we send their support. Twopence, threepence, and even him to Coventry. And so it is with the less, was contributed by each member. But such exclusion of positive religion from any place where, naturally and properly, it may hold a station. No blasphemy so effectually condemns it.
was their number, that the subscription afforded those missionaries not less than 30s. per week, which, with other incidental advantages, made the situation a matter of importance to persons in their situation of life.'-Speech, p. 3.
What, then, are the doctrines of this
These missionaries attend public meet-rational religion?' Atheism. Assuredly ings of all kinds for the of ob- not. purpose Atheism is as much an impossibilitruding their views; 350 places are al. ty as the disbelief of one's own existence; ready exposed to their pollutions, and up- for no man can be conscious that he exwards of 100,000 members are reckoned ists himself without being conscious also among their hearers. Their blasphemies that something else exists beyond him, to themselves have been already exposed in which he must conform himself-which the Bishop of Exeter's Speech, and we is a power beyond and above him—and of may spare our readers the pain of quoting which he will make his God. And yet them; but the fundamental axiom which Atheism is its profession, the material they put forth is the denial of a God, and world being all the while its God:of a future state, and this is stated broadly and nakedly, without equivocation, or any philosophical envelopment. In the case of lectures against their system, they anx. iously promote discussion. They make regular reports of their progress, distribute an immense number of tracts, (our table at this moment is covered with them,) cheap, not ungrammatically written; some veiled in something like phi-jectures, as probable truths: losophical language, others putting forward blasphemy and infidelity in the grossest form. They are men conceited, pragmatical, and busy, who have had a half-and-half education, and some experience perhaps in organizing other local societies; the very class, let us remind the Church, who would have been made her most efficacious agents in disseminating truth among the poor, had they been taken up by a perfect Church system, and educated properly through a sound organization of middle schools; and one thing is especially to be observed, that, as they act as individuals, they are enabled to put forth the seeret opinions of the society in the boldest shape, without compromising the society itself.
From these laws we deduce the following con
This propagation of blasphemy was no part of Mr. Owen's original proposition. It is an afterthought, but, like many other afterthoughts, it seems to have swallowed up the original intention. Mr. Owen commenced only with excluding religion under the pretence of admitting all. It was the fault which Mr. Southey found with him. And it would have been happy if that distinguished man had been induced, by such a deficiency, to abstain from any
'We have been requested to state our opinion respecting that, at present, to us, mysterious Power, "which directs the atom, and controls the aggregate of nature."
"We reply, That human knowledge is not suffi ciently advanced to enable us to state upon this subject, more than probable conjectures, derived from those laws of nature which have been made known
1st. That an eternal, uncaused Existence has
ever filled the universe, and is, therefore, omnipre
2d. That this eternal, uncaused, omnipresent
Existence possesses attributes to "direct the atom and control the aggregate of nature;" in other words, to govern the universe as it is governed.
3d. That these attributes, being eternal and infinite, are incomprehensible to man.
4th. That these eternal and infinite attributes are, probably, those laws of nature by which, at all times, in all places, the operations of the universe are incessantly continued.
5th. That it is of no importance by what name men call this eternal, uncaused, omnipresent exist. ence, because such names alter nothing, explain nothing; and man knows the forms and qualities of those existences around him only so far as his
senses have been made to perceive them.
6th. That, if this Power had desired to make the nature of its existence known to man, it would have enabled him to comprehend it without mystery or doubt.
7th. That, as this knowledge has not yet been given to or acquired by man, it is not essential to his well-being and happiness.
8th. That man is formed to be what he is by this Power; and that the object of his existence is
the attainment of happiness.
9th. That the Power which made man cannot ever, in the slightest iota, be changed in its eternal course, by the request or prayer of so small and insignificant a being as man is, when compared
with the universe and its operations.
10th. That all dissensions among men, on these mere speculative matters, are the greatest mistakes