Imatges de pÓgina

received the accumulated sanction of the learned from that day to the present. In general, what we want in reading ancient authors, is a more ready apprehension of their sense; when once suggested to our minds, its own propriety warrants it genuine. On the whole, therefore, I can by no means assent to Dr. Jones's assertion in his Preface, that the study of the accents "does not bring in return the smallest advantage to the learner." I have no hesitation in avowing my opinion, that the knowledge and practical use of the accents, will do more towards forming a correct and elegant Greek scholar, than all the acquaintance with Hebrew, Arabic and Syriac, that ever was acquired; nor do I think it possible that any one can become a finished and able Greek scholar without this knowledge. A hundred proprie ties and elegancies of the language will inevitably escape him.

The plan of retaining the circumflex without the acute appears to me particularly unfortunate: the economy of the circumflex depends essentially on that of the acute, and thus shorn of its kindred, it appears but as one of the "discerpta membra❞ of a mangled system.

Before I close, I must acknowledge that I am indebted for many of the foregoing_remarks and authorities to Foster's Essay on Accent and Quantity, an excellent work, to which I with pleasure refer the reader for fuller information. In one point, I think this author not quite correct: it is when he considers English verse as essentially founded on quantity like the ancient but I have explained my own view of this point already. Mr. Foster observes, in conclusion, that the Greek language, treated as it has been in this matter, might adopt the complaint of Philomela in the epigram: Γλῶσσαν εμὴν εθέρισσε, καὶ εσβεσεν ̔Ελλάδα φωνήν.

T. F. B.

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plan of Mr. Owen, of New Lanark, in so far as regards its arrangements for facilitating mutual and voluntary co-operation, I was delighted to find that the scheme was advocated on Christian principles by a gentleman so admirably qualified for the task, as the writer of the Essay above alluded to; and I fondly hoped, that, having been once started, a subject so interesting and important, in every point of view, would have undergone a thorough discussion. But although I have been hitherto disappointed in this expectation, I do not yet despair of seeing a portion of your work devoted to such a discussion, so as to lead us to some distinct conclusion as to the merits of the plan.

Ever since I turned my attention to the subject, it has appeared to me, that the enlightened body of Christians among whom your Repository circulates, are, of all others, the best qualified to appreciate the force of Mr. Owen's arguments, and to reduce his theory to practice. He has given great offence to the religious world by a proposition to which the great majority of Unitarians will have no difficulty in subscribing; namely, "that the character is formed for and not by the individual." This, you are aware, is saying no more than is maintained by the advocates of the doctrine of Philosophical Necessity. To them, therefore, it can give no offence, nor excite the slightest feeling of alarm for the stability of the Christian religion. Nor, indeed, ought our Calvinist brethren to take offence at an axiom which lies at the root of their system, and which President Edwards, one of their ablest writers, has irrefragably defended in an elaborate piece of argumentation. It must, however, be confessed that, in so doing, he has exposed to the full light of day the horrid deformity of that dogma, which dooms to eternal misery vast numbers of human beings who are precisely what their Maker determined that they should be. With this gross inconsistency we have no concern.

But I really do not see why any man, who has the good of his fellowcreatures at heart, should reject the plan of Mr. Owen, on account of any supposed error in his metaphysical notions. The practical tendency of

his doctrine accords with the general conduct of all wise parents, tutors and governors, inasmuch as all such will prefer the prevention to the correction of evil, and will studiously endeavour to place those under their authority in circumstances the most favourable to the formation of virtuous habits and dispositions; and will strive to remove, as far as possible, all temptations to vice. On this ground the Necessitarian and the Libertarian can and do daily meet. Nor will any difference arise between them as to the expediency of gaining their object by kind rather than by coercive measures, if it can be clearly proved that, when ever they have been fairly tried, the former are far more efficient than the latter. No Christian can dispute the obligation of that precept which commands us to "overcome evil with good."

Having thus endeavoured to remove a stumbling-block, which has prevented the great mass of serious Christians from advancing even to the threshold of Mr. Owen's fabric, permit me to advert to another principle of his plan, which has proved a rock of offence to men of the world. I allude to the community of interests which it proposes to establish among the associated members of his villages of unity and mutual co-operation. This proposal is prima facie opposed to a prejudice almost indelibly imprinted on the minds of Englishmen.

"But foster'd even by Freedom, ills annoy:

That independence Britons prize too
Keeps man from man, and breaks the
The self-dependent lordlings stand

social tie,

alone, All kindred claims that soften life unknown."

that to break down these walls of separation would be to destroy that love of independence which is supposed to lie at the root of our dignity, and of some of our best qualities. I can readily conceive that the association of the ideas of conventual or cœnobitic life, with the austerities and absurdities of Monachism, tended, after the Reformation, to excite strong prejudices in this country against institutions having any resemblance to a state of society, in which men were bound by rigid laws not only to do many things that ran counter to their natural inclinations, but even to perform duties accordant with their tastes and dispositions. As compared with such a system of discipline, the right of disposing of one's time and property according to one's own pleasure, must have appeared far preferable, though at the sacrifice of much of the security and freedom from worldly care which belong to cœnobitic life. But besides the limitation of liberty, which is supposed to be involved in that state of society, there is a strong repugnance on the part of enterprising, skilful and careful individuals, to share the produce of their industry with the indolent and imbecile; and to overcome this feeling, the enforcement of Christian precepts has hitherto proved ineffectual, with few exceptions. Unless, therefore, the scheme of union projected by Mr. Owen can be relieved from these grand objections; that is to say, unless it can be proved to be consistent with the enjoyment both of individual liberty and of private property, I cannot indulge a sanguine expectation that it will be generally adopted by a people so tenacious of freedom, and of the fruits of their personal industry and skill, as are the inhabitants of this island.

Although few persons of reflection would be hardy enough to deny, that it can only be by a progressive union of interests that any great advance can be made in the career of civilization; yet the generality of philanthropic writers, in their schemes for ameliorating the condition of the working classes, always assume the necessity of preserving sacred the present division of mankind into separate families, from a persuasion (no doubt)

Happily, however, it appears, (in my humble apprehension,) that these highly-cherished privileges may be not only preserved, but enlarged by the proposed change in our mode of life. For, in the first place, each society must consist of voluntary associates; and the parties thus associated will be competent to establish such rules for their own government, as do not interfere with the general laws of the country. A member of one of these communities would, of course, reserve the right of withdrawing from it at

pleasure, and while he remained in it, would have a voice in the election of its officers, and be himself eligible to office. This is calculated to elevate and not to depress the human character. Provision must be made for the enjoyment of privacy, as well as for social meetings; and each adult individual would consider his chambers as secure from intrusion, as a housekeeper now does his own fire-side. And, with respect to property, it is by no means an essential part of the scheme, that a member of an association should throw into a common fund whatever property he might possess on joining it. All that would be required of him, would be to bear his fair proportion of the expenditure, on the condition of participating in the aggregate produce of the common labour. Thus, supposing the expense of living, in one of these communities, to be 50. per head per annum, a person possessing 10,000l. would be enabled to lay by the excess of his income beyond that sum, and, more over, to augment his accumulations by his share of the profits of the society.

It appears to me that the great error of Reformers has consisted in their attempting to begin where they ought to leave off. That an entire and unreserved community of goods will eventually take place among the individuals thus associated, I have not the shadow of a doubt: but this most desirable state of things will be brought about gradually, in proportion as the wealth of the society shall increase.

And here permit me to observe, that there appear to be but two ways whereby union and love and piety can be rendered prevalent in the world -the one is by combating the selfish principle by arguments having reference to a future state; the other, by surrounding mankind with the objects of their desire, and thus removing the temptations which have hitherto proved too strong for virtue. Far be it from me to underrate the power of those motives which our holy religion affords to the practice of the most painful and self-denying duties. We know that these motives have enabled men to triumph over dangers, difficulties and sufferings the most appal ing to our nature but I do humbly conceive, that in causing the know

ledge and the love of divine truth to cover the earth, it is probable that Providence will smooth the way to the practice of Christian morality, and that the grand improvements which have been made in the contrivances for shortening human labour, are indications of such a design. Mr. Owen has stated, and he has been at considerable pains to ascertain the fact, that the productive powers of Great Britain and Ireland at the present day are equal to the constant daily labour of 350 millions of able-bodied men ; a power capable of being indefinitely increased. As society is at present constituted, this vast power is in a great measure opposed to the interests of the working classes, who constitute the great majority of the people. All that is requisite to convert this evil into a blessing, is, to associate mankind on such principles as shall give to the respective communities a common interest in the produce of labour, aided by these grand mechanical agents; and as it is clear to demonstration, that, under the proposed arrangements, the village communities could, with perfect ease, raise and manufacture more of every article of necessity, of comfort and of convenience, than would suffice to satisfy the wants of each individual, the axe would be laid at the root of those numerous vices which spring from cupidity. Poverty is not favourable to the growth of virtue; nor can we reasonably expect that the arguments urged by divines and philosophers to prove the wisdom of Providence in permitting of so great a disparity as has hitherto existed in the conditions of mankind, will ever reconcile the poor to their lot, so long as they perceive that their teachers are as keen as others in the pursuit of the good things of this life. It is not the acquisition of wealth that is reprehended; but the rendering its acquisition the final end of our efforts. Methods to acquire riches are necessarily methods of wisdom and good conduct: the dissolute rarely grow rich.

No man is more firmly convinced than I am, that all the past dispensations of Providence have been ordered in perfect wisdom and goodness, and, consequently, that the existence, or rather the wide prevalence of wretched poverty, was designed to answer a pur

pose worthy of Infinite Benevolence: and what purpose appears more worthy than that of exciting in us first an earnest desire, and, subsequently, the most strenuous efforts to mitigate, and eventually to eradicate this prolific source of evil? Let us not deify error, but fortify our minds with the consolatory belief, that the omnipotence of truth will gain the victory over all error.

But although it is evident that, when combined in the mode proposed, men will be able to create a superabundance of wealth for all, it does not follow that they will therefore take up their rest in mere worldly enjoyments, to the neglect of their intellectual and spiritual interests. The consciousness that they possess the power at all times of satisfying their wants, will serve to correct the passion for accumulation which is now so predominant in some minds. We perceive that, together with those discoveries which, as before observed, have thus given to the present generation such unbounded means of creating wealth, a thirst for knowledge has also sprung up among us, and a disposition to confer upon all ranks the benefits of education. As the case now stands, education unfortunately serves but too often to render the subjects of it but the more sensible of their abject condition, and to generate feelings of envy and hostility towards those who enjoy advantages which they cannot hope to obtain by legitimate efforts: hence the violent desire to change political institutions, which is a strong feature of the present times. The more I reflect, the more do I perceive the wisdom of that exhortation which prescribes to Christians a due submission to the constituted authorities, be they of what character they may, except in cases where the authority of the magistrate comes in competition with the laws of God. It surely was not the design of our Saviour and of his apostles to inculcate principles of abject servility; far from it; the spirit of Christianity is the spirit of liberty: and it is destined to subvert tyranny of every kind. But the weapons of our warfare are not carnal; the victory is to be achieved by a moral force. Generally speaking, in all countries, magistrates are a terror to evil-doers, and are not disposed

to harm those who are followers of that which is good. The fact is, that if serious Christians would but combine together to do all the good to each other, which can be effected consistently with the laws as they exist, they would inevitably attain a far greater degree of wealth, and liberty, and ease, than is procurable by mere changes in political institutions. And the errors and deformities of bad laws or of misrule, would be better exposed when peaceable and industrious communities could clearly shew how those causes tended to obstruct their progress, than by the clamorous and indiscriminate censures which popular meetings are so ready to found often upon very defective information as to the real occasion of their sufferings.

But I am becoming too diffuse, and must compress my remaining observations into the narrowest possible compass.

It would be unreasonable to expect any man to change his habits of life, unless we are prepared to shew that some valuable and obvious good is attainable by the change. To the poor the gospel is preached; and it is therefore to such as groan under the cares and difficulties and privations which are attendant upon the present isolated mode of life, to those with whom the great business of life is to live, that we address ourselves with the best hopes of success.

We see such ready to transport themselves to distant foreign lands; to incur the dangers of the seas and of unhealthy climes, and even to plant themselves in the neighbourhood of savage tribes, if a hope is held out, that by such a change they will be enabled to reap the fair fruits of their industry, and escape from the burthens which in their own country press them to the earth. Now I venture boldly to affirm, that the very same amount of capital which is thus expended in seeking a new settlement, if employed at home under arrangements similar to those projected by Mr. Owen, would infallibly effect their purpose far more easily and securely than any, the most plausible scheme of emigration. Those who, like myself, have carefully studied the co-operative plan, aided by machinery, will not for a moment dispute its power to increase, in a tenfold proportion,

the produce of any given amount of labour or of capital, as at present employed. The mind should be steadily fixed on this point. It would lead me to encroach too much upon your indulgence were I to prove, by an induction of particulars, the proposition above laid down. Suffice it to say, that by combined operations, all that is now performed in society may be performed with far more celerity, economy and effect than it is at present. A community of 1000 persons could be provided for with little more trouble than is required to provide for a family. The food could be prepared in the most approved manner; the children educated on the best principles, under the eye of their parents; every rational recreation could be readily commanded, and the social qualities of all elicited and cultivated, without prejudice to domestic enjoyments. Nine-tenths of the females would be liberated from the drudgery to which they are now subjected, and would thus be enabled not only to apply the time saved to such works as would increase the wealth of the society, but to cultivate their minds, and thus to become better companions. I speak of course of the working classes: but even those in better circumstances would, under such a system, experience a great change for the better. There can, perhaps, be no better test for the excellency of any social scheme, than the effect which it is calculated to produce upon the female character: and in this point of view, that of Mr. Owen challenges the support of the fair sex.

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both can and do unite with great constancy to pursue it: we see this in trading companies, in literary societies, in collegiate institutions, and in navies and armies. Men scruple not for the sake of the advantages accruing from the military profession, to subject themselves, during life, to the greatest hazards and inconveniences, and to strict and often harsh discipline. But, in point of fact, we have the best proofs from history that societies constituted on principles far less rational and liberal than are now proposed, have been held together, and existed for ages: and, at this very day, there exist in America, communities bearing a strong resemblance to the proposed villages of union and mutual co-operation which have thriven and prospered, and are increasing rapidly in numbers. I allude to the Harmonists, of whom a very interesting account is given in a pamphlet published at New York, by a committee of religious persons who are endeavouring to multiply these societies.

But will men in a community of mutual and combined interests be as industrious as when employed for their individual gain?

I shall answer this question in the words of Mr. Owen.* "It has been, and still is, a received opinion among theorists in political economy, that man can provide better for himself, and more advantageously for the public, when left to his own individual exertions, opposed to, and in competition with his fellows, than when aided by any social arrangement which shall unite his interests individually and generally with society. This principle of individual interest, opposed as it is perpetually, to the public good, is considered by the most celebrated political economists to be the corner stone of the social system, and without which society could not subsist. Yet, when they shall know themselves and discover the wonderful effects which combination and unity can produce, they will acknowledge, that the present arrangement of society is the most anti-social, impolitic and irrational, that can be devised; that, under its influence, all the superior and valuable qualities of human na

* Report to the County of Lanark, 4to. p. 28.

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