Imatges de pÓgina

received the accumulated sanction of plan of Mr. Owen, of New Lanark, the learned from that day to the pre- in so far as regards its arrangements sent. In general, what we want in read- for facilitating mutual and voluntary ing ancient authors, is a more ready co-operation, I was delighted to find apprehension of their sense; when that the scheme was advocated on once suggested to our minds, its own Christian principles by a gentleman propriety warrants it genuine. On the so admirably qualified for the task, as whole, therefore, I can by no means the writer of the Essay above alluded assent to Dr. Jones's assertion in his to; and I fondly hoped, that, having Preface, that the study of the accents been once started, a subject so inte“ does not bring in return the smallest resting and important, in every point advantage to the learner.” I have no of view, would have undergone a hesitation in avowing my opinion, thorough discussion. But although I that the knowledge and practical use have been hitherto disappointed in this of the accents, will do more towards expectation, I do not yet despair of forming a correct and elegant Greek seeing a portion of your work devoted scholar, than all the acquaintance with to such a discussion, so as to lead us Hebrew, Arabic and Syriac, that ever to some distinct conclusion as to the was acquired ; nor do I think it pos- merits of the plan. sible that any one can become a fi- Ever since I turned my attention to nished and able Greek scholar withont the subject, it has appeared to me, this knowledge. A hundred proprie- that the enlightened body of Christies and elegancies of the language tians among whom your Repository will inevitably escape him.

circulates, are, of all others, the best The plan of retaining the circum- qualified to appreciate the force of flex without the acute appears to me Mr. Owen's arguments, and to reduce particularly unfortunate : the econo- his theory to practice. He has given my of the circumflex depends essen- great offence to the religious world by tially on that of the acute, and thus a proposition to which the great mashorn of its kindred, it appears but as jority of Unitarians will have no diffione of the “ discerpta membra” of a culty in subscribing ; namely, “ that mangled system.

the character is formed for and not Before I close, I must acknowledge by the individual.” This, you are that I am indebted for many of the aware, is saying no more than is mainforegoing remarks and authorities to tained by the advocates of the docFoster's Essay on Accent and Quan- trine of Philosophical Necessity. To tity, an excellent work, to which I them, therefore, it can give no ofwith pleasure refer the reader for fence, nor excite the slightest feeling fuller information. In one point, I of alarm for the stability of the Christhink this author not quite correct : tian religion. Nor, indeed, ought our it is when he considers English verse Calvinist brethren to take offence at as essentially founded on quantity like an axiom which lies at the root of the ancient but I have explained my their system, and which President own view of this point already. Mr. Edwards, one of their ablest writers, Foster observes, in conclusion, that the has irrefragably defended in an elaboGreek language, treated as it has been rate piece of argumentation. It must, in this matter, might adopt the com- however, be confessed that, in so doplaint of Philomela in the epigram : ing, he has exposed to the full light

Γλώσσαν εμήν εθέρισσε, και εσβεσεν οf day the horrid deformity of that Ελλάδα φωνήν.

dogma, which dooms to eternal miT. F. B. sery vast numbers of human beings

who are precisely what their Maker Sir,

March 23, 1823. determined that they should be. With A Bpeared two years on the report this gross inconsistency we have no tory, (XVI. 88—101,] “ An Inquiry But I really do not see why any respecting Private Property, and the man, who has the good of his fellowAuthority and Perpetuity of the Apos- creatures at heart, should reject the tolic Institution of a Community of plan of Mr. Owen, on account of any Goods.” Having long been a great supposed error in his metaphysical admirer and humble supporter of the notions. The practical tendency of

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his doctrine accords with the general that to break down these walls of seconduct of all wise parents, tutors and paration would be to destroy that love governors, inasmuch as all such will of independence which is supposed to prefer the prevention to the correction lie at the root of our dignity, and of of evil, and will studiously endeavour some of our best qualities. to place those under their authority readily conceive that the association of in circumstances the most favourable the ideas of conventual or cænobitic to the formation of virtuous habits life, with the austerities and absurdities and dispositions ; and will strive to of Monachism, tended, after the Reforremove, as far as possible, all tempta- mation, to excite strong prejudices in tions to rice. On this ground the this country against institutions havNecessitarian and the Libertarian can ing any resemblance to a state of soand do daily meet. Nor will any dif- ciety, in which men were bound by ference arise between them as to the rigid laws not only to do many things expediency of gaining their object by that ran counter to their natural in. kind rather than by coercive measures, clinations, but even to perform duties if it can be clearly proved that, when accordant with their tastes and disever they have been fairly tried, the positions. As compared with such a former are far more efficient than the system of discipline, the right of dislatter. No Christian can dispute the posing of one's time and property obligation of that precept which com- according to one's own pleasure, must mands us to “ overcome evil with have appeared far preferable, though

at the sacrifice of much of the security Having thus endeavoured to remove and freedom from worldly care which a stumbling-block, which has pre- belong to cænobitic life. "But besides vented the great mass of serious the limitation of liberty, which is Christians from advancing even to the posed to be involved in that state of threshold of Mr. Owen's fabric, per- society, there is a strong repugnance mit me to advert to another principle on the part of enterprising, skilful of his plan, which has proved a rock and careful individuals, to share the of offence to men of the world. I al- produce of their industry with the inlude to the community of interests dolent and imbecile; and to overcome which it proposes to establish among this feeling, the enforcement of Christhe associated members of his villages tian precepts has hitherto proved inof unity and mutual co-operation. This effectual, with few exceptions. Unproposal is prima facie opposed to a less, therefore, the scheme of union prejudice almost indelibly imprinted projected by Mr. Owen can be relieved on the minds of Englishmen.

from these grand objections; that

is to say, unless it can be proved to “ But foster'd even by Freedom, ills an- be consistent with the enjoyment both noy:

of individual liberty and of private That independence Britons prize too property, I cannot indulge a sanguine high,

expectation that it will be generally Keeps man from man, and breaks the adopted by a people so tenacious of

social tie, The self-dependent lordlings stand freedom, and of the fruits of their alone,

personal industry and skill, as are the All kindred claims that soften life un

inhabitants of this island. kuown."

Happily, however, it appears, (in

my humble apprehension,) that these Although few persons of reflection highly-cherished privileges may be not would be hardy enough to deny, that only preserved, but enlarged by the it can only be by a progressive union proposed change in our mode of life. of interests that any great advance can For, in the first place, each society be made in the career of civilization ; must consist of voluntary associates ; yet the generality of philanthropic and the parties thus associated will be writers, in their schemes for amelio- competent to establish such rules for rating the condition of the working their own government, as do not inclasses, always assume the necessity terfere with the general laws of the of preserving sacred the present divi- country. A member of one of these sion of mankind into separate fami- communities would, of course, reserve lies, from a persuasion" (no doubt) the right of withdrawing from it at pleasure, and while he remained in it, ledge and the love of divine truth to would have a voice in the election of cover the earth, it is probable that its officers, and be himself eligible to Providence will smooth the way to office. This is calculated to elevate the practice of Christian morality, and and not to depress the human charac- that the grand improvements which ter. Provision must be made for the have been made in the contrivances enjoyment of privacy, as well as for for shortening human labour, are insocial meetings; and each adult indi- dications of such a design. Mr. Owen vidual would consider his chambers has stated, and he has been at consias secure from intrusion, as a house- derable pains to ascertain the fact, keeper now does his own fire-side. that the productive powers of Great And, with respect to property, it is Britain and Ireland at the present day by no means an essential part of the are equal to the constant daily labour scheme, that a meinber of an associa- of 350 millions of able-bodied men ; tion should throw into a common a power capable of being indefinitely fund whatever property he might pos- increased. As society is at present sess on joining it. ` All that would be constituted, this vast power is in a required of him, would be to bear his great measure opposed to the interests fair proportion of the expenditure, on of the working classes, who constitute the condition of participating in the the great majority of the people. All aggregate produce of the common la- that is requisite to convert this evil bour. Thus, supposing the expense into a blessing, is, to associate manof living, in one of these communities, kind on such principles as shall give to be 501. per head per annum, a to the respective communities a person possessing 10,0001. would be common interest in the produce of enabled to lay by the excess of his labour, aided by these grand inechaincome beyond that sum, and, more, nical agents; and as it is clear to de. over, to augment his accumulations monstration, that, under the proposed by his share of the profits of the so- arrangements, the village communities ciety.

could, with perfect ease, raise and It appears to me that the great manufacture more of every article of error of Reformers has consisted in necessity, of comfort and of convenitheir attempting to begin where they ence, than would suffice to satisfy the ought to leave off. That an entire wants of each individual, the axe and unreserved community of goods would be laid at the root of those nuwill eventually take place among the merous vices which spring from cuindividuals thus associated, I have not pidity. Poverty is not favourable to the shadow of a doubt: but this most the growth of virtue; nor can we readesirable state of things will be brought sonably expect that the arguments about gradually, in proportion as the urged by divines and philosophers to wealth of the society shall increase. prove the wisdom of Providence in

And here permit me to observe, permitting of so great a disparity as that there appear to be but two ways

has hitherto existed in the conditions whereby union and love and piety can of mankind, will ever reconcile the be rendered prevalent in the world poor to their lot, so long as they per-the one is by combating the selfish ceive that their teachers are as keen principle by arguments having refer- as others in the pursuit of the good ence to a future state; the other, by things of this life. It is not the acsurrounding mankind with the objects quisition of wealth that is reprehendof their desire, and thus removing the ed; but the rendering its acquisition temptations which have hitherto prov. the final end of our efforts. Methods ed too strong for virtue. Far be it to acquire riches are necessarily mefroin me to underrate the power of thods of wisdom and good conduct: those motives which our holy religion the dissolute rarely grow rich. affords to the practice of the most No man is more firmly convinced painful and self-denying duties. We than I am, that all the past dispensaknow that these motives have enabled tions of Providence have been ordered men to triumph over dangers, diffi. in perfect wisdom and goodness, and, culties and sufferings the most appalo consequently, that the existence, or ing to our nature : but I do humbly rather the wide prevalence of wretched conceive, that in causing the know. poverty, was designed to answer a pur

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pose worthy of Infinite Benevolence: to harm those who are followers of and what purpose appears more wor- that which is good. The fact is, that if thy than that of exciting in us first serious Christians would but combine an earnest desire, and, subsequently, together to do all the good to each the most strenuous efforts to mitigate, other, which can be effected consisand eventually to eradicate this pro- tently with the laws as they exist, they lific source of evil? Let us not deify would inevitably attain a far greater error, but fortify our minds with the degree of wealth, and liberty, and consolatory belief, that the omnipo- ease, than is procurable by mere tence of truth will gain the victory changes in political institutions. And over all error.

the errors and deformities of bad laws But although it is evident that, or of misrule, would be better exwhen combined in the mode proposed, posed when peaceable and industrious men will be able to create a supera- communities could clearly shew how bundance of wealth for all, it does those causes tended to obstruct their not follow that they will therefore progress, than by the clamorous and take up their rest in mere worldly indiscriminate censures which popular enjoyments, to the neglect of their meetings are so ready to found often intellectual and spiritual interests. upon very defective inforination as to The consciousness that they possess the real occasion of their sufferings. the power at all times of satisfying But I am becoming too diffuse, and their wants, will serve to correct the must compress my remaining obserpassion for accumulation which is vations into the narrowest possible now so predominant in some minds. compass. We perceive that, together with those It would be unreasonable to expect discoveries which, as before observed, any man to change bis habits of life, have thus given to the present gene- unless we are prepared to slew that ration such unbounded means of cre. some valuable and obvious good is atating wealth, a thirst for knowledge tainable by the change. To the poor has also sprung up among us, and a the gospel is preached; and it is theredisposition to confer upon all ranks fore to such as groan under the cares the benefits of education. As the and difficulties and privations which case now stands, education unfortu- are attendant upon the present isolated nately serves but too often to render mode of life, to those with whom the the subjects of it but the more sensi- great business of life is to live, that ble of their abject condition, and to we address ourselves with the best generate feelings of envy and hostility hopes of success. towards those who enjoy advantages We see such ready to transport which they cannot hope to obtain by themselves to distant foreign lands; legitimate efforts : hence the violent to incur the dangers of the seas and desire to change political institutions, of unhealthy climes, and even to plant which is a strong feature of the pre- themselves in the neighbourhood of sent times. The more I reflect, the savage tribes, if a hope is held out, more do I perceive the wisdom of that that by such a change they will be exhortation which prescribes to Chris- enabled to reap the fair fruits of their tians a due submission to the consti- industry, and escape from the burtuted authorities, be they of what cha- thens which in their own country press racter they may, except in cases where them to the earth. Now I venture the authority of the magistrate comes boldly to affirm, that the very same in competition with the laws of God. amount of capital which is thus exIt surely was not the design of our pended in seeking a new settlement, Saviour and of his apostles to inculcate if employed at home under arrangeprinciples of abject servility; far from ments similar to those projected by it; the spirit of Christianity is the Mr. Owen, would infallibly effect their spirit of liberty: and it is destined to purpose far more easily and securely subvert tyranny of every kind. But than any, the niost plausible scheme the weapons of our warfare are not of emigration. Those who, like mycarnal; the victory is to be achieved self, have carefully studied the co-ope. by a moral force. Generally speaking, rative plan, aided by machinery, will in all countries, magistrates are a ter- not for a moment dispute its power ror to evil-doers, and are not disposed to increase, in a tenfold proportion,

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the produce of any given amount of both can and do unite with great
labour or of capital, as at present constancy to pursue it: we see this in
employed. The mind should be stea- trading companies, in literary socie-
dily fixed on this point. It would ties, in collegiate institutions, and in
lead me to encroach too much upon navies and armies. Men scruple not
your indulgence were I to prove, by for the sake of the advantages accruing
an induction of particulars, the propo- from the military profession, to subject
sition above laid down. Suffice it to themselves, during life, to the greatest
say, that by combined operations, all hazards and inconveniences, and to
that is now performed in society may strict and often harsh discipline. But,
be performed with far more celerity, in point of fact, we have the best
economy and effect than it is at pre- proofs from history that societies con-
sent. A community of 1000 persons stituted on principles far less rational
could be provided for with little more and liberal than are now proposed,
trouble than is required to provide for have been held together, and existed
a fainily. The food could be prepared for ages : and, at this very day, there
in the most approved manner; the exist in America, communities bearing
children educated on the best princi- a strong resemblance to the proposed
ples, under the eye of their parents ; villages of union and mutual co-opera-
every rational recreation could be rea- tion which have thriven and prospered,
dily commanded, and the social quali- and are increasing rapidly in numbers.
ties of all elicited and cultivated, with. I allude to the Harmonists, of whcm
out prejudice to domestic enjoyments. a very interesting account is given in
Nine-tenths of the females would be a painphlet published at New York,
liberated from the drudgery to which by a committee of religious persons
they are now subjected, and would who are endeavouring to multiply
thus be enabled not only to apply the these societies.
time saved to such works as would · But will men in a community of
increase the wealth of the society, mutual and combined interests be as
but to cultivate their minds, and thus industrious as when employed for their
to become better companions. I speak individual gain ?
of course of the working classes : but I shall answer this question in the
even those in better circumstances words of Mr. Owen." “ It has been,
would, under such a system, experi- and still is, a received opinion among
ence a great change for the better. theorists in political economy, that man
There can, perhaps, be no better test can provide better for himself, and
for the excellency of any social scheme, more advantageously for the public,
than the effect which it is calculated when left to his own individual exer-
to produce upon the female character: tions, opposed to, and in competition
and in this point of view, that of Mr. with his fellows, than when aided by
Owen challenges the support of the any social arrangement which shall

unite his interests individually and Assuming the power of the scheme generally with society. This principle to increase the wealth and comfort of of individual interest, opposed as it the associated parties, let us inquire is perpetually, to the public good, what are the objections to its imme- is considered by the most celebrated diate adoption.

political economists to be the corner I have already adverted to the sup- stone of the social system, and withposed evil of resigning that independs out which society could not subsist. ence which operates so strongly to Yet, when they shall know themselves render us anti-social beings. I would and discover the wonderful effects fain flatter myself that I have shaken, which combination and unity can if I have not overturned this formi- produce, they will acknowledge, that dable barrier.

the present arrangement of society is But is it probable that union could the most anti-social, impolitic and be preserved among the members of a irrational, that can be devised; that, society formed upon the proposed under its influence, all the superior plan?

and valuable qualities of human na“What can we reason but from what we know?” We know that where an * Report to the County of Lanark, ohject deemed valuable is in view, men 4to. p. 28.

fair sex.

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