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sophical, or Moral Age, but, above all others, the Mechanical Age. It is the Age of Machinery, in every outward and inward sense of that word.' It may puzzle our readers as much as it does ourselves, to understand what is meant by the inward sense of machinery.' We are still more perplexed to understand how the following charge, which seems intended as unusually severe, can be construed by thinking men into any thing else than substantial eulogy. With its whole, undivided might, it [this age] forwards, teaches, and practises, the great art of adapting means to ends. Nothing is now done directly, or by hand; all is by rule, and calculated contrivance. For the simplest operation, some helps and accompaniments, some cunning, abbreviating process is in readiness.' Now take away the lurking sneer with which this is said, and we see not how it would be possible to crowd more praise into a smaller compass. It is no small part of wisdom, to possess the capacity of adapting means to ends.' What would the writer have us do? Pursue ends without regard to means?
But to the specific charges. And first, the world is full of literary, scientific, and religious associations. It is one of the mechanical features of the age, that large numbers of men are in the habit of combining together to effect those objects, which no individual could accomplish alone. Now we have been accustomed to consider this prevailing tendency, as one of the greatest modern improvements. In no propensity do we discover a more prudent adaptation of means to ends. We employ the mechanic lever to lift weights, which our unassisted strength could not lift. Why not employ the social lever in the same way? We are aware that some great and good men have expressed apprehensions, that the individual is in danger of being lost in the mass. But, for aught we can
perceive, the individual is as free as ever, and his influence is even greater. Let him unite with those whose opinions agree with his, and he adds another unit to the sum. Let him stand out alone, and he must be transcendently gifted, if he do not lose his unit of influence. And as to his freedom, there is no reason why he should part with that, when he joins himself to a society. He may act with it so long as he approves its course. When he disapproves it he may attempt a change; and if he cannot prevail, he may separate, and, at worst, he will stand in the position in which he was placed before he joined the society.
The writer next indulges in pleasantry at the expense of Physical Science and its votaries. 'No Newton, by silent meditation, now discovers the system of the world from the falling of an apple; but some quite other than Newton stands. in his Museum, his Scientific Institution, and, behind whole batteries of retorts, digesters, and galvanic piles, imperatively "interrogates nature;" who, however, shows no haste to answer.' If this mean any thing, it is to cast ridicule upon the universal practice of demonstrating and illustrating scientific truths by actual experiments. And in what school has the writer been brought up, if he really need to be reminded, that nature does answer, and hastily too, when thus interrogated? Again and again did she make haste to answer to Franklin, Priestley, Black, Lavoisier, Davy, and a host of other imperative interrogators. Where was this writer, when she was questioned as to the cause of lightning, the composition of water, the nature of heat, the mode of guarding against the fire-damp of the mine, and a hundred other equally momentous secrets?
The Mathematics are next subjected to our author's criticism. Its calculus, differential and integral, is little else than a more cunningly constructed arithmetical mill, where the factors being put in, are, as it were, ground into the true product under cover, and without other effort on our part, than steady turning of the hand. We have more mathematics, certainly, than ever; but less mathesis. Archimedes and Plato could not have read the Mécanique Céleste; but neither would the whole French Institute see aught in that saying, "God geometrizes!" but a sentimental rodomontade.' Now we are much in the same predicament with regard to this passage, as the French Institute with regard to that saying. We can see naught in it but rodomontade.' We learn from it, that Newton, Leibnitz, and Laplace, were nothing more than mill-wrights, and that their work was very easy. Indeed, the author had just before asserted, that to excel in the higher departments of mathematics, required no great natural gifts. Did we entertain our author's opinion of the facility with which a man, by setting himself patiently to work, could produce a treatise like the Principia and the Mécanique Céleste, we would certainly give up writing for the reviews; and we almost wonder that our author adheres to it, instead of placing his name by the side of those of Newton and Laplace. VOL. XXXIII.-NO. 72.
As to the remark about mathesis, it is true that Plato had the honor of saying God geometrizes!' but to prove it, was reserved for the mechanicians above mentioned.
And here we
The next thrust is made at Metaphysics. are informed that nobody has gone to work right. The whole world are now, and always have been, totally in the wrong. Even Locke, the great master, was at fault in the outset. But to avoid mis-statement, let the reviewer speak for himself. The whole doctrine of Locke is mechanical, in its aim and origin, in its method and results. It is a mere discussion concerning the origin of our consciousness, or ideas, or whatever else they may be called; a genetic history of what we see in the mind. But the grand secrets of Necessity and Free-will, of the mind's vital or non-vital dependence on matter, of our mysterious relations to Time and Space, to God, to the Universe, are not in the faintest degree touched on.' So because Locke confined his inquiries to what can be known, instead of meddling with 'grand secrets,' and 'mysterious relations,' he is a mere mechanic. Commend us to such mechanics. Give us Locke's Mechanism, and we will envy no man's Mysticism. Give us to know the origin of our ideas,' to comprehend the phenomena which we see in the mind,' and we will leave the question of the mind's essence to transcendental speculators. So of Necessity and Free-will; mechanical as the age is, we have heard of no machinery which can be brought to bear upon their explanation. And as to the mind's vital or non-vital dependence upon matter,' we are compelled to plead ignorance of what it means. We are bound, however, to suppose it has a deep meaning, since Locke did not get at the bottom of it. And should the writer give some of his leisure moments to the investigation, we hope the world may have the benefit of his researches. He may next find it profitable to undertake with Entities, Quiddities, Essences, and Sensible Forms, those stubborn secrets which did so puzzle some of the schoolmen. After brushing away these mists, there will still remain a rich field for discovery, in our mysterious relations to Time and Space.' And these relations being fully ascertained, the way will be cleared for a discussion of the celebrated question,-Whether spirits can pass from one point of space to another, without passing through the intervening space.
From Metaphysics, the reviewer passes to Politics. 'But
the trail of the serpent is over them all.' Mechanism has twisted his coils fast even about the slippery politician. where,' complains the writer, is the deep, almost exclusive faith we have in Mechanism more visible, than in the politics of the time.' If this had been written within the last month or two, we should request to be informed, by what rare combination of mechanical powers the recent political changes have been effected in Europe. Truly, there is something in these vast movements, which rather looks as if mind were the mover. Mr. Canning predicted that the next war in Europe would be a war of opinions. That war is not yet commenced. But, to use the language of our author, the revolutionary machine is working with a tremendous momentum, such as the world. never before witnessed. But that we may not mistake the writer on this subject, we quote his words. It is no longer the moral, religious, spiritual condition of the people that is our concern, but their physical, practical, economical condition, as regulated by public laws. Thus is the body politic, more than ever, worshipped and tended; but the soul politic, less than ever.' We are almost tempted to believe that this was intended particularly for the United States, where public laws' have left the religious and spiritual concerns' of men, exclusively to themselves and their God. But then the writer must, on his own principles, allow us due credit for managing to get along without that expensive and complicated piece of machinery, a Church Establishment. Time was, it must be confessed, when the soul politic' was more cared for by government, than it is any where at present. But this sort of care has always been found to require a great deal of machinery, and among the rest, the rack, the fagot, and the The writer, therefore, in his anxiety for the soul politic, seems to be placed in a dilemma. He has such an antipathy to machinery in general,-and to that above mentioned, we will do him the justice to suppose, in particular, that he would probably reject the only means, by which governments have hitherto been able to 'tend' the souls of their subjects.
Having proceeded thus far in his assault upon notions, which must be allowed to possess a very general currency, the writer proposes a new illustration, or, perhaps we should say, theory of our nature, which he supports with great vivacity and learning; and which, that we may do him no injustice, we state in his own words.
To speak a little pedantically,
there is a science of Dynamics in man's fortunes and nature, as well as of Mechanics.' This would hardly carry perfect conviction to the mind, without the following lucid explanation. 'There is a science which treats of, and practically (?) addresses the primary, unmodified forces and energies of man, the mysterious springs of Love, and Fear, and Wonder, of Enthusiasm, Poetry, Religion, all of which have a truly vital and infinite character, as well as a science which practically addresses the finite, modified developements of these, when they take the shape of immediate "motives," as hope of reward or fear of punishment.' Having thus stated his theory, our author illustrates it by several examples, of which we shall notice one or two. Among others, the French Revolution, not the recent glorious one,-is drawn in. 'The French Revolution had something higher in it than cheap bread and a habeas corpus act. Here too, was an Idea; a Dynamic, not a Mechanic force. It was a struggle, though a blind, and at last an insane one, for the infinite, divine nature of Right, of Freedom, of Country.' We do not exactly understand what is meant by a struggle for the infinite, divine nature of Country.' If by saying, that cheap bread and a habeas corpus act' were not the motives of the Revolution, the author mean that neither the wants of the populace, oppressed by misgovernment, nor the political theories of the Philosophers occasioned this explosion, we can only say that he denies it to have been produced by the action of those causes, to one or both of which it is universally ascribed.
Another example, scarcely less unfortunate, is the Christian Religion. We desire always to approach this subject with the most profound reverence. And when we are told by the reviewer, that the Christian Religion, under every theory of it, in the believing or the unbelieving mind, is the crowning glory, or rather the life and soul of our whole modern culture,'— we most cordially concur in what we can understand of the panegyric. Of religion in the believing mind, too much cannot be said. How religion in the unbelieving mind can be a crowning glory, we are at loss to conceive. But our chief concern is with the assertion, that the Christian Religion has been promulgated 'Dynamically, and not Mechanically.' This is in direct conflict with our historical information. It seems to us, that there has been, unfortunately, altogether too much machinery employed in the propagation of Christianity.