Imatges de pàgina

which they are invested, does not ex. politicians maintain, divide et impera, tend, and ought not to extend, to the has been established in practice and command of the religious opinions of consecrated by the hand of time.” their subjects. They have respected, Such is the theory of men in power, they have protected, the national reli- and their practice is conformed to it. gions. This was their duty as govern. They continue, to permit, if not to ors, and they have performed it. But favour, the sacrifice of widows upon this duty was not contrary to their the funeral pile, with the dreadfulacduty, as men and as Christians, of companiinents which have very lately enlightening their subjects, raising occupied the public attention. Five them gently to a purer religion, and or six hundred women are the victims preserving them, by public authority, every year in British India, of an odifrom actions contrary to all morality, ous rite, which the civil government to all progress in civilization, which may and onght to prosecute as a the law has always a right to repress. murder. A glorious reforın has, how

The English are now animated by ever, begun to spread among the a religious zeal, an ardour for prose- Hindoos. A Bramin, whom those lytism, which has no parallel in their who know India agree in representing own history, or in that of other na- as one of the most virtuous and entions. The consequence is, that even lightened of men, Rammohun Roy, their language is seldom free from is exerting himself to restore his counthat affectation of devotion which is trymen to the worship of the true called cant, and which sometimes ex- God, and to the union of morality cites distrust. Nevertheless, this na- and religion. His flock is small, but tional feeling is completely stifled by increases continually. He communithe interest which it is believed the cates to the Hindoos all the progress India Company has in preventing the that thought has made amongst the progress of civilization and the deve- Europeans. He is among them, by lopment of the minds of its subjects. a much juster title than the MissionaWhen Mr. Wilberforce proposed, in ries, the true Apostle of Christianity. 1813, to Parliament to endeavour to He had undertaken a periodical public introduce Christianity into India, as cation in his native tongue, not with a source of other ameliorations, Mr. any views of interest, to which his Marsh, who undertook to refute him, large fortune makes him a stranger, and to shew the danger of the intro- but to extend the doctrines of civiliduction of Christianity, insisted parti. zation. He was encouraged in this cularly “ upon the advantage of the noble undertaking by the last Governinstitution of castes to repress the or of India, the Marquis of Hastings; restlessness of ambition and the impa- but in the month of April 1823, Mr. tienee at obedience.” Mr. Charles Adam, the newy (pro tempore) GoGrant, who, in concert with his bro- vernor-General, in concert with the ther, Mr. Robert Grant, has shewn Judge of Calcutta, Macnagliten, suphimself one of the most skilful and pressed all liberty of the press, and constant apologists for the India Com- obliged the illustrious RAMMOHUN pany, is not less explicit in his desire Roy to renounce his journal. to preserve the religion of the Hindoos; to preserve also, by its means, SIR, that part of the system which prevents Nethion and improvement, changes most efficaciously all progress of civi. lization, all enlargement of the mind. are insensibly taking place of which “ The institution of castes,” says he, we are scarcely aware.

I have soine“constitutes a source of security for the times amused myself with thinking permanence of our government in the how many of the common-places of East Indies which cannot be equalled eloquence are thus, one after another, in the history of the world; and as it taken away. Many a simile and many is not probable that mankind will ever a trope which once figured in the see such another phenomenon, it would pages of the learned, are now abanbe a great pity were we to take mea. doned to the humblest class of writers, sures which inight destroy it prema. and will soon be found (lbanks to Lurely. Here the inaxim which all Mechanics’ Institutes and similar establishments, together with the cheap broke's best. Good as eloquence is, press) unfit even for them. New and truth is still better, in the judgment philosophical images may indeed be of

A BOOK-LOVER. started; Dugald Stewart'has led the way in this course of eloquence; but

Plymouth, it requires great delicacy of concep- Sir,

October 10, 1824. tion and felicity of language to preserve such tigures from the appearance


SHORT time ago, a friend put of pedantry on the one side, and of paper which both excited surprise and vulgarity on the other. It can only afforded me pleasure; for the newsbe by some happy artifice that we papers of that inquiring condtry, apare led to connect elegance with the pear to have objects in view which do steam-engine, the gasometer or the not come within the plan of our Enspinning-jenny. The present oratori- glish editors. This paper is called cal Secretary of State for the Home * The Evening Gazette, devoted, Department never drew a figure, what. among other objects, to Literature ever money he may have derived, from and Piety.” It is printed at Boston. the last-named manufacturing engine. This number, which forms a part of

A collection of obsolete eloquence the tenth volume, contains a short would be a valuable curiosity. I have essay on " the Faith of the Heart," now and then pencilled my books for copied from The Unitarian Miscelmaterials. Take an example of a lany. I shall call the attention of beautiful illustration of Lord Boling- your readers to the sentiments conbroke's, which Capt. Parry has dashed tained in this essay, marking them to the ground and broken in pieces. with inverted commas; but will first There was a time," says he, speak- mention, that not only is this paper ing as a philosopher, er cathedra, aiming at the spread of Unitarian “ when navigators bent themselves principles, but that there is also one obstinately to find a passage by the published at Philadelphia, called “The north-east or the north-ivest to Cathay. Christian, devoted to Religion, Morals Neither frequent losses nor constant and Literature,” the character of which disappointinent could divert them from is distinctly marked by several of its these enterprises, as long as the fa- pieces, especially by one lying before shionable folly prevailed. The passage me, on the subject of " Jesus made was not found; the fashion wore out; both Lord and Christ.” I copy from and the folly ceased. The bounds of this number the following article of navigation were set: and sufficient intelligence, which will gratify many warning was both given and taken who will read it in your pages : against any further attempts in those “A week or two ago we stated, dark and frozen regions." (Works, that at least three-fourths of the 8vo., I. 277, 278.) Alas! for mere 'Friends' in this city were Unitari. eloquence: but the illustration was Several respectable members of fine, as will be seen by its application. that body have since called upon us, “ Many such (attempts) there are in and told us, we should have been the intellectual world: and many such nearer the truth if we had said nineattempts have been made there with tenths; and we make this correction no better success. But the conse- at their request.” quence has not been the same. Nei- I apprehend we may form nearly ther examples nor experience have the same conclusion respecting the had their effect on philosophers, more Society of Quakers in New York, fool-hardy than mariners: and where from the communication of Bereus, the former wandered to no purpose Vol. XIX. pp. 544 and following. three thousand years ago, they wander to no purpose, at least to no good

The Faith of the Heart. purpose, still.”

What is belief? A question surely Blair, if I remember right, has of no mean importance, since thinking spoken contemptuously of the style must go before acting, and faith must of Bolingbroke's Philosophical Works; precede our works. Why do we purbui Blair rever wrote a passage equal sue a chosen line of conduct, but beto this, which is not one of Boling- cause we believe that it will lead us


to an object which we are desirous of the heart, with the consent of all the obtaining? Why form a regular sys- powers and sympathies of the man, tem of living, and shape our course with the full approbation of his intelby an established rule, but because lectual faculties, and of those tender we have duly weighed the value of the and amiable feelings which have their offers which have been proposed to seat in the heart. us, and have made our choice of that “ By the faith of the heart is to be which we prefer?. There is not an understood, in the first place, a faith intellectual being, in whom the men- which does not terminate in specutal powers are in activity, that is not lation.” mored in what he does by a faith of We are quite sure there are many some sort: but it must not be sup- professors of religion whose faith terposed that faith or belief is an unique minates where it begiós, in a simple principle which admits of no different assent to certain principles which have shadings.

been offered under the sanction of “ Belief or faith, strictly defined, some powerful authority. Mankind is the assent of the understanding to at large, as well in Pagan and Mahoa stated and intelligible proposition. metan countries as in those that are But this assent may be given to error Christian, receive their faith in this as well as to truth; and it may be way. It is with them a mere matter rendered when it ought to be with- of social feeling, a habit which begins held, and withheld when it ought to to be formed in early life, grows up be rendered : for the decisions of the with their growth and strengthens with understanding are not infallible.” their strength. The intellect is little

We have only to examine the diffe- called on to judge whether their sysrent classes of mankind in order to tem be right or wrong; they have be convinced that the determinations never called in question the correctof the human mind, even those which ness of their fathers' faith : the very arise from and depend upon belief, thought of a different profession are as varions, and assume as many wounds them: they wonder, they colours, as the rainbow; that they know not why, that any of their also incline towards and merge into neighbours can avow another faith. one another, and, like itself, depend Ask them whence this wonder arises, upon the peculiar circumstances which they can give no other answer but gave them birth.

Man can believe that they are going with the stream only as circumstances arise to afford of public opinion, and not a doubt him information; and as these cir- can be entertained that public opinion cumstances are indefinitely various in is correct. Little has occurred in the different walks of life, and in the their lives to induce a thought of the different climates of our earth, so man comparative excellence of systems; believes upon very different grounds, and they are capable of no other senand forms an infinite variety of creeds timent except that of astonishment, and systems of acting. Leaving all accompanied by a painful apprehenother varieties of faith for the present, sion as to the situation in which a we will consider that there are two dissenter from their system is placed. strong points of difference in the faith These men can assign no legitimate of men ; for there is a faith which reason of the faith that is in them: I rests altogether on feeling, and there say no legitimate reason, because mnen is a faith of which the heart cordially of contrary faiths, in kingdoms that participates. Mere thinking may suf- patronize contrary opinions, are all fice to form a creed, and to make a in the same condition; but contrary firm and stubborn believer ; but it is things cannot be true. trith the heart that man believeth unto “ But the religion of the heart is a righteousness. Now, the object of vital religion; a religion which lives religion, it will surely be admitted, and breathes and moves and acts, is to form the soul to righteousness; which prompts the virtues and regutherefore it becomes a matter of al- lates the conduct: a religion which solute necessity, that, in forming that tells the heart to beat whenever the faith which is to be the foundation of blessed names and offices of integrity, a religious life, we believe not with purity and justice, are recited: which the understanding alone, but also with commands the affections to fly wherever there is a tear flowing which they en or to sever the bonds of society can wipe away, or a bosom bleeding and the ties of neighbourhood, friend which they can bind, or a care which ship and affection. That counsel is of they can render lighter by their sup- Moloch, and not of God, which proport, or a sorrow which they can claims war against charity and love. alleviate by their sympathy: a religion Faith is never glad when Feeling which bids its votaries lift a reverend weeps : Religion never speaks of duty and grateful eye to the Creator for to a shuddering bosoin : and Chris his ceaseless and unspeakable boun- tianity disclaims the power which ties, and then look down again on Nature would recoil to exercise.” the world, and endeavour to deserve What, then, shall we say of whole them.

societies of Christians who profess to To believe with the heart is not believe that all but themselves will to give a cold assent of the head to suffer the everlasting wrath of God, any truths, but to feel their influence in consequence of sin which they could and bow to their authority. Good not prevent, and disobedience over principles may be received and then which they had no controul? The forgotten; but he who believes with language of the Calvinist creed is the heart will not only receive, but this: "We believe that this vice, oriretain them, keep them in his heart, ginal sin, is a sin which makes all and oppose them, whenever there is and every man, not even excepting occasion, to the temptations of the infants in the womb, liable, in the world. Some there are who think it sight of God, to eternal death” (Galsufficient that they have turned their lic): which in other creeds is worded attention to religion on certain occa- thus : " Liable to the pains of hell sions, and honestly subscribed a form for ever.” Such is indeed the tenor of faith, as far as they comprehended of all Calvinistic creeds, which admit it, once in their lives : farther exami. of no other relief than this, that some nation or reflection they conceive to are elected from everlasting, and rebe unnecessary; thus making way for deemed by the blood of Christ, and pernicious principles and loy-bred thus made secure of eternal life and interests to gain ground until it is too happiness; but who they are, and how late to correct them. But they who many, no one can tell. Now, can any believe with the heart, acquire a habit one with the heart believe so borrid á of recalling at will those principles doctrine? Can be reconcile it to his which they have once acknowledged feelings, and call his tender affections to be true, and of renewing those in- to approve of what must be the result pressions which they have ever found of such a system, namely, that by far to be beneficial ; and thus they pre- the greater part of the human race vent the admission or continuance of and among them he is compelled, perother principles and opposite impres- haps, to number his nearest and dearsions. Their faith is always by them. est friends, the partners of his love, In the world it will defend, comfort, with whoin his sympathetic affections cheer, support—and in heaven it will have ever been in unison-shall go crown them.

away into everlasting punishment ? “ Again, to believe with the heart The head of man is often weak; it is is to make our opinions invariably much imposed upon by crafty, derespect the good affections of our na- signing men, and by men whose heads ture, and to admit no principles which are as weak as his own; and with his are opposite to them; not, indeed, to head he may believe this doctrine, or be guided by the heart, but never any other that appertains to a Moloch to offer any violence to its dictates. or a Juggernaut; but with his heart There is no heresy so dangerous as he cannot believe it. His heart revolts that which rebels against the innocent against the belief; and he must effecand regulated feelings of humanity. tually close every passage from which There is no schism so dreadful as that the tender affections flow out, before which breaks away from the commu- his tongue can dare to confess that nion and companionship of the heart. such is the serious and approved artiThere is no belief so widely unchris- cle of his faith. tian and unsound as that which would Again, to believe with the heart in the least degree contribute to wcake is to believe ardently, warmly, deeply." A man may be brought to profess justice; even then the heart tells them what is in open rebellion against every it is cruelty. dictate of the heart. Awed by a great But let us suppose the disciple of name, or terrified by the awful denun- Calvin is one of his more fortunate ciations of those that are teaching followers, who has persuaded himself falsehood, the mind may crouch and that he has the lighi within him, that humble itself before an earthly god, he is renewed by grace, that for him and may in an agony, induced by thé. Christ has died, and that his way is: conflict of his feelings, be ready to clear and his end will be happy. By cry out, I believe-help thou my un- some fortunate combination or other, belief. There is nothing deep in such this is, I suppose, the more common a profession; there is nothing warm case: flattering hope will kindle in in the feeling with which it is uttered. the human breast, as well in spiritual All is shallow as the noisy streain; as in temporal concerns. Does his all is cold and wretched as the boreal heart approve the dictates of his relimountain : it is as barren too; as bar- gion as they respect the great body of ren of every thing on which human his fellow-creatures; of those, espenature can live; as far removed from cially, who profess. a different faith, all social regards, as the wilderness is and who, on that account alone, he removed from the garden of God.” must think will be eternally damned ?

How miserably cold and comfortless Does his heart approve of such an bas life been often made by a gloomy opinion? Can he really bless the view of those eternal decrees upon name of his God, who, with a justice which the happiness and misery of an so severe, has singled him out of a eternity have been supposed to de- large family, and condemned all the pend! The language of many a poor others-as good as himself, perhaps a deluded Calvinist has been, Oh! 'that great deal better, and more useful in I could but believe what I am tuught, the stations he has directed them to is false. The judgment has refused fill; or, if he has not fiercely conits assent. All the best feelings of demned them, has passed them by, their frame have revolted against their and suffered them to remain where doctrine. For not one moment would mercy cannot reach them? Such a their sympathies grant their approba- man is in general careful not to contion; and not one single principle of sult his heart upon such knotty points, their entire frame has been engaged and is, above all things, determined in the formation of their creed but to subdue the dictates of nature, and their fear: they have been afraid to check those risings of compassion deny what has been enjoined upon which are sometimes too powerful them by an authority they dared not even for his strongest convictions. call in question, enforced by argu. And then he rebels against his creed, mnents they were not prepared to con- and has recourse to some kind of suhfute.

terfuge, which will either soften the To many a one within the know- severity of his doctrine or smother ledge of your readers does this de- the tender thoughts which spring up. scription apply. To one, worthy and Indeed, of the man that is led away excellent, does the eye of my memory by the delusions of falsehood in his now carry me, to whom the duties of religious profession, it may, according life, under these painful impressions, to our views of truth, he said, that were a drudgery, because they led to either with his heart he does not benothing but tribulation and anguish; lieve unto righteousness, or that he is to whom the services of religion could in a Auctuating state, suspended bedo no more than add fuel to the fire tween the cruel decisions of his reliof despair ; and who could behold in gion and the kind dictates of his heart. him who was the Author of a present Other reflections might be added to miserable existence, and of that more the above to illustrate this inost awful wretched state for which he is in cru. subject, but I shall be drawn ont to elty training his intelligent offspring, too great a length, and will therefore nothing but a stern determination to withhold them, anxious still to offer fulfil his merciless decrees. It is well a solution of what has ever seemed if, with such views, men can call it problematical in the character of many

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